Our COVID-19 Response
The Olive Branch for Children is thankful for your support during these uncertain times.
Our first concern is for the health and safety of our extended The Olive Branch for Children family. We would like to assure you that we are all fine here in Tanzania, but feeling the stress and uncertainty just like everyone around the world.
The Olive Branch for Children is responsible for over 70 children and youths, and over 80,000 beneficiaries in the Mbeya Region. Cases have now been identified in Tanzania, and although we are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, we continue to support those in need in our community. This is what we’re doing to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Since the first known case in Tanzania we closed our head office. Staff continue to work from home. We are ensuring all essential services continue to opperate in the villages, with extra precautions taken.
The Zion and Peace Homes
We would like to assure you that all of the children in our care are healthy and safe. The Tanzanian government has closed ALL schools in the country for the time being. We have thus decided to voluntarily lock down our homes to ensure the safety of the children, all non-essential staff were given paid leave to stay with their families, and to limit the number of people coming in and out of the homes. Soap stations have been installed at the entrances of the homes to ensure that we are all washing our hands more regularly.
At the Zion Home we are operating a school schedule.
It’s all hands-on deck and little crazy, but we are enjoying this extra family time.
The Montessori Outreach Program
TOBFC has closed all of its Montessori schools until the government announces that schools can open again.
Complete Community Care Clients
Dezzilee, our Complete Community Care Manager, in March went door to door to all our clients distributing health information about the Coronavirus. Our Complete Community Care clients are the most vulnerable in the community. He has ensured that they have enough food, hygiene products and their medicines to last the month. Many of our Complete Community Care clients suffer from social isolation. In order to mitigate the psychological impact of their social isolation, we have distributed radios to some of our most vulnerable clients. Thankfully, they now have access to government news stations and can get up to date information on the coronavirus in Tanzania. Moreover, he has distributed a health information phone number that clients can text in case of an emergency.
Rest assured, our clients are not alone. As always, our community staff are heroes and are dedicated to ensure our beneficiaries are receiving the care they need.
Our monthly delivery of food and hygiene products has continued with extra precautions taken.
We have been responsible for educating our communities about COVID – 19, including proven prevention strategies such as, proper hand-washing techniques. Our Mobile Medical Staff have visited over 40 communities, distributing health information, a health number they can text with questions and/or an emergency and, have posted on our community health boards proper information that members can read. They are heading out this week for a follow-up information visit.
Frank is still responsible for caring for the wounds of community members and distributing life-saving medicines monthly. These necessities will be continuing throughout the outbreak.
Mobile Health Information Campaign
Our AMAZING Complete Community Care Workers and office staff have collected mobile numbers from all our beneficiaries interested in receiving accurate updated information on the coronavirus. Frank, our nurse, will be texting the list daily to ensure our beneficiaries are prepared if the situation in Tanzania worsens.
MOBILE MEDICAL CLINIC
Our Mobile Medical Clinic is starting in June. Our Team travelled to our catchment area two weeks prior to the start of the clinic and self-isolated in our village office. They are checking their temperatures daily, and ensuring they have no symptoms before the clinic starts. Providing essential health services during this time is also important, therefore our normal Mobile Medical Clinic will opperate. We will take extra precautions including, multiple hand-washing stations at entrance of the clinic and rooms, temperatures of patients will be taken before entering the clinic, each room will be disinfected after every patient and everyone present much wear masks.
Personal Protection Equipment for healthcare workers
The Olive Branch for Children is donating personal protection equipment to the government run dispensaries and clinics in our catchment area. This includes N-95 Masks, Sterile Gloves, Chlorine Tablets and Hand-Sanitizer.
KUBUNI CENTRE AND COLLABORATIVE
The Kubuni Centre wants to keep our artisans gainfully employed. We understand for the time being, luxury items such as earrings and bamboo baskets are not on peoples mind. Our artisan are now sewing masks from our batiks for our Complete Community Care Clients in the villages. Moreover, our apprentices are now shifting to make our bamboo briquettes to offer a cost effective efficient fuel source.
All major fundraising events have been postponed for the time being. To recover our lost funds, we launched the “Emergency Fundraising Campaign 2020”. This campaign was designed to replace some of the revenue from ticket sales, the silent auction and raffle ticket sales that we would have normally received from the Gala each year.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the campaign was a huge success, and we exceeded our goal!