FUM News Blog

The Pad Project

The Western Yearly Meeting (Indiana) United Society of Friends Women have worked with Africa Programme Officers Katrina and Shawn McConaughey on a sustainable solution for some girls among the Kenyan pastoralist peoples—reusable sanitary pads.

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COVID-19 Community Corps: #WeCanDoThis

FUM General Secretary Kelly Kellum was recently invited to be a founding member of the Covid-19 Community Corps, in company with other community, business, and faith leaders. The Corps is an initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fight against Covid-19, to increase confidence in Covid-19 vaccines, and to encourage measures to slow the spread of the disease. The inaugural meeting was held on April 1, after which Kelly wrote to staff members: “While I spend hours and hours in virtual meetings these days, it’s not every meeting that my Zoom profile is sandwiched between that of the Vice President and the Surgeon General of the United States.”

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Friends Lugulu Mission Hospital

2020 was a year filled with challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the institution as most clients cannot offset their hospital bills. This financial crisis weighs heavily on the hospital's limited resources. Staff members are also prone to contracting Covid-19, so the hospital does regular testing. To date, no staff of Friends Lugulu Mission Hospital has been diagnosed with Covid-19.

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FUM Remembers David Zarembka and Gladys Kamonya

Many members of the Friends United Meeting community in both Africa and North America have been moved by the recent deaths of David Zarembka, on April 1, and his wife Gladys Kamonya, on March 25. David and Gladys were well-known for their peace work in East Africa, and for their work for Friends, which brought them into partnership with FUM in various ways.David worked closely with FUM as an FCPT leader, as a member of the Kaimosi Hospital board, and as an FUM General Board member and triennial representative. In addition to the many remembrances that can be found online, FUM staff and representatives who worked closely with David have shared these memories with us.

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An Update on Covid-19 in East Africa

During the first week of March, 1.02 million doses of the Astra-Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Nairobi. These doses were earmarked first for health care workers, with other recipients being added rapidly. This was the first shipment of the 3.56 million dose allotment designated for Kenya through the World Health Organization’s COVAX collaboration. (Read more about COVAX here.) Because Kenya has a population of 52.5 million people, officials feel it might take years to reach herd immunity to Covid-19.

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Friends Discuss Support for Living Letters Nicholas and Dorcas Otieno

On March 24, Friends from Indiana Yearly Meeting, the Friends United Meeting Richmond and Africa Ministries Offices, and the African Missions Committee gathered in support of the missionary work of Nicholas and Dorcas Otieno. Nicholas and Dorcas are serving as FUM Living Letter Missionaries in Tanzania.

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