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Cyclone Idai devastates three African countries

By Jim Rowe

Bostik League’s official charity Save the Children needs to raise £1million as emergency response

Save the Children wrote to the Bostik League this morning with this urgent appeal.

I’m writing to ask for your urgent support for the children and their families whose lives have been torn apart by Cyclone Idai. Now that the true scale of the impact and the nature of the devastation caused by this powerful storm is becoming clear, we are launching an urgent appeal to raise £1 million to support our emergency response.

Hundreds of thousands of children and their families are in danger after the cyclone struck Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe last Thursday, affecting the lives of 2.6 million people.

Cyclone Idai has brought torrential rain, flooding, landslides and fierce winds up to 170kmph. More than 1,000 people are feared dead in Mozambique, and dozens more in Malawi and Zimbabwe. As we receive more information across the three countries in the coming days, these numbers are only likely to increase.

The scale of the disaster is quickly emerging as 90% of Mozambique’s second biggest city, Beira, is underwater. Vital infrastructure like roads, bridges and communication lines have been battered and thousands of families have seen their homes and communities shattered. Families have resorted to clinging to rooftops and trees to stop them being swept away.

In emergencies like this, children are extremely vulnerable. Those who survive the risks of drowning, or being hit by flying debris, still face huge threats. They can easily become separated from their parents in the chaos. Damaged and contaminated water and sanitation systems can create the perfect breeding ground for an outbreak of water-borne diseases like cholera, which if left untreated, can be fatal. And the many children who have seen their friends and relatives seriously injured – or worse, killed – urgently need psychosocial support and protection to help them piece their lives back together.

What are we doing?

Thanks to our Emergency Fund, we were able to kick start our response before launching an appeal. We were already on the ground in Mozambique before the cyclone hit.

For instance, we deployed our specialist Emergency Health Unit – a network of doctors, nurses and logistics experts – so they could be by a child’s side as quickly as possible after the storm hit.

And now, despite the immense challenges, we’re well-placed to respond in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. We’re working around the clock, assessing the impact of the damage and the critical needs of children and their families.

Our response

We’re already distributing emergency relief items to families who have lost their homes, including shelter supplies such as tarpaulins and ropes. We’ll also be providing buckets, jerry cans and water purification tablets so families can access clean, safe drinking water.
We’ll be helping to reunite children separated from their families and plan to set up Child Friendly Spaces – protected areas where children can recover and receive psychosocial support to help them overcome the traumatic experience.
We’ll also be setting up temporary learning spaces, so children’s education isn’t disrupted.

Please if you possibly can make a donation however small to help the young people and their families in these three devastated countries. You can do this very easily by clicking or tapping here and you will find all sorts of different ways to send money together with examples of what various donations will buy. Thank you - Dave Netherstreet, Chairman, Tonbridge Angels FC.

Updated 19:04 - 15 Apr 2019 by Jim Rowe

Where next?

Your Angels football this weekend March 23/24 U21 Development play final league game of season at Longmead

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The FA SuperKicks app launched to kick-start children's play and learning

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