As you may expect, Dignitas has had to make some difficult decisions over the last few days.  Kenya announced its first case of COVID-19 on Friday and by Sunday, there was a presidential directive that all schools should be closed, and all organizations should allow staff to work from home.  By Monday afternoon, we had cancelled all in-person field activities and set up our team to work remotely.

Our first priority was to make sure our team are safe and well.  We wanted them to be able to comfortably and effectively work from home without having to worry about commuting or passing through crowded places, and of course we wanted to support the government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Our second priority was to make sure our School Leaders have the support they need.  We’ve bolstered our communications platforms, and made sure everyone is connected to a group of their peers and a Dignitas Leadership Coach for ongoing support.  So far, we’ve been able to share verified health information and resources so that they can keep themselves safe.

Our third priority was to make sure we can still deliver on our programming plans and commitments.  Our awesome team have already created some basic tools and plans for remote coaching, and have started delivering March-scheduled coaching sessions over the phone.  Material is being planned out for April and May.  For a while now, we have been working to develop digital tools for training and coaching, and this is now a top priority.

Our final priority is to look at our strategy to see what objectives may be hindered, what timelines need to be revised, and how we can still deliver on our goals for 2020.  Whilst working at home, our team members are focused on any desk-based tasks such as planning and researching.  We’re also encouraging them to use this time to upskill – there are suddenly lots of amazing digital learning platforms opening up.

Finally, through all of this, we are leveraging the power of community.  We’re connecting with other nonprofit leaders and other education actors to share, learn and collaborate in the best interests of our school partners.

These are unprecedented times, but we remain fully committed to delivering on our all of our partnerships in due course, and seeing our vision realized – even in this season – so that all children can thrive and succeed. Stay tuned to find out how you can best support our school partners as all of this unfolds.

Deborah Kimathi – Executive Director