Posted: 17th April 2020

Help Build Community Resilience

Dear Friends:

I write to you in these unprecedented times and hope you and your families are staying safe. At Signpost despite the office being closed, we are continuing to operate as staff work from home. Our mission goes on.

Our mission at Signpost International has always been to model Jesus’ example of walking alongside people experiencing poverty and injustice. We believe at this current time this is needed more than ever.

We are all being affected by Covid-19 but for those living in poverty it is making hard lives even harder. The oft-repeated mantra to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly throughout the day is something that we are easily able to do here in the UK. But what do you do if you don’t have access to clean water and soap? This is the very real problem for many throughout the world.

At Signpost, water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) is one of our four main areas of work. WASH projects respond to critical needs such as lack of safe water, toilets and sanitary supplies. During this time of crisis, we are seeing the real impact of these projects as communities are more resilient, with the knowledge and resources to cope with situations such as this. Many now have access to safe water, the skills and resources to make soap and tippy-taps and the knowledge of effective hand washing.

This has been made possible through your support as a Global Neighbour. Knowing that these projects have better equipped these communities encourages us greatly and spurs us on to keep going with our mission.

(Safe access to clean water in one of the communities we work in)

However, it is important to remember that although these projects have better equipped these communities for situations such as this, they remain in countries where sanitation and hygiene infrastructure is poor, thus making it easier for infection to spread. In many countries in Africa, including Uganda and Tanzania where we work, health care is under resourced, meaning when the full impact of Coronavirus hits these nations it will likely be severe.

It is therefore crucial that where possible we support more communities to help stem the spread of the virus. However, due to government enforced lockdowns we are limited to what we can practically do through our local partners. This means at the time of writing our main response to Covid-19 has been in Uganda, with other smaller efforts in our other countries of operation.

Alongside our in-country partners VAD we are acting within the constraints of lockdown to better equip the communities in their fight against this pandemic.

Through consultation with local health workers and community leaders hand washing stations have been installed in critical locations within the communities we work in across Uganda. This intervention, strengthened by awareness raising through local broadcast and printed materials, will benefit more than 15,000 people.

(The hand washing stations that have been installed into the communities)

But we want to protect more people against Covid-19. We want to be able to provide further handwashing stations and information resources to many more communities, to give them the best chance of tackling this and future health challenges.

In order for us to be able to do this we need the help of you, our Global Neighbours. As I said at the beginning these are unprecedented times with many uncertainties. But if you are able to give to this appeal it will strengthen the abilities of the communities we work with to respond to health challenges for years to come.

We are extremely thankful to have you partner with us during these uncertain times and greatly value your continued support.

God Bless and stay safe,

Jamie Morrison

CEO Signpost International

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