Crossroads Springs Africa facilitates secondary and post-secondary education for disadvantaged Kenyan youth so they can reach their potential and become sources of economic and leadership strength in their communities.
Greetings to all friends and supporters of Crossroads Springs Africa's programs in Kenya! You may be wondering how our students and families are doing during the Coronavirus outbreak. Kenya is no exception to the challenges everyone faces in health, protection, and finding ways to help others. In this message you will find out what is being done by our staff on the ground and what each of us can do to help. With gratitude for your continued support. - Alison Hyde.

KENYA COVID-19 UPDATE

As is happening everywhere, the Republic of Kenya is facing a crisis because of the COVID-19 virus. There are currently 2,340 confirmed cases in Kenya and numbers are rising each day. Many fear that this is just the beginning. Cases have now been confirmed in Western Kenya. Health systems in Kenya are much weaker than in the United States, making it all the more important to contain the spread before it moves more quickly.

Over the past few months, the Government of Kenya has closed all schools and universities, banned public gatherings, limited funerals to 15 people, and prohibited communal worship at churches, mosques, and temples. Non-essential workers must work from home. Restaurants can only serve to-go food, market centers are shut down, bars and clubs are closed, and public transport vehicles must maintain empty seats between all passengers while passengers must wear face masks. All villagers have been required to set up hand-washing stations at their homes (a bucket with a tap). The most extreme measure is a strict curfew ordered by the President from 7pm to 5am.

“Priscah”
All villagers have been required to set up hand-washing stations at their homes (a bucket with a tap).
This is CSA high school student Victor.

CSA STUDENT AND FAMILY UPDATE

There are now cases of COVID-19 in Western Kenya. All schools have been closed for weeks and students are still at home with their families or guardians. Staff are still working from home via phone and laptops as best they can. Social workers and the high school department are calling all guardians to help them understand and deal with the challenges of the pandemic, including guidelines to follow to avoid the virus, and to offer advice and support. Agriculture officers are calling families to check-in and advise them regarding their farming endeavors.

We thank all of our supporters who donated to the CSA COVID Fund to help families get food and soap for the months of April and May. We will now be asking for donations for the month of June. Our students and their families are so very thankful for our help. (see quote below)

High school students are studying from home, doing their best to focus and learn despite limited instruction and guidance from teachers. Families are planting and tending their farms, hoping and praying for a good harvest. The economy is at a standstill, and family guardians' usual economic survival efforts are greatly threatened now and in the immediate future. It is confusing and difficult for people to stay at home since they normally go to markets daily to purchase food, and most have no means of storing food safely at home. Many people earn a living by doing casual jobs (earning around $1 to $3 per day) and running small businesses (like selling vegetables). But with things at a stand-still, they have no source of income. Many of the families we deal with live at a great distance from medical facilities which are ill-equipped to deal with a crisis of this scale. Everyone makes sure to be home well before dark, observing the night-time curfew since ignoring it can result in arrest.

This is a difficult time for all, but somehow people in Kakamega and Hamisi maintain hope, as they always have, that a brighter future will soon come. At the moment, however, many of the children and families we support are sleeping hungry and lack funds to buy soap. As such, we will be using organizational funds in ways we were not expecting, specifically, we will soon be sending $38 to all 137 sponsored students’ families to help them buy a month’s worth of food and soap. We are asking you to help us with this. Donations we receive now are more important than ever to the well-being of the children, young people, and families whom we support.

Donate online to COVID-19 CSA FAMILY RELIEF BY CLICKING HERE or by clicking the red button at the top of this article. Checks can be sent to: CSA P. O. Box 242, East Aurora, New York 14052. Thank you.
There have been several messages from parents and guardians in Kenya who are thankful for the $38 donation to their families. One notable response was from the grandmother and guardian of Crossroads Springs Africa student Ezekiel, who said
thankyou3

STRONG YOUNG PEOPLE: AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS TRAINING

This new program benefits our high school graduates who have not qualified for colleges and universities. We believe that all young people deserve a chance to make the most of their talents and motivations, and we are continuously working to develop, run, and improve training programs that help post-high-school youth start businesses as they build independent adult lives.

The program was officially launched on January 20th, assisting 19 young people to find meaningful incomes from their most valuable physical asset in common: farmland. Because most agricultural in western Kenya is subsistence-based, and few villagers have ever seen higher-earning agricultural activities, the program will start by providing inspiration and exposure to new ideas and activities through field trips and guest speakers. They will see mushrooms farms, fruit orchards, fish ponds, and successful horticulture and poultry ventures. The youth will then take part in business-plan training, compare and select an agribusiness activity, and break into smaller groups for production-training specific to their chosen endeavors. Following this, each participant will receive a “micro-grant” of start-up capital to launch their new farm business, followed by continued mentorship, on-farm visits from our agricultural field officers, and workshops that will link them to microfinance banks so they can grow and expand their businesses in the future.