Grant Provides African Communities with Food and Sanitation Supplies during COVID-19

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

An SHCJ/ASEC joint effort provides financial support to African sisters responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and serving the poor and vulnerable in their communities.

During a recent ASEC COVID-19 Impact Report, Stakeholder Engagement Survey, several areas of need were identified by study participants as potential methods in which ASEC can focus its efforts to better support its stakeholders.

Survey responses pointed particularly to the need for material support. Program participants serving in the healthcare and pastoral ministries reported significant ministry/work related strain due to the pandemic.

  • Nearly half of all material requests (n=225), were related to medical supplies (e.g. personal protective equipment, sanitizer, soap, thermometers, ventilators).
  • Information and communications technology (ICT) was also cited frequently (n=146), with data bundles, internet access, and laptops being the highest priority.

Furthermore, a significant portion of respondents (n=56) referenced the need for food supplies and the dwindling sustenance available in their various communities. This is exemplified by the account of a HESA participant in Cameroon,

“Especially where I live, lot (sic) of people can not provide food, people are suffering and dying. Hungry are killing people, because they can not provide for their daily basic food, due to lock down.”

The findings of this study suggest that the pandemic has had a significant impact on all stakeholders, particularly in their work and ministries. In addition, there are identified areas of need amongst its constituencies, particularly in material support, which ASEC may be able to fulfill through its partnerships, networking abilities and Africa staff.

To ease the negative impact of COVID-19, ASEC’s development office has played a proactive role in facilitating applications for small grants from well-wishers to select ministries of women religious in Africa.

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ASEC is pleased to announce that we've received a Want for the Age (WOTA) grant from the Society of the Holy Child Jesus - American Province (SHCJ) sisters.

The grant is an ASEC effort to help sisters in Africa as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was divided among 3 ministries:

  • Kayeyi Home for the Urban Poor in Ghana (to provide sanitation supplies and food for the poor)
  • Kwetu Home of Peace in Kenya (to provide food for the street boys living in the home)
  • Sisters of St. Therese of the Child Jesus of Buea in Cameroon (to provide personal protective gear for the sisters who were recently exposed to COVID-19 and suffered the loss of their General Superior to coronavirus).

❤️ We are so grateful to the SHCJ sisters for providing us with this grant so that together we can support sisters in their ministry work during these unprecedented times.

Emergency relief grant writing and distribution of funds for COVID-19 to the most needy ministries was managed by ASEC staff in the US:

  • Sr. Nancy Kamau, Director of Development
  • Kim Scalese, Office Manager
  • Melissa Frein, Finance Manager

Will you support sisters in the fight against COVID-19?

Africa's poor and vulnerable are counting on the sisters for desperately needed food and sanitation supplies. Can the sisters count on you? If you or someone you know can fund the support efforts of Catholic sisters in Africa, please contact ASEC's Development Director or make a donation through our secure online system today.

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This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Amy Fedele

Amy Fedele
Former ASEC Media & Communications Manager - USA  

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