May 2020: Africa: PBF goes digital

PBF goes digital: in this time of physical / social distancing, learning to work again

Physical / Social Distancing is almost normal, curfews, lock downs determine our work in society. Presence is required wherever. We took this situation as an opportunity to intensify and hopefully improve our communication, collaboration and work with the new tools provided by the digital world.

As social workers, we are determined to celebrate International Labor Day with a digital meeting. As the person responsible for coordination and projects, I organized this first digital meeting with our responsible employees in different parts of Ethiopia and Kenya.

ZOOM platforms (modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars) were set up by George Orimba in Nairobi, by Fisseha Aweke in Addis Ababa, Messay and Sisay in Lalibela and Ashenafi Mamo in Gashena.

The topic of the meeting was to find new and innovative ways to perceive and improve our work in our locations. In the era of the Covid 19 pandemic, our help is particularly urgent and in demand, as has been shown in the past few weeks.

We discussed our communication and procedures. We recognize that this completely new and surprising situation not only poses new challenges for the entire planet, but above all for our previous work in detail with the poor, particularly vulnerable people, children and old, sick people. Changes have to be discussed, decided and made. Everyone is aware that PBF’s main concern is to turn to the poorest, the most vulnerable, be it in the metropolis of Addis Ababa (VDI), to the rural population in the highlands of Gashena (Clinic), for the now slumping tourism well-known place Lalibela or in the slums of Nairobi, where George works in Mathare.

These and other people affected by the crisis are losing their jobs as day laborers, their children are no longer able to go to school and are starving, and countless other fates keep us busy every day. They are people who are at a much higher risk than maybe anywhere else.

As a team, we are ready to improve our commitment to our projects on site. We will be writing updated reports to inform those who make our work possible through our website. We are happy if our posts on the website can spark interest. Ubuntu: We are here because you exist there (African philosophy).

Dan Amolo