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May 2020 Stories

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

06 May 2020


Post No. 142



The Week’s Contents


• May Stories – All in Development Stories: Volunteering Stories from Places of Health and Sanitation Crisis – Tell it!

• All in Development Story Telling Series

• Rebuilding Health Resources, Structures and Infrastructures of Africa-based Sister Organisations


… and much more!




Key Messages


~ May Stories – All in Development Stories: Volunteering Stories from Places of Health and Sanitation Crisis – Tell it!


Story telling is our main content for the month of May.  It is the month and time of the year we dedicate ourselves to telling and sharing poverty relief and sustainable development stories.  Why? 

This is because in whatever we do to help reduce poverty and appeal for support to development process, there is always a story to tell and share from various places we intervene and from different individuals and communities or organisations involving in our work.

How do we tell and share these stories?  We do it through All in Development (AiD) Stories project.  This year, AiD Stories project will be about Volunteering Stories from Places of Health and Sanitation Crisis.

There are three criteria we would like to highlight about this AiD Stories project.

Firstly, AiD Stories project is about stories by volunteers or people who are giving their stories not for money or not being paid for their experience they had in relation to the story theme.  However, this principle does not stop anybody to provide a story even if what they are saying come from their paid position.

Secondly, for this year’s AiD Stories project we are mainly interested in stories from places of health and sanitation crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic.  In other words, we are primarily taking stories of those who volunteered or are volunteering in the coronavirus-hit places or environments.  We are secondarily registering people’s personal experiences of health and sanitation crisis related to Covid-19 since all of us have something to say about Covid-19 in the way we are experiencing it in our daily lives.

Thirdly, the Volunteering Stories from Places of Health and Sanitation Crisis that we are dealing with for this year’s AiD Stories project are those related to Life-saving, rebuilding and sustaining ones with reference to the Covid-19.

To facilitate and organise ourselves in the way of telling these stories, we are going to do it through a series or programme.  There is more information about this series below.  

For more on AiDS project and this year’s storytelling focus, read under the Main Development section of this post.



~ All in Development Story Telling Series


The 2020 series of AiDS Telling Programme starts from the 4th of May 2020, every Monday afterwards and will last until the end of May 2019.  These series, which are part of May stories, are a set of notes arranged in line to tell stories of Life-saving, rebuilding and sustaining.

There is no unique logic or model of organising a story.  We thought that to make it easier, our storytelling series will follow these four sequences: saving of lives against the coronavirus pandemic; caring and protection of lives; essential volunteering and home staying as measure to reduce the spread and speed of the coronavirus pandemic.

The four sequences are in some form or other linked each other.  Indeed, saving lives will involve a great deal of aspects of care.  In a crisis of magnitude and scale like of Covid-19, it is unrealistic to expect all work to be paid.  There would always be a proportion of essential volunteering that is needed to overcome the crisis.  To have a fast recovery from Covid-19 outbreak, people have been requested to stay home.  So, there could be some links between saving and caring for lives, volunteering and staying home.      

For further details about these sequences, please continue to read under the Main Development section of this post.




~ Rebuilding Health Resources, Structures and Infrastructures of Africa-based Organisations (ASOs)


Throughout the month of May, we shall continue to advocate about the Rebuilding of Africa, particularly the rebuilding of ASOs’ health and safety assets, resources, structures and infrastructures so that they can effectively respond to the Covid-19 shock and poverty reduction in Africa. 


Rebuilding Africa together

In this project of Rebuilding Africa, there will be a question which is: who should rebuild Africa?  Obviously, Africa should be rebuilt by Africans with the support of Africa’s allies or partners.  Since the impacts of Covid-19 started to be real, Africa has tried to mobilise its allies to be on its side.  Let us to be more specific by looking at the rebuilding of ASOs.


Rebuilding of ASOs’ Health Resources, Structures and Infrastructures

CENFACS will continue to advocate so that ASOs of charitable and voluntary sector could have the means, organisation and equipment they need in order to play their poverty relief role during and after the Covid-19 crisis. 

The above area of advocacy requires establishing ways of working together with them to develop capacities in health and safety within and outside these organisations.  For those ASOs that are working on health issues, there is a need to boost their resources, structures and infrastructures so that they can effectively respond to the enormous challenge that Covid-19 has posed, and to new and emerging needs of their users.  In doing so, they can turn Covid-19 to impetus to achieve a better healthcare for their people.

