Using the knowledge and experience gained from their research in London and the UK, Dr Darren Sharpe and his colleagues from ICC brought critical expertise to the action group founded in Zambia to fight against the spread of COVID-19.
Through their research, which monitored the mental welfare of disabled youths throughout the pandemic, the team delivered more than 17,000 food and personal protective equipment packages to disadvantaged communities in Zambia. Their immediate provision of the parcels helped sustain the communities through unprecedented challenges, but the data collected by Dr Sharpe and his team will shape the Zambian governmental response to the crisis and ensure disabled children are not left behind.
At UEL, partnerships often come from unexpected sources. Working at UEL as a security officer, Ibrahim Sesay was able to connect Dr Sharpe to the Practical Tools Initiative, a UK-based charity which works in Sierra Leone to provide tools so that people in West Africa can continue to grow their enterprises. Combining the Kick Out COVID-19 initiative and UEL’s Young Commissioners framework sewing machines were provided so that disabled individuals and their communities had continued access to income during the pandemic.
UEL is pleased to report that the initiative will soon be expanded into Rwanda and South Africa.