Corona Virus Threatens the Vulnerable
By Ethiopian Honorary Consul to Victoria Kim Lovegrove MSE RML FAIB, Chairman of the IBQC, Senior Lawyer and Law Reformer, Lovegrove & Cotton – Construction and Planning Lawyers
For nigh on 20 years, Lovegrove & Cotton has sponsored a senior position at HIV orphanage Direct Reach Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. Firstly, this firm sponsored an in house lawyer, Rahel Bernhau, and now the firm sponsors the COO. At present, the NGO is facing an unprecedented crises.
The NGO, that has moved away from institutionalised care, is heavily reliant upon community home care givers and relatives, many of whom have compromised immune systems on account of HIV and Tuberculosis. If blanched by inevitable Coronavirus, the community support structure we have built over 20 years will disintegrate as the immunity overload will overwhelm the care-givers.
The effect upon the orphans and their carers will be catastrophic. We are providing sanitation kits but this will not be nearly enough to combat this virulent pandemic.
Some readers may recall the Sydney encounter involving 3 women in a supermarket fighting over toilet paper. This spectacle attracted 4 million views. If a fraction of viewers read this blog and log into the hyperlink and bequeath anything, yes, anything at all, then we can individually and collectively do some good and provide some support to those that are not blessed with the medical and support infrastructure of New Zealand and Australia.
Without our help, destitution and hopelessness is the only legacy. I make this plea as Ethiopian Honorary Consul to Victoria, as a long standing supporter of Direct Reach, as the husband of an Ethiopian, as a father, and as a humanist.
A friend of the writer, Western Australian Sara Franklyn, a lawyer in a past life, who heads up Direct Reach Ethiopia, has worked tirelessly for two decades to give these destitute children a chance to be educated and escape extreme poverty. “It is quite foreseeable that we will return to the dark days of the early 2000’s where we had a parent’s funeral every other weekend. Please help us fund medical care and basic sanitation needs to save our children and their care-givers from this approaching pandemic.”
Donations made be made via credit card on the Pay Pal link (no login needed) below, through Direct Reach Ethiopia’s partner Global Development Group. Donations over $2 made in Australia are tax deductible.
 ABC News, Coronavirus toilet paper row at Western Sydney Woolworths leads to two women charged, 8 March 2020.