Atuolokuu is one of the members of our SNAP (Special Needs Awareness Programme) Lawra group – she is the mother of a sixteen year old disabled child. She deals with firewood and farming, for herself and her family’s survival. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on her business – Atuolokuu and her child are not able to bring firewood from their small community Zambo to Lawra town to sell, and even those that normally buy the firewood from them don’t buy it at the moment. Due to that they will bring the firewood, leave it in town, and sometimes on the their return she will not find it and some goes rotten.
The whole family depends on the income from the firewood – it is where she is able to buy her children’s school needs, food and other things from. She used to save some of the money to buy fertiliser during farming season. She told us that this year “it has affected our crops, because there is no money to buy the fertiliser.”
Atuolokuu will not be able to sell her firewood and because of that, she will not get money to buy fertiliser for her crops, her children will drop out of school, and getting food to feed the family will be difficult. Atuolokuu and the family will need some financial support or food to keep the family still going during the COVID-19 season.
A donation of just £5 can provide a food parcel to a SNAP family for a month, or a £50 donation would fund a SNAP family grant – where we work with the family on a case by case basis, to realise whatever intervention would help that particular household. An example could be starting a small business, in which ATE would support with group training and mentoring, empowering the SNAP mother or caregiver.
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Written by Ernestina Gan, SNAP Play Scheme Coordinator