SWVL Kenya has announced an initiative they have undertaken with SOMO, an accelerator for grassroots entrepreneurs coming from low-income areas, to provide care packs to their captains to help sustain them and their families during the COVID-19 period. SWVL has also undertaken two more community initiatives, one with the National Business Compact on Coronavirus (NBCC) and the other with Safe Hands Kenya.
Due to SWVL currently operating only on essential routes, and using their vehicles to transport doctors and hygiene products, the company saw it fit to cushion the losses that captains may make during the pandemic. About 400 captains have so far been able to collect their care packs from SOMO, with numbers being restricted per day to prevent overcrowding. Many of the products in the care packs are made by the SOMO entrepreneurs.
SWVL Kenya General Manager, Dip Patel said, “We know that during these tough times, many captains may be unable to make as much money as they normally do. We felt it was our duty to ease this burden for them by engaging in this initiative with SOMO. We are also very pleased to be able to help out the smaller entrepreneurs in the country by purchasing what we can from them, since they are also greatly affected by the situation.”
The Ministry of Health has set up a call hotline (719) where members of the public can get more information on the Coronavirus. To support this initiative, SWVL, a member of the NBCC, has provided vehicles to transport the doctors working on this initiative from their homes to the call centre and back in the safest manner possible.
“We have stated before that we are happy to assist the Ministry of Health in whatever way we can as we combat this virus together. We decided to help transport doctors to the call centre, to ensure that they have safe means of transport, as they go about their duties. We know that they have selflessly offered themselves to get us through the pandemic and we simply want to play our role in helping them do so”, added Dip Patel.
In a similar manner, SWVL has provided vehicles to “Safe Hands Kenya”, who are distributing hygiene and sanitary products to underprivileged communities. The vehicles will transport the staff of Safe Hands across Nairobi, where they will be distributing soaps, sanitizers and cleaning agents. Safe Hands has so far raised $1 million through the international donor community and their partnership with SWVL will extend to crowdfunding to help sustain those at risk during the pandemic.
SWVL continues to operate at this time but only on essential routes.