To support CENFACS’ advocacy about Rebuilding Africa, please contact CENFACS.




Extra Messages


~ Breaking the Vicious Circle of Covid-19 Lockdown via CENFACS’ Triple Value Initiatives


CENFACS’ Triple Value Initiatives (or All Year Round Projects), which consist of Play, Run and Vote; should be running during the coronavirus pandemic.  In fact, Triple Value Initiatives (TVIs) can help to occupy people’s minds and communities during the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  Let us see how one can apply them during the Covid-19 outbreak.


# Run activities under Run for Poverty Relief Initiative in 2020


Due to the anti-coronavirus measures and restrictions, it is not possible to group people and organise a physical run activity.  However, one person can essentially run alone while respecting physical and social distancing measures. 

## Doing physical running alone

Even if you are physically running alone, you need to follow the other anti-coronavirus rules linked to hand washing, the use of anti-bacterial hand gels, wearing of gloves and facial masks; briefly you need to wear personal protective equipment suitable for running to protect yourself and others.

## Doing virtual running

If you are doing indoor or virtual running at home, you also need to follow the guidance about protection against Covid-19 at home, particularly with regard to disinfection of the traces or strains of Covid-19 and the other rules to protect yourself and others within and outside your household. 


# Play and Vote Activities under CENFACS’ Initiatives of Poverty Relief League and Vote African Poverty and Development Manager of 2020


Play and vote can only be done at home or indoor.  Being at home or indoor under the conditions of Covid-19 lockdown, one can play and vote using online and distance resources and devise (such as a computer, mobile phone, tablet, laptop, PS4 etc.).  They can interact via these online and distance learning and working technologies. 

For examples:

With the Play or Gaming activities, people can use their own imagination and run their own play station and competitions for poverty relief.  One can as well try to find out which African country will be best to come on top of the CENFACS’ Poverty Reduction League in reducing poverty under the constraint of Covid-19.

With Vote activities, people can watch and search 20 top people who are helping or working to pull other people out of poverty during the coronavirus pandemic.  One of them could be selected by 23 December 2020 as the Poverty Relief and Development Manager of 2020.

By essentially using CENFACS’ Triple Value Initiatives (or All Year Round Projects), project users can find alternative ways of reducing personal pressure related to the lockdown and confinement; while still doing something for poverty reduction.


# What we would like to hear from your Running, Gaming and Voting Activities


We would like to hear from you the best three: 

√ The Best African Countries of 2020 which best reduce poverty under the constraint of the coronavirus pandemic

√ The Best African Global Games Runners of 2020

√ The Best African Poverty Reduction and Development Managers of 2020

The deadline to tell us your bests is 23 December 2020.



~ CENFACS’ Mission Year and May Stories


CENFACS’ 2020 Mission Year is a coordinated plan by CENFACS to provide what is needed and necessary to support any efforts of poverty reduction.  At this particular time of Covid-19 outbreak, this mission is about the reduction of health and sanitation poverty linked to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. 

CENFACS’ May Stories are about the tales of change for better change by the change makers.  They bring change to those living poverty and hardships.  When this change from poverty to poverty reduction happens, there is a story to tell, share and even to celebrate.

Therefore, there is an area of link between CENFACS’ Mission Year and CENFACS’ May Stories via poverty reduction achievement and the story it generates.  This link is also found throughout the different episodes of this month story telling programme. 

For further information about the relationship between CENFACS’ Mission Year and May Stories, please contact CENFACS and or follow the All-in-Development Stories Telling Series this month.      



~ Covid-19 and the Development of Sustainable Development Initiatives in Africa


The coronavirus pandemic together with the restrictions and measures put in place to fight it have increased the challenge to conduct and develop sustainable development initiatives in Africa.

In many places where we have projects and local partners, there were already difficulties to work on poverty reduction issues.  Now, with the confinement and lockdown due to Covid-19, this challenge has increased.


# Covid-19 as an increased challenge for Sustainable Development Initiatives


In Africa, where CENFACS’ partners or local African organisations are based there is a lack of basic infrastructures and capacities such as medical and health staff (e.g. physicians, nurses and midwifes), technological connectivity (telephones and broadband facilities) and social protection.

We had reports how people are struggling to get access to foods and supplies of essential medical drugs which are not coronavirus-related.

