Action Through Enterprise Emergency Coronavirus Appeal
ATE urgently needs to raise £30,000 to enable us to help the people of Lawra today, and to make sure that we are in a strong position to help them tomorrow. Please, if you can, consider making a gift now.
As Covid-19 rips through the UK, fear, stress and sadness touches all of us. Many people are facing huge personal losses, and devastating impacts on our own families, businesses and ways of life. It is a completely unprecedented time.
With this pandemic being truly global, we are extremely anxious and worried about the people of Lawra, in rural northern Ghana, where most of the population already live in extreme poverty. Many of the people we work with have very little, or zero, savings and struggle to make money to buy food and essentials on a day to day basis. Corona virus will be devastating for them – but there are things we can do, and that is why we are launching this appeal.
As of today there are 132 confirmed cases in Ghana and 3 deaths. Ghana’s national response has meant that all schools are shut and large meetings are not allowed. So, our school kitchens are shut, our vital support groups for children with disability are cancelled, and our innovative business training workshops for our small business owners cannot take place. We anticipate that stricter measures are imminent and we are preparing for a lockdown situation. We will close our Inclusion Centre from the end of the working day tomorrow.
When the virus reaches Lawra, there is no doubt that it will have disastrous consequences. We have real concerns about how the health care system there will manage and about the implications for the economy – particularly for the small business owners we work with, whose incomes are so vital to feed many dependents and extended family. People will not be able to make the money they need to survive. People will be hungry – and this is happening at the same time that all our fundraising events have now been cancelled here in the UK.
It is heart breaking to not be able to feed the 1000 school children in our partner schools, particularly as this is the hungriest time of the year before farming can begin in the summer months. Every way you look at it, coronavirus will have a hugely negative impact on a community that already struggles with the challenges of rural hunger and poverty. They will need urgent support.
As the lead non-governmental organisation on the ground in Lawra we want to be there for them now, to help them get through the immediate crisis and help them rebuild their lives beyond it. So, in the short term, we are already making plans to provide emergency support of food and soap to tackle the immediate priorities of hunger and hygiene for the most vulnerable people we support.
And for the future, a major priority for ATE is to safeguard our organisation, built up over eight years, so that we can come through this crisis and get back to our vital work to end poverty in Lawra, leaving no one behind. We are doing all we can to retain our amazing staff, so that we will be able to support Lawra to rebuild what we fear will be a broken economy and an even more vulnerable community. We have 34 staff, 30 of whom are in Lawra – their salaries may be one of the only income streams into the Municipality over the next few months and will support entire families.
We are asking today for a donation from you. We must raise £30,000 over the next 3 months – to enable us to help the people of Lawra today, and to make sure that we are in a strong position to help them tomorrow. Please, if you can, make a gift today. We promise we will use it to make a difference.
Thank you so much.