Training resumes in Kenya, Afghanistan

10 Jun 2020

Distanced Self-Help Group training and mask distribution in Nyahururu village, Kenya.

Hand in Hand’s business and skills training is starting to gradually return, two months after coronavirus lockdown measures put projects on hold. The move allows staff to test new ways of delivering training in line with Covid-19 safety rules, working closely with local officials in Afghanistan and Kenya.

Although cases are climbing in both countries, worries around the economy and food security have compelled governments to invite Hand in Hand and other NGOs back to work.


Staff are back to work in all 26 of our branches, reaching out to local officials to announce our return. In most cases, we’re being asked to resume training immediately.

In line with government regulations, Self-Help Group meetings have been cut in half to 10 participants, separated by two to three steps, significantly slowing delivery. All meetings are taking place outside.

We’ve also imposed an additional rule of our own: no meeting can take place unless everyone present is wearing a face mask and all have washed their hands to start the meeting. In the event members don’t have these items, we’re providing them ourselves.

Training is being delivered with specific reference to coronavirus, signposting members to new suppliers and opportunities such as making masks and soap.


Efforts in Afghanistan have been similarly far-reaching, with training back up and running in most branches countrywide.

Just like in Kenya strict safety measures apply, ranging from reduced group sizes and social distancing of at least 1.5 metres between members to mandatory handwashing and face-covering. Members who require safety items receive them, and to the fullest extent possible training is happening outside.

In a country where a third of people face food shortages as a result of coronavirus, projects that boost food security are a particular priority. In Samangan province, work is gearing up to help 350 families onto the poultry value chain, providing vital nutrition to their families and communities.

As in Kenya, reduced group sizes are slowing programme delivery.

Coronavirus response ongoing

At the same time as our regular projects gear back up, Hand in Hand’s emergency coronavirus response is moving full-steam ahead. In Kenya, we reached more than 10,000 members via mobile and SMS with messages about health and safety, sourcing seedlings and crops, and adapting their businesses to make face masks and soap during the month of May. In Afghanistan, we’re on track to provide more than 65,000 people with life-saving health messages, chlorine and soap by the end of June.