To highlight this increased challenge, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently published two dashboards regarding the unpreparedness and vulnerability of Africa to Covid-19.  In one of the dashboards, the UNDP (1) has mentioned the following lacks in Sub-Saharan Africa:

“Fixed broadband subscription per 100 people was 0.4 between 2017 and 2018.

The population living below income poverty line stood at 43.5% at $1.90 a day (parity purchasing power) between 2010 and 2018.

63.1% of total employment was working poor at $3.20 a day (parity purchasing power) in 2018.

79.4% of population was without any social protection and labour programmes between 2006 and 2016.”

Although most of these figures are for the 2010s decade, they nevertheless highlight two things:  the lack of fresh data (which is a story of data poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa), and the difficult context of working with our African partners in the development of sustainable development initiatives.


# Covid-19 as a confirmed factor of Africa’s vulnerability


This vulnerability of Africa to Covid-19 has been confirmed by both textual and numerical data.  A second wave of data given for Sub-Saharan Africa by the same UNDP states the following:

“The number of physicians per 10,000 people was only 2.1 between 2010 and 2017.

The number of nurses and midwifes per 10,000 people was 10 between 2010 and 2018.

The number of hospital beds per 10,000 people was 8 between 2010 and 2018.”

Again, these numbers show how vulnerable Africa is to Covid-19 outbreak.   The numbers also indicate the challenge in developing sustainable initiatives in the area of healthcare, let alone the travel and transport restrictions imposed in many countries in Africa. 

However, one should not stop here and become pessimistic or alarmist about Africa.  In fact, Africa has not done badly so far in flattening the epidemiological curves of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the early prediction of human calamity in Africa if the pandemic reaches there. 

Covid-19 has shown that it can reach the wealthiest economies of the world, not only Africa.  Without being complacent, Africa needs to take this opportunity to rebuild its self from its weaknesses.  Africa has many trumps it can use to turn the Covid-19 shock to impetus to achieve the kinds of sustainable development initiatives it needs in order to keep reducing poverty and stay on track of its development and destiny.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…

(1) https://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/covid-19_and_human_development.pdf (accessed April 2020)




Main Development


May Stories: Life-saving, rebuilding and sustaining Stories


• • What is ALL in DEVELOPMENT STORIES project?


All in Development STORIES (AiDS) is a life story developingtelling, sharing and learning project set up by CENFACS in 2009 in order to give opportunities to volunteers, interns and other development supporters to inspire others and spread the good news and will of better change to the community.  The project, which is run during the month of May, has three dimensions as follows:

1) AiDS is a telling and sharing story

It is about telling and sharing with us your experience and achievements made in the fields of local (UK) and International (Africa) developments.

2) AiDS is a learning and development process

It is also about learning from volunteers and interns how they improved their own life, changed deprived lives and reached out to the needy communities.  After learning, one can try to develop strengths and better practices to solve problems.

3) AiDS is an inspirational and motivational support network

After all, the project seeks to inspire and motivate others on the road of change for change, especially for those who might prepare and use their summer break or any other occasions (like the Covid-19 outbreak) to take up volunteering and or internship roles and positions.

4) AiDS finally is a state-of-the-art project as it enables us to get up-to-date information, knowledge and thinking in the fields of poverty reduction and sustainable development from those who went on the grounds to learn and experience real-life development works.  They return with volunteering stories to tell and share.

This year’s storytelling and sharing will be about Saving, Rebuilding and Sustaining Lives


• • The Covid-19 Impact on CENFACS’ May Stories


We have chosen to continue this theme for this Spring because of the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  CENFACS’ work is not exempt from this impact.  We had to come out our way and initial plan to consider the disproportional impacts of Covid-19. 

As a result of this reconsideration of our plan, we are interested in stories of human, economic and social impacts of Covid-19; stories which will make our general theme of saving, rebuilding and sustaining lives.

Besides this main reconsideration, we have added stories related to the environmental impacts of Covid-19 shock.  These are the tales related to the use of let say plastic gloves, facial masks, anti-bacteria gels, toilet rolls, etc.  How the lack of good recycling scheme of these items can affect the environment.  This is let alone the lockdown which has led to the decrease in traffic and noise.

This addition to our May menu makes all our stories for this year as being of sustainable development as they involve human, economic, social and environmental impacts of the Covid-19 Shock.

Getting and exchanging with people stories on sustainable life is a great way of sharing the fruits of sustainable development work and change, and of supporting one another. 


