Putting Ubuntu into Action!
Never before has the meaning of Ubuntu - the inextricable link of community - been more apparent here in Kenya. When we first heard about this pandemic in China we never thought it would be at our doorstep in a matter of months. We now face an oncoming storm, but we are finding new ways to band together to weather this as a united Ubuntu family. We are blessed to have the infrastructure to be able to plan for this and have already started implementing new ways to help those most in need.
Our organization has a team of over 100 full time staff, all of whom we are keeping on payroll. We would dance together, hug one another, shake hands as we talk and hold hands as we walk - our culture is loving, welcoming, inclusive, and - until last month - very affectionate.
This was one of the first adaptations we made - it might not seem like much but for a team of 100 Kenyans, learning to wave from a distance instead of embracing joyfully was heart wrenching.
But of course we had to go further - despite the cases in Kenya not skyrocketing yet as they have in many other countries, we know it is only a matter of time and the management has been thankful to have this brief moment to be thoughtful and intentional about how to truly take care of each other and still share the love we have amongst ourselves.
The first and biggest pivot we were able to make to protect our Ubuntu family was to close Cafe Ubuntu and turn it into a supermarket just for staff and families. This prevents them from going to overcrowded supermarkets in town and allows us to utilize our wholesale pricing for the cafe to keep our families fed and provide them with critical supplies at an affordable price, plus they can pay out of their salary or in installments if needed. What was a restaurant full of dining tables and chairs has become rows of goods - bags of flour and millet, stacks of cooking fuel, rows of soaps and cleaners - it is quite a sight.
What a joy to be able to serve our team, our family in such a way! Not very many organizations would go the extra mile to protect their staff beyond training them on how to take precautions. We are so thankful to Ubuntu for retaining our employment, giving us stability in an uncertain time and finding new ways to help us help our neighbors and families.
Thanks y’all for your great support.
Stay safe and #liveubuntu