The response to COVID-19 looks vastly different across the world depending on the local situation. In Malawi and Zambia, the poor and vulnerable make up large proportions of the population. Most live hand-to-mouth with few secure employment options. Most children at home have no access to online or home schooling, with girls especially possibly never being able to return to education when schools reopen. Even resources such as clean running water and soap, to help adhere to prevention measures, are severely limited in many households. Sadly, there are still deaths from many diseases other than COVID-19, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and road traffic accidents. These nations must decide their own route through their own experience of this pandemic considering their own everyday realities.

Since the pandemic hit their communities, our Links partners in Malawi and Zambia have been preparing, training, and alleviating the poor and vulnerable from the impact of COVID-19:

• 29 vulnerable girls who were saved from early marriages are receiving home and radio schooling.
• 85 vulnerable elderly people have received food, blankets and mosquito nets.
• 20 volunteers, who feed over 400 vulnerable children weekly, have been protected with PPE for a few months. They have also expanded the number of vulnerable people fed to an extra 100.
• Over 350 rural-based leaders have been sensitised about COVID-19 prevention and protection, and will help their communities understand the risks and how to prevent the spread of the virus.
• 3,000 masks are being made by local tailors to be distributed to needy households.
• Hundreds of households have been equipped with hand washing facilities and soap.
• Wider public sensitisation programmes have been run in multiple rural communities to prepare and educate at risk households.

Thanks to all our supporters who have generously given to allow our partners reach out in these impactful ways.