When a pandemic strikes a nation, it is bound to affect everyone in different ways. Sadly, low-income earners are being affected the most. Since Kenya announced the first COVID-19 case, the state of the country has not been the same. Many livelihoods have been lost over the months, increasing the number of unemployed youth in Kenya. Due to this loss, many of them are forced to work long hours on minimum wage to earn a living.
While in the field we came across both young and middle aged people carrying out casual work. In such positions it is hard to carry packed lunch from home and therefore they have to depend on hotels for food. Junk or fast food is usually the go-to meal for them since balanced diets are expensive in hotels. The casual workers end up eating either two meals a day to save on cost, or they eat fast food for lunch on a daily basis. In some cases, some of them end up too tired from the long hours and end up not cooking dinner in the evening.
While having conversations with young men in our society, we realized that they would rather sacrifice the little they have to buy khat and peanuts because they believe that it is enough for them. This is evident that there is a lack of information on khat and nutrition.
This situation makes them vulnerable to diseases related to poor nutrition and weakening their defenses against possible infections of Corona Virus. The Organization for African Youth ambassadors for the Kenya Adolescents and Youth Scaling UP (KAYSUN) Nutrition chapter randomly reached out to these groups, raising awareness on the benefits of good nutrition. Good nutrition is something people know about but often take for granted, hence why they need someone to keep on reminding them of what they need to eat. A little nudge could go a long way!