When COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, Anne, a mother of three who lives in Nairobi's Gatina slums, couldn’t have imagined how drastically her life would change. When the Kenyan government issued a nationwide quarantine, she was out of her job as a teacher.
“We had to stay home for a long time with no job. But with the bills to pay piling up, just like rent, and needing to provide food for the kids, it was a struggle to provide,” says Anne.
After a month, the stress was almost too much to bear. Anne was sick with stomach ulcers and required medication. She and her family were not the only ones feeling the brunt of the pandemic. Sam, the director at the Compassion center Anne’s daughter attends, witnessed the devastation and desperation firsthand.
“We constantly had caregivers at our door asking for assistance. Some had been kicked out of their homes, some didn’t have food, and the needs [were so much],” recalls Sam.
The center responded by providing food relief and financial assistance to the caregivers. Church members even stepped forward and made donations to help families like Anne’s.
“I thank God because the church stood with us, from the prayers to the assistance that the center accorded to us. My husband and I were able to start a small grocery business with the financial aid we received from the Compassion center. This enabled us to meet our very immediate needs, provide for our family and keep a roof over our heads,” says Anne.
Although the situation is still far from normal, Anne is optimistic that things will be better. “Our hope is in God and we will keep trusting in him despite all the fear and uncertainty,” she says. “Our prayer is that this thing will end, and normalcy will resume!”