Meal-a-Day & COVID-19

Meal-a-Day’s mission is, ”as a practical witness to our faith, to share the blessings we receive from God to help those in real need in the less developed parts of the world”.

The coronavirus pandemic is global, and impacts are being felt across the world, including the countries in which Meal-a-Day operates. We recognise that many people in Europe are being adversely impacted in many ways, but we like to share how Meal-a-Day projects are affected.

Whilst the number of cases across Africa are currently very low, there is significant concern that when the virus spreads, many people living in rural areas and the poorest urban areas (places where CMaD typically operate) will not have access to the sanitation, hygiene and health services required to stem the spread. Up to three quarters of people living in rural parts of these countries do not have the facilities at home to wash their hands, and a ‘lockdown’ quarantine in these areas is very difficult, because people cannot stock up, but rather they live hand to mouth.

Meal a Day have already taken action across all of the projects we support to help to protect the children from the virus to a good extent, but it falls well short of the standards we see in the UK or Belgium. Below you will see a brief update from a number of our core projects, so you can get a glimpse of how the projects have been impacted, how the children are being protected and what we are doing in very difficult circumstances.

Updates from Meal a Day Core Projects

Timboni Tiva Children’s Home – Eastern Kenya

The Kenyan government has instructed that all ‘Institutions’ should close and this applies to Timboni. There was an exception for true orphans who had no family whatsoever and nowhere to go. About 160 children have opted to return to the home of a family member and only two children have opted to remain at the home.

Lela Children’s Home, Kamukuywa – Western Kenya

Local schools are closed and 25 children have left to go and stay with guardians, but 45 children remain.

Those children who have remained either have no relatives to go to or some have actually been adopted or are formally fostered by Justus and Annette, who run the project. (see our Lela 2019 film here).

Crown City School, Chwele – Western Kenya

The government has placed severe restrictions on the country and the school has closed. As a result of the government regulations Crown City School could not keep the 34 orphans in one place, so 6 families from the Chwele Christadelphians have each taken in five children. We are expected to provide all basic needs to these children including balanced meals, sanitized soap and medication.

We have supplied food stuff to all families, but supplies are running low and it may not last for more than two weeks. Food doesn’t go as far when all 34 children aren’t in one place. The children also now need sanitised soaps, oil and medication if any feel sick. The families will undoubtedly put their hands into their own pockets for these children, but some of them are struggling financially even before taking on five extra children.

Joshua took over the running of the school and orphanage when his son Titus died a couple of years ago. Joshua is over 70 years of age and the county doctor has advised all older people to stay in their homes and isolate themselves. His son Amos and daughter Tryphosa are overseeing arrangements for the children.  (see our Crown City 2019 film here).

Monrovia Academy – Liberia

Liberia has declared a National Health Emergency and has closed schools and all gatherings of over 10 people for 21 days. The Monrovia Academy is a day school in a busy industrial suburb of the capital city and the project is closed until further notice. Children were not living at the project so they are staying home with their families.

Talia School – Sierre Leone

The country has not yet had a case of COVID-19,  is doing all that it can to prevent it entering the country, and has announced a National State of Emergency. The main testing centre for the country only has 370 test kits and 36 isolation beds. The Talia school is in a rural area and is still open and continuing as normal. An order to close is expected soon.

Streetkids – Sierra Leone

Streetkids is based in Freetown and feeds and schools 45 very poor children. Similar welfare precautions are being taken as during the Ebola outbreak and monitoring and supervision will continue to the homes of the children. The government has now announced a year-long State of Emergency and we will see what restrictions are imposed in the coming days.

Benakuma and Mbengwi – Cameroon

These projects have been mothballed for nearly two years due to the civil war that is raging in the country. We have been providing some food aid, but that is now much harder to execute given the coronavirus restrictions.

A Final Thought

Obviously there are many children whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of this virus. Many have had to leave the place they call home to go and live with distant relatives.

Please pray for all of the children and workers in these Christadelphian projects at this distressing time.

In times like this, our only source of help is The Lord. Please join us in praying for the world during these uncertain times, and for the return of Jesus.

May God bless you and keep you safe.



Meal a Day news for 1st half of 2020

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