With the corona virus outbreak these days, GivHOPE has put in place ambitious preparedness plans to quickly respond to disaster relief resulting from covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. Food security for the elderly persons and others who have been confined because of lockdowns of schools, grocery stores, job disruptions and health risks, has made it hard for these target groups to have at least one meal a day. To combat these shortages, GivHOPE has implemented food banks strategies Caravan that provides food and other emergency services such as water, sanitizers and others to the elderly and those in need, the goal being to mitigate hunger and poverty in our communities, fill the basic needs of hungry and at risk people, empower them through social service programs and raise awareness about the pandemic. The project concerns Douala and Yaoundé that have already registered the biggest number of people infected or affected by COVID 19.
For those who want cooked food, GivHOPE provides healthy local To-go meals without charge, regardless of sex, age or disability, religion, and no discrimination during meal services. GivHOPE thinks of relief and development response along a continuum, during this period of lockdowns, moving from initial relief efforts to community involvement and community led development and follow up.
To start with, GivHOPE had consultation meetings with some of the Heads of different neighborhoods in Yaoundé to discuss how this project was going to work. One of them said “Please I wish you people start with us and instead of one meal per day, give us two (breakfast and lunch) because the needs are huge”. With their help, GivHOPE selected beneficiaries based on the fact that the Community Leaders know who’s who in their communities and more so because they are the first stakeholders for the identification of the populations in need in their communities. “Many of my people are running depression since this virus phenomenon broke out and others stopped going on with their small activities” said another Community Chief. To these acute needs GivHOPE responds by thinking more of community-driven development strategies and has already helped more than 600 households in seven Yaoundé neighborhoods and one in Ntonga, the West Region of Cameroon. We look forward to reaching out to 17,000 targets by July.
It shall be recalled that on March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a global pandemic, reaching more than 118 countries and affecting hundreds of thousands of people. In response, communities across the globe came together through food grants to assist affected regions with urgent response system and support. Alike the world, Cameroon is also facing the Coronavirus pandemic and thousands wondered every day where their next meal might come from.
Let’s prepare ourselves, our families, our coworkers and others to this unprecedented emergency and take a moment to help others to do the same in our neighborhoods.