Deki’s response to Covid-19

A message from Deki’s Chair of Trustees, Consulota Price OBE

 The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Deki, both within the communities we work in West Africa and the way we work in the UK.   

COVID-19 in Togo  

Cases of COVID-19 were first reported in Togo in March 2020.  The government took measures to contain the spread of the virus by restricting movement and promoting self- isolation through school, road and market closures. 

In comparison to other countries, Togo’s COVID-19 reported cases have been low, however, the effect of the crisis on Deki entrepreneurs has been profound. The livelihoods of communities that we support rely mostly on income from farming and retail. They depend on their income to pay for their most basic of needs, some Deki Entrepreneurs lost their primary sources of income overnight.  

In response to the crisis, Deki and IADES have worked closely over the last 10 months to provide relief and support. An emergency pandemic committee was set up in Togo to coordinate official advice and to help identify where support was needed the most.

When safe to do so, IADES staff visited hard to reach communities, bringing up-to-date information, dispelling rumours and helping communities to protect themselves and look after each other.

Widows and families living in rural areas were identified as amongst the most vulnerable and these Deki Entrepreneurs were the first to receive donations of masks, hand gel and emergency food supplies.   

Throughout the crisis, we have continued to support our community groups – during July and August, we provided nearly 200 emergency loans and delayed repayments to relieve financial pressure.   

Whilst activities have just about returned to normal and we are looking forward to a busy 2021, our priority remains to protect the health of our team and our beneficiaries. The team in Togo will continue to follow official advice; wearing protective equipment and adhering to social distancing. 

COVID-19 in the UK   

Since the pandemic, Deki has adapted to new ways of working and reduced operating costs as much as possible. We continued to fundraise in order to continue supporting Deki entrepreneurs and their communities.

It is with enormous gratitude to our wonderful Deki community, that we have been able to continue supporting the most vulnerable throughout this emergency. It is due to the collective effort and generosity of the entire Deki community that we have remained viable and able to function during this challenging period. The team are now working towards an updated strategic plan that will allow us to further our mission to empower communities to be free of extreme poverty.

In the wake of COVID-19, supporting Deki’s entrepreneurs has never been more important.

Help us with our vision to create a world of opportunity, not poverty