In April 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa Practice partnered with KOKO Networks and Dalberg to launch Safe Hands Kenya, a purpose-led coalition of Kenyan companies and civil society organisations. Our mission was to deploy free hand sanitizer, soap, surface disinfectants and masks to the most vulnerable and at risk communities as a first line of defence against the disease. To support the distribution programme, a nationwide public health sensitisation campaign – “Tiba Ni Sisi” (Kiswahili for “We Are The Cure”) – was conceptualised and rolled out to inform people about the how the virus spread and to share practical, no-cost measures they could take to stay safe and slow the spread of the virus. The high impact campaign was designed to motivate urgent and wide spread behaviour change.
Africa Practice worked with the founding members of the coalition to engage other potential participating organisations and built relationships with the Kenyan government to secure active support for the project. Throughout the implementation of the project, we managed stakeholder engagement both within the coalition and with partners, raised awareness of its work and helped mobilise resources to sustain the initiative. We created a Safe Hands Kenya microsite to share information and support fundraising, developed collaterals for diverse audiences and managed the coalition’s relations with local and international media.
Within the first 5 months, Safe Hands Kenya reached 2 million people in the most vulnerable communities in Kenya, providing free products and services for rapid mass sanitation. A total of 12 tonnes of locally produced soap and 1,750 locally manufactured handwashing stations were distributed, together with 500,000 locally manufactured reusable masks.
The Tiba Ni Sisi campaign reached over 3 million Kenyans, advocating the adoption of behaviours such as handwashing with soap, mask-wearing and social distancing to reduce the risk of infection.