AKP: Helping Our Partner Communities Cope With Covid-19
How Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy has been helping 125,000 community members all over the world cope during the pandemic
Established in 1982, A&K Philanthropy (AKP) has been dedicated to improving lives and livelihoods in the communities where A&K guests travel for nearly 40 years. As part of that mission, AKP supports more than 40 conservation, education, health and job creation programmes around the globe – an unequalled charitable commitment in the travel industry.
2020 has brought new challenges, however, including to those living in countries hardest hit by Covid-19 in the developing world. During this time of uncertainty, as well as maintaining existing efforts in the 20-plus states that AKP regularly assists, AKP has also stepped up efforts to support 125,000 community members worldwide cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. The following are just some examples of how AKP is taking action to make a difference in 2020.
In response to Brazil declaring a public health emergency, the AKP-backed Favela Inc. has created Vidigal Vive. This unique initiative helps community members living in the Vidigal favela in Rio de Janeiro navigate the unprecedented challenges that the pandemic has brought to Brazil.
Thanks to the combined support of AKP and Favela Inc.’s other partner organisations, Favela Inc. has distributed food and hygiene kits, as well as masks and hydrogel to more than 3,000 resource-limited families through the Vidigal Vive programme.
Vidigal Vive is also supporting with education to help residents reintegrate into the job market; plant and harvest food; improving community awareness; and much more.
“Funds from AKP helped provide us with peace of mind in a time of extreme chaos and allowed us to make decisions focused on the mid/long term stability, growth and sustainability of the organisation.” – Favela Inc.
Read more here.
AKP’s well-building partners in Cambodia have been busy safely providing water to rural families, to give them an accessible way to wash their hands to protect themselves from the virus. From April to September 2020, the team installed 79 wells and ‘biosand’ filters in districts around the Siem Reap province and hope to have built 120 in total by the end of 2020.
Although India’s government has been prompt in their response to the pandemic, government aid has not yet been able to reach everyone in need. Through AKP’s Emergency Relief programme, dry-food provisions have been delivered to 300 families in northeast Jaipur, and 2,345 packets have been distributed throughout the Udaipur’s ‘slum’ areas.
In Kenya, AKP has implemented a programme of emergency food relief to serve communities in Amboseli and the Masai Mara. These regions are heavily reliant upon income derived from tourism to make ends meet and, of course, this year, most travellers have been forced to stay away, causing food shortages and hardships. For months now, every month, AKP has delivered food kits to more than 114 households, comprised of approximately 838 people. Each of these parcels contains 60kg of food that includes staples such as rice, beans, and porridge, causing one headteacher of a school in the Mara to say:
“On behalf of Enkereri Staff and Enkereri Community, I would like to say thank you for the noble gesture of foodstuff supplied to us, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. It has hit us hard, but our pupils can now be able to afford a smile now that their stomachs are full. Our teacher’s gratitude is overwhelming. We do say thank you a million times…”
During this current global crisis, AKP has been upping its efforts to address the health needs of others. All over the world, obtaining shipping containers and securing vessel shipping dates has been extremely difficult as many rail carriers and big ports are operating on a minimal capacity, however, in September 2020, a shipping container from Chicago, provided by A&K and partners Project C.U.R.E., arrived at Hiro, Tanzania. Full of medical supplies including syringes, surgical kits, nebulisers, respiratory supplies, nappies, wipes, dressing kits, gauze, and other essential supplies not easily obtained in Tanzania, valued at $337,000 (approximately £250,000), hardworking doctors and nurses are utilising the much-needed medical equipment at the Faraja hospital in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, which serves a patient population of 7,000.
Read more here.
Amidst the pandemic, AKP has continued with its support of school infrastructure and learning resources. In Zambia, construction has continued – albeit in a socially distant way – on a new learning centre at Nakatindi Primary School. A library, computer lab and communal workspace have been designed as a unique, eye-catching, and creative learning environment for the school’s 850 students, it will be a great source of pride for the local community.
Read on here.
In 2018, AKP supported creation of the Shishemo Bead-Making Studio. Sishemo is a group of seven local community members, all identified for the project by the community leadership with support from the Ministry of Community Development, based on their vulnerability and potential. The women underwent six-weeks' intensive training in how to make glass beads using traditional African techniques, with an expert instructor brought in by AKP.
Through the Sishemo Bead enterprise, these women have a chance to dramatically improve their livelihoods, and the health, education and prospects of their families. During the pandemic, Sishemo has been working with another local, women-led enterprise to develop an exciting new project, ABANYA, a growing community of small-scale artisans, NGOs and social enterprises working in Southern Zambia. Together, they are creating a collaborative network supporting the economic empowerment of artisans across the region.
Sishemo is a co-founder of ABANYA, and you can now purchase a selected range of recycled glass bead products via the ABANYA shop. Seventy-five per cent (75%) of all profits from sales via ABANYA will go directly to Sishemo’s artisans and the remaining 25% will contribute to the expansion of the ABANYA Community through providing training and support for grass-roots artisans.
Read more here.
AKP is a non-profit organisation registered in the U.K., U.S. and Australia. It is committed to operating with integrity, accountability and openness. It is proud to have received a gold-level GuideStar ‘Seal of Transparency’.