Like the rest of the world, Kenya has been impacted greatly by the global pandemic. While up to now Kenya has avoided some of the main health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the economic and psychological effects have been severe and unequal. For the last 4.5 years, Green String Network has run peer-support groups but during COVID-19 the physical program has been adapted to a virtual online platform. This project will support 1000 frontliners to access a vibrant peer support network.
Like the rest of the world, Kenya has been impacted greatly by the global pandemic. The economic and psychological effects have been severe and unequal. Economic necessities combined with general fatigue at lockdown restrictions currently make Kenya extremely vulnerable to the newer, more virulent, variants of the virus, which are currently spreading in the western part of the country. Add to this that global vaccine shortages are anticipated to continue through to 2023.
GSN runs peer-support groups but during COVID-19 the physical program has been adapted to a virtual platform. We have developed a series of learning videos, WhatsApp groups, and trained volunteer facilitators to hold space online. Currently, we are expanding our initial piloted groups to include volunteer health workers, teachers, security officers, and their families, human rights defenders, young people, survivors of domestic violence, retrenched workers, and many others.
The loneliness of self-quarantining to flatten the curve. The grief of mourning loved ones you couldn't hold and some that we lost. The anxiety of getting sick and paying bills with so many jobs lost. The trauma of surviving family violence when everyone is homebound. Developing a peer support network will have long-term effects on how Kenyans learn to support healthier community-based care where we can build our own resilience to life's hardships as we recover from COVID19.