Despite many of us being quarantined at home, we hope you are able to keep in touch with loved ones and safely enjoy the sunshine over the bank holiday weekend.
Given the unprecedented context we are facing in the UK as well as globally, we wanted to provide an update on the impact of Covid-19 in Zambia.
Fortunately, reported cases in Zambia remain low, with only 40 confirmed cases, but a host of factors including shortage of testing kits, the similarity between Covid-19 symptoms and those of other local diseases, and busy travel links due to strong economic ties between Zambia and China, mean the government is taking similar precautions to those in the UK. Strict quarantine restrictions have been placed on anyone entering from a country with any confirmed cases. Schools, universities, churches, bars, clubs and restaurants have all been closed, with travel across the country restricted, particularly into and out of the capital city, Lusaka. We have reminded everyone at Funsani Home to play their part and adhere to social distancing guidelines and hygiene measures as outlined by local government and the World Health Organization.
We are keeping a close eye on how the situation evolves in Zambia so that we ensure the safety of everyone at Funsani Home, and that we do what we can to help other vulnerable communities affected by this crisis.
Earlier this year we held our Annual General Meeting in Notting Hill, London. During the meeting, we discussed financials, accomplishments, and learnings from 2019. Some of the highlights from 2019 included some of the young people who grew up at Funsani Home completing their university studies and now giving back to the charity; strengthening our connections with Rotary in Livingstone and with another charity in Kitwe; and building partnerships with local shops in Zambia who are now looking to contribute to the charity regularly.
As Funsani reaches its 18th year and the children growing older, we dedicated a lot of time talking about the future of the charity and proposed a draft strategy which will allow us to continue to accomplish our mission, supporting orphans and vulnerable children while bringing awareness of the HIV epidemic to young people and the general public both in the UK and Zambia.
We closed the AGM, by electing three new board members to which we want to give a warm welcome: Vizor Onah and David Elwell as two new trustees and Dominique Nielsen as our new Communications Officer.
We kicked-off our 2020 newsletter edition in January by sharing some exciting news about five of the children who grew up in Funsani Home. Choolwe, one of the eldest in the home took the time shortly afterwards to write a blog post on our website about his first-year experience of becoming a clinical officer, and his plans to continue to work extremely hard to remain among the top five best students of the class. You can read Choolwe’s post by clicking here.
As ever, your generosity and kind donations are what keep the charity going. If you would like to support Funsani and our partner causes in Zambia, you can make a donation via our Virgin Money Giving page. A simple click on one of the buttons below will direct you to the Virgin Money site. Donations are accepted by card or PayPal and are completely secure. What's more, if you are a UK taxpayer you can reclaim 25% through Gift Aid, which means your donation goes even further.
If you have any fundraising ideas, please get in touch and we would love to discuss how we can support you.