• • May 2020 STORIES: Life-saving, rebuilding and sustaining Stories


We have slightly altered our Stories month to be topical by taking into account the coronavirus pandemic.  As a result, we are dealing with stories of saving, rebuilding and sustaining lives from the coronavirus pandemic.

To reflect this slight alteration, we are running 4 series of AiD Story Telling programme during this month of May, programme that will revolve around the impacts of Covid-19.

For those who want to tell their stories of saving, renewing and sustaining lives; they can choose among the following sequences to tell their stories. 


• • Types of 2020 Stories and Story Telling Series


AiD Story Telling Series: Starting 04/05/2020 and after every Monday until the end of May 2020.

The following series have been planned from our lightly altered renewal process for this month of storytelling (May Stories).


Serial 1: Week beginning 04/05/2020: Life-saving stories during the coronavirus pandemic

These are the stories of voluntary work done in in helping to save another person’s life.

Serial 2: Week beginning 11/05/2020: Life-caring and protecting stories

They include tales of voluntary work carried out in providing care service to vulnerable people (such as young children, pregnant women, the sick and elderly, etc.)

Serial 3: Week beginning 18/05/2020: Essential volunteering stories during the Covid-19 crisis

These are accounts of voluntary work done at any phases of the epidemiological curve of the Covid-19 to support healthcare effort or keep the economy running during the Covid-19 period.

Serial 4: Week beginning 25/05/2020: Home staying stories

They are the experiences or anecdotes of each individual from the lockdown and confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic.


• • Serial 1: Week beginning 04/05/2020: Life-saving stories during the coronavirus pandemic


In this serial 1 of AiDS Telling programme, one can enter a story that describes any action or experience undertaken to save another person’s life during this current health and sanitation crisis brought by Covid-19.  For example, one could tell a story or personal experience of providing essential medical drugs or sanitary items to help save lives.

In asking you to enter your story, we would like as well to remind you that CENFACS does not create or make up stories.  People donate their stories which make the series keep going.  The stories that we are talking about are real and would normally come from those who spare their time in the things they are talking about and live or witness that life.

Generally, they are from those who would participate to the AiDS Volunteering Scheme.  However, we can also accept stories from outside this scheme as long as they are real and are about poverty reduction and sustainable development.

To donate, tell and share your story of saving lives, please contact CENFACS.


• • 2020 Story Areas of Interest


We take stories that cover any areas of poverty reduction and local and international sustainable developments.


• • Contexts of Stories


Stories could come from any level of project/programme cycle (i.e. planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review) as long as it is to do with poverty reduction and sustainable development.  They could also be a result of research and field work activities or studies.  They could finally be an experience of everyday life. 


• • Call for 2020 Entries 


The 2020 Edition of AiDS has already kicked off.  For those who want to enter their stories of life renewal, please note you are welcome to do so.  Just read below the annotated timetable for story submission and CENFACS’ storytelling terms and conditions.

We await your responses to our call.


• • Annotated Timetable for Story Submission in 2020


<> Start of online (e-mail) and paper-based submission (01/05/2020)

<> Story submission deadline (31/05/2020)

<> Notification of receipt/acceptance (by 17/06/2020)

<> Submission of revised stories (01/05/2020 to 31/05/2020)


• • CENFACS Story Telling & Sharing Terms


To tell and/or share your May story, please let us know who you are, where and when your experience took place and of course the story itself.  You could also text, twit and send some forms of supporting materials/resources to back up your story.  Should you wish not to be named, please let us know.  Please see below our story telling, sharing and learning terms.

1/ We welcome both told and untold stories

2/ Inside, witness, news, behind the scenes & case stories are eligible

3/ We only take real life stories, not fiction stories or fake news

4/ Tell true and evidence-based stories only, not lies

5/ If possible, back up your stories with facts and data (numerical or textual)

6/ Mention location, dates and names of events in the story

7/ We accept photos, images, pictures, videos, infographics, audios and other forms of resources (e.g. digital or e- technologies) to support, capture and communicate the impact of your story 

8/ Plagiarism, prohibited, offensive, violation of copyrights and unlawful/illegal materials are not accepted

9/ Hacking, flaming, spamming, ransom ware, phishing and trolling practices are not accepted as well.

For further clarification, contact CENFACS


Tell and share your story of change for change by communicating the impact you make!


Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going in 2020.

We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis.  Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service. 

One could consider a recurring donation to CENFACS in the furture.

Donate to support CENFACS!


FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.

Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.

With many thanks.


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