Please help support Child.org through the coronavirus crisis
Child.org had exciting plans this year to grow our impact - now we're facing a dramatic loss in income from travel and events fundraising. We planned to launch two new Baby Box projects in Kenya. Our first Team Mum pregnancy support groups JUST started in Meru, and we’d started designing our next project, supporting pregnant girls living in Siaya (near Kisumu) who are just teenagers themselves. We have new projects in the pipeline to further our strategy to become a research and development hub for the sector, and generate new sustainable income streams.
But the Coronavirus is putting our plans at risk.
We need to make urgent changes to our programmes to adapt to the situation and protect the women, babies and children we work with. At the same time, we're facing a huge drop in our income. As our supporters will know, Child.org is a small organisation with limited financial reserves and a fast-growth strategy. Our income this year is horrifyingly dependent on travel, tourism and large events. To balance our budget in 2020, we depend on thousands of pounds in income from events, including:
- Tour income from thousands of tourists joining our walking tours
- Income from Spectacular Pub Quiz ticket sales
- Selling more places on our spectacular new Ride Africa: Kenya route
- Charity Concierge fundraising at music festivals
Child.org depend on these streams of income to fund our work, and we are now in a position where we will have to cancel upcoming projects. You can help us deliver on as many of our plans as possible. If you’re able to, please make an emergency donation now and help us keep our work on track through the coronavirus health crisis. We need your help.
"It's honestly heartbreaking to be talking about cutting and delaying projects that we know can save lives, and that we had confidently budgeted for" - Child.org interviewed by i newspaper
"Child.org could lose up to 80 per cent of its income" - Civil Society
Adapting our work to respond to the virus
We're looking at the urgent needs in the communities we work in, and adapting our work. We're already working closely with our Team Mum community in Meru to reduce fear and risks to vulnerable pregnant women. Possible strategies may include:
- Working with Public Health Department in Meru to improve hand washing facilities at various health facilities
- Working with the Ministry of Health to equip smaller, more rural facilities, so that they are better prepared to respond to the needs of pregnant women at community level
- Exploring an SMS based platform where women in isolation can access vital info on their health via their phones, and can also ask questions about their pregnancy
- Developing key messages and using comms channels like radios and leaflets to arm women with important public health information on covid-19
- Exploring opportunities to work with health-workers such as Community Health Volunteers to provide home based care to pregnant women.
We're exploring these opportunities right now, and will update you on the actions we take. Follow us on Facebook to see updates as we move quickly to protect the people participating on our programmes.
Janeva's mama, Orita, shows her off to the Child.org team as she arrives to collect her Baby Box.
Orita wasn't aware of the importance of postntal care, but she attended the appointment in order to collect the box. Janeva was diagnosed with an infection in her cord stump and perscribed with medication. Cord stump infection is one of the causes of blood infections- sepsis and tetanus- which contribute to 17% of newborn deaths in Kenya.
Doreen, Programming Officer, presents plans for our new Baby Box Project to the Nairobi team, two weeks ago. Projects like these are likely to be placed on hold without urgent support.
It's now likely that Child.org will have to cancel and delay work which would have connnected hundreds more new mums like Orita with vital health services this year.
Five ways to help
If now doesn’t feel like the right time for a cake sale, maybe you could make your own charity hand sanitiser? Are you still running an event where you might be able to hold a charity collection? Every pound you raise really will make a difference. Create a fundraising page or take advantage of the fact that everyone's on social media right now and ask your friends for donations on Facebook (click on "raise money").
2. Fundraise earlier.
If you’re planning some fundraising for us later this year (for example if you're joining us on Ride Africa), getting started early will mean you raise more, and make it easier for us to plan whether we have to shelve or delay projects. Please get your page set up, and reach out to family and friends as early as possible.
3. Connect us with people who could help
If you know of any organisations looking for a cool charity to support at this rough time, or grant funding that we might usefully apply for, please put us in touch with people who may be able to help. Email Ellie Dawes, Fundraising and Comms manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Share this message
If you are not able to contribute or fundraise, please spread this message widely. Please tell five friends on WhatsApp and post this link on your social media.
Like most charities our size, Child.org is a lean and efficient organisation and every donation really does make a difference. We're taking all the steps possible to reduce our spending and fill the hole in our income caused by this global health crisis. Every member of Child.org staff can see every donation that comes in (we have a feed on Slack). Your support will boost morale and help us see through more of the 2020 plans that we are all so excited about. (Do write us a message in the "reason for your donation" bit, and make us smile - lots of us are lonely working from home!)
Thank you so much, everyone for your support at this difficult time. Sending love and solidarity from our whole team.