How the Corona crisis affects our projects

Management Trainees of different departments of the Lufthansa Group teach the business subjects in the Gambian Youth Project. Due to the worldwide spread of the new Coronavirus they now had to leave early.

Coronavirus is spreading around the world. With terrible consequences for health services and economies. Also we from Sabab Lou and the students of the youth camp in The Gambia have come to feel the first consequences of the virus. Fortunately not because we or any of the students have fallen ill, but because of now missing staff.

Lufthansa trainees have to leave

The Lufthansa help alliance gGmbH has been supporting the Gambian Youth Project from its beginning – financially and with human resources. Alternating teams of three to five Lufthansa Management Trainees teach the business classes of the program. Based on the curriculum developed by Sabab Lou and the local management organization, the trainees prepared the content for class and taught all of the business aspects in 2-week workshops.

Last week the Lufthansa departments had to cancel their social assignments abroad for 2020 due to drastic cost-cutting measures in consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic. The trainees returned to Germany on March 17th and other assignments planned for 2020 were cancelled.

Digital solution for business classes

The Gambian teachers in the project, who teach the agricultural modules, cannot add the comprehensive entrepreneurial classes to their schedule. But the Lufthansa Trainees came up with a solution: they will record their lessons. Via video, the trainees could teach the business classes remotely. The group work component and the presentation tasks should be largely retained, e.g. with video sequences or other digital messages. A challenge for both sides, but a possible solution. At least until the trainees can go back again. 

Corona infections reported from The Gambia and Ghana

On March 17, the Gambian Ministry of Health reported the first confirmed infections. Also Ghana has reported first Coronavirus cases.  Fortunately at present the infections are still limited to the capital region far away.

Let’s hope, that the situation does not develop as badly as in Europe. For now the infrastructure still functions. In Ghana and in The Gambia. In case the virus spreads to rural areas, we are preparing ourselves. We are introducing stricter hygiene measures in the camp and stocking up on food supplies for people and animals to avoid any scarcity.

We keep going

We cannot let fear stop us. People in rural areas face enough challenges in their lives, already. They deserve a chance. That is why we, or better our our partner organizations and the young people in the youth camp, will continue to produce and sell the vegetables for an income, while following strict safety measures.

In September we expect the next 40 young students, whom we have to provide accomodation for. Therefore we need to build another dormitory with 10 bedrooms. We also need more classrooms, storage rooms and medical/social care rooms. A food processing room and an outdoor kitchen are already under construction and will be completed soon. There is a lot to do. 

We will follow the developments closely and react responsibly. Will keep you informed.

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