Here at GAGA UK, alongside the rest of the world, we are watching how the Coronavirus situation is playing out and the impact it will have on the wonderful projects and communities we are involved with in South Africa and Tanzania, as well as the impact on our UK fundraising and supporters.

As you may have seen President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, yesterday declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act.  Along with a number of other measures schools will be closed from Wednesday, 18 March, and will remain closed until after the Easter Weekend.  To compensate, the mid-year school holidays will be shortened by a week. This will undoubtedly have a big impact upon the fabulous teams who work in the projects we support.  GAGA UK will keep in close contact with our projects to understand the issues they are facing and continue to support where we can.

Here in GAGA UK HQ we will continue to work on our fundraising and awareness activities, albeit we have had to postpone our planned quiz night and some of our wonderful supporters who are fundraising for us in their own challenge events like the Manchester Marathon and the Shakespeare Marathon are now dealing with the disappointment of the postponement of these events.

We are grateful for the continued support of our regular donors and our fundraisers, your donations can ensure that the projects we support have adequate hand sanitiser and handwashing facilities to help to prevent the spread of the virus. 

1000 Hills Community Helpers have been fortunate to receive a number of portable handwashing stations from Tealwash earlier this week and everyone is being even more diligent about washing their hands throughout the project. 

We are grateful that the Early Childhood development project, providing creche and pre-school places in Cato Ridge, South Africa are benefiting from their newly refurbished toilet facilities and we made funds available for handwash and sanitiser at this project at the beginning of the month.

South Africa, where many of our current projects are based has 61 confirmed cases of Coronavirus at 16th March 2020 and we are sorry to hear that Tanzania, where our Primary School, Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need, is based has just reported it's first case.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you posted as we see how the Coronavirus impacts our friends and colleagues living and working in the rural communities in South Africa and Tanzania.