The COVID 19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of many of the poor people who depend on the bustling city life to survive. Most of these people, living in slums and other inner cities in Kumasi have been left with virtually nothing to live on. The Economist (2020), estimate that up 200 million poor people worldwide would be affected by the measures imposed by governments due to the pandemic. These would range from total loss of income to mild effects such as lower sales, higher costs of living due to price increments and disruptions in the supply of valuable commodities they depend on
In Ghana, the President, in a now-famous speech, declared on Friday, March 27, 2020, that Ghana would undergo under a 2-week lockdown to stem the rising cases of Coronavirus. The rationale for this was a concept known as social distancing. It posits that as fewer and fewer people interact, it reduces the rate of a person to person transmission of the virus. The WHO has recommended social distancing as a potent tool to help keep the virus from spreading.
While the announcement was greeted with general approval by most Ghanaians, it rather spelt doom for the lives of the over 1.5 million poor people who depend on the markets and interactions with people to make ends meet. These include not only Kayayei but also many street hawkers, traders, artisans, beggars, widows etc.
In many places, these lockdowns have been instituted, the poor suffer the most. The internet is littered with such stories. In India, a poor farmer remarked, “It’s not the virus, I am afraid, of, it is the hunger” (BBC, 2020).
Another unemployed hawker said, “We know there is corona (Virus) in the country, but we will die of hunger first if we don’t get a meal” (Aljazeera, 2020).
In many situations, these poor people are breadwinners of their families which include a wife and kids. For every artisan whose income has been disrupted, a further 4 to five people suffer from this situation. These people rely on ‘hand to mouth’ for their survival. It is a sad phenomenon that requires a concerted effort from all of us to remedy
While acknowledging some initiatives in Ghana to support vulnerable people, we believe there is still more need to be filled. Besides our initiative is targeted at poor people who are less likely to come out to seek help. This is why at Seed of Hope, we have launched a food raising drive to help these people. With this effort, we are looking to raise foodstuff for these vulnerable people.
We are looking for preferably rice, oil, Gari, milo and all staple foods. In the same vein, we are asking all people in Kumasi who are struggling to cope with this lockdown to call our numbers and we will gladly come to their aid. For those who cannot donate food, we are also on hand to receive cash donations to support these vulnerable people.
We believe that getting some food while in isolation will help to reduce the burden of the breadwinners and make social distancing much bearable. As Dana Acuri once said “Our job on earth isn’t to criticize, reject, or judge. Our purpose is to offer a helping hand, compassion, and mercy. We are to do unto others as we hope they would do unto us.”
Kindly call or Whatsapp 0548184011 or via Paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org to support this initiative. Thank you