“I am short of words with what you have done to my family and community members. I never imagined that you could go this far to cushion communities during this COVID-19 period.”
Thokozani Sagawa, a KEF alumna in Malawi, had little hope for her country when the coronavirus pandemic first began. The thought of a nation-wide lockdown posed a threat seemingly more harmful than the virus itself, and she feared for the safety of the vulnerable groups in her village.
“...the elderly, orphans and the disabled, how will they survive?” she asked.
Despite the grim situation at hand, Thokozani remained hopeful that concentrated relief efforts could carry Malawi through the crisis. She began her work by setting up hand washing stations throughout her village and safely teaching her neighbors proper hygiene techniques. Though she was not yet able to provide all the aid that she wished to, Thokozani did everything she could to protect her community with the little resources she had.
She was determined that “with our tireless efforts, we can manage to reduce the spreading.”
After weeks of relentless work on a non-existent budget, Thokozani received a grant from KEF’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The aid she received came at a critical time for several at-risk elders in her village: one who has lost the ability to walk from polio, another who is blind, and two who are caring for orphaned children. With her emergency funds, Thokozani distributed essential items such as cooking oil, sugar, soap, salt, matches, and handwashing buckets to each of these people in need.
Thokozani’s caring heart is something that we at KEF immediately recognized when we read her scholarship application in 2017. Seeing her empathy in action during the COVID-19 crisis has been nothing short of inspiring. It is our honor to support scholars like her whose care for others fills our spirits as we continue providing scholarships and sharing these stories with all of you.
“God bless the foundation and everyone who contributes resources to the foundation to continue operating. Thank you so much.” -Thokozani