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AKP responds to the global pandemic

How Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) is providing support to its partner communities during the Covid-19 outbreak

Reading time:  5 minutes

What is AKP? 

Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) is dedicated to positively impacting life and livelihoods in the communities where our guests travel. We believe our partnership with local communities is critical to sustain the fabric of the diverse destinations we visit.  

Founded back in 1982 our vision then is the same as today: to help nature to thrive and cultures to flourish by positively impacting lives and livelihoods in the communities where A&K guests travel. Through dedicated strategic investments in education, conservation, health care, and enterprise, we inspire our guests and staff to actively support our philanthropic endeavours. 

We are registered on three continents: as a non-profit (501-c-3) in the US and registered Charity in the UK and Australia, and our dedicated full-time community development professionals, our AKP Coordinators, ensure long-term, programmatic commitments that work alongside our partners in over 40 projects worldwide. 

A&K experience: Cambodia Clean Water Project

 How we’re helping 

Since the early days of Covid-19 we have been drawing upon our global network and logistical expertise to provide support to our partner communities. In every country with an AKP Coordinator we have initiated an Emergency Relief effort. Coordinators are collaborating with their local A&K offices to undertake bulk food deliveries to hospitals, medical clinics, and, in some instances, door-to-door and hut-to-hut. Getting this done is no simple feat in countries under lockdown. Take Kenya for instance, where it requires the permission of the Chief of Police in each district in order to operate a food delivery truck.  

Many of AKP’s partner communities lack the infrastructure and essential resources needed to even stand a chance against a global pandemic so we are working closely with our coordinators in Peru, Brazil, SE Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, to plan how we can offer the greatest assistance in resource-limited regions. In some regions the plans have already turned into reality. 

 Providing food to those who need it most 

While the rest of the world “flattens the curve” with self-isolation, in many of our partner communities it is simply not possible under their current living conditions. Many governments have declared schools will be used as isolation wards for the sick. Before Covid-19, AKP programmes provided school lunches to approximately 3,500 children every day around the globe. Today we’re working with these same programmes in Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to use these same kitchens to provide meals to those who are sick and isolated.  

 

Delivering healthcare support to Ugandan and Cambodian communities 

As health is one of AKP’s four mission pillars, we are committed to working towards eliminating healthcare disparities in disadvantaged populations. The places where A&K guests travel often face the greatest obstacles to health. Now more than ever, our partner communities are turning to AKP for support and relying on AKP’s Global Medical Assistance program with our partner, Project C.U.R.E.  

Project C.U.R.E. is the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries around the world. In the past two months, three AKP-supported shipping containers (valued at approximately $350,000 USD each) have been successfully delivered to locations where A&K operates. These supplies are coming into country at a crucial time and will have a tremendous impact in these communities. 

In March, two containers of medical supplies and equipment arrived in Uganda. The shipments were stocked with everything from gloves and disinfectant to wheelchairs and defibrillators, which are being utilised by the Bwindi Community Hospital to deliver critical care to patients and local community members. 

In April, one container of medical equipment was gratefully received by the Ministry of Health in Cambodia.  

“We received word from General Sokren Seng in Cambodia informing us that the A&K container has been released from port and will be delivered to Phnom Penh over the weekend. The Ministry of Health of Cambodia will take possession of the goods and make sure that they get distributed to hospitals in need to combat COVID-19.” 

Our partners at Project C.U.R.E.  

AKP is planning to pack a shipping container for Tanzania at the end of May from Project C.U.R.E.’s Chicago warehouse.  

Providing necessities to those who need it most 

We have also set up the AKP Emergency Relief Fund to help the most vulnerable as they fight to protect their families and livelihoods. Our AKP coordinators and community partners are working to address local needs through initiatives such as: 

  • Procuring essential health items like soap and medical supplies to distribute through the communities in need 
  • Supplementing the income of women who run small community-based businesses as their revenue-generating operations are temporarily shut down 

Although a small effort in comparison to the overall global fight we are currently witnessing, AKP is committed to doing our part in addressing the needs of others. We have the expertise, on-the-ground experience and long-term commitment to stand with our community partners during a crisis and it is only with the continued support of our valued guests that we are able to provide this much-needed support to these communities. Thank you and stay safe.