Ubuntu Life Foundation Co-Founder & Executive Director Jeremiah Kuria Reflects On The Year So Far
Our team and community of parents, students, and patients have shown unheralded resilience over the last six months. Their commitment to our mission and our community has lifted my spirits and warmed my heart in the most challenging times. Six months ago, we re-opened the Ubuntu Life Special Needs Centre with limited classroom sizes to allow for social distancing, installed handwashing stations, instituted a mask-wearing policy and frequent temperature checks. It was tough, and our young students struggled, but our teachers and support staff rose to the occasion and adapted to give our kids the care and educational environment they so deserve. Less than three months later, under a Presidential Directive, all learning institutions were closed as Kenya experienced a deadly third wave. It was a devastating blow for teachers and parents alike, but yet again, my team's resilience amazed me.
As an organization, we renewed the commitment we made a year ago to provide food, drinking water, and personal hygiene products to the neediest in our neural health program, and we scaled up our sack garden program so that more food-insecure families could have access to nutrient-rich vegetables. For the months that our Centre remained closed, our social workers and community health team diligently worked our the phone lines, giving the best support they could to the parents and families who were once again in the position of being full-time caregivers. In mid-May, the Kenyan government allowed learning institutions to re-open under strict Covid-19 control measures, and we are now in our third semester.
A couple of our team members, including our in-house physician, are now fully vaccinated. Still, with a vaccine rate of only 1.3 %, the future remains uncertain, and we are likely to face other full or partial lockdowns. This prospect does not dishearten me; we will face what comes, and we will continue as we have, with commitment and resilience.
In December of 2019, the foundation broke ground on a combined special needs and pediatric medical facility. Despite the global pandemic and excessive local flooding delaying 2020 construction, the Children's Wellness Centre (CWC) is back on track and close to completion.
This project is possible thanks to donations from the Dell Children's Medical Center, The Thom Foundation, Alice Johnston, Acacia Fund, Street 16 Foundation, Martell Family, and countless other individual donors.
We thank them for their support!