Every day we see pictures from across the country on how we are managing in these extraordinary times. Can you imagine what it's like for people in Africa?
As a diocese, we are linked with the Diocese of Kigali in Rwanda. They too are in lock-down. In fact, they have been longer in lock-down than we have.
We know people in this country are struggling, particularly those who have been made redundant or who have seen their income simply cease. In Rwanda, a large part of the population is reliant on making some money each day in order to buy food. They, as the Bishop of Kigali has said recently, “eat what they worked for that day”.
Lock-down in Rwanda looks very similar to lock-down in the UK. Travel is restricted, schools are suspended, services have moved online, and the Government is supporting the poorest and most vulnerable by giving out food parcels.
The Church is also trying to support people in the local communities by setting up the equivalent of our Foodbanks. Now however they are beginning to run out of money to buy sufficient food.
In addition, Diocesan office staff are being laid off because the funds to pay them have dried up.
The Bishop of Kigali writes: “Greetings from Rwanda in Jesus name. Everyone is making the necessary effort to adhere to the regulations, there are no reported deaths from the virus still and there is great solidarity and hope. We are truly under God's care, but as the days roll by families who were dependent on what they make each day are finding it tough to feed their families and if these lock-down days are extended again, it is only going to get tougher.”
We are all living in difficult times, but some more than others. As a result, as a Diocese we will be sending them a gift to help at this time.
If you would like to help support our brothers and sisters in Rwanda please give what you can on our Just Giving page here. Thank you.