To all my friends and fellow community members here in Maine and around the world,

I write with the great hope and genuine prayer that we will soon see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has paralyzed the activities of our daily lives, led to loss of life and illness, and devastated our economy.

A photo of a soldier leaning over a collection of medical supplies caught my attention recently and made me reflect deeply on the battle we are engaged in and on our aggressive enemy.

In a time of military combat, people support soldiers who face the heat and furious crossfire of heavy artillery. Paramedics and doctors serve as  back-up to soldiers and treat the injured. In the current Covid-19 combat, the dynamics have changed. It is medical personnel who are on the front lines of battle, working hard day and night to save people’s lives – with the military backing them up, helping with shipments of medical supplies.

Witnessing the loss of hundreds of lives every day from Covid-19 is horrifying, but we must find solace in knowing that thousands of others are recovering thanks to the help of so many. My heartfelt sympathies go to those who’ve lost loved ones, and those who are suffering social and economic losses. My thoughts and prayers go out particularly to those living in underprivileged countries, where individuals have no government or nonprofit safety nets to help support them through this unprecedented situation.

Unfortunately, many people in Africa earn their livelihoods through small businesses that are conducted on a daily basis. The Stay at Home ordinances that have been issued around the world as the most effective preventative measure against COVID-19 are starving millions of people – their daily meals depend on their daily activity, and most governments are unable to help them with emergency food supplies.

The current crisis reminds us all of the role that each individual must play here in Maine in the course of fighting a common enemy, and how our health and safety are now very interrelated. The recklessness of another person’s behaviors can create a serious danger to our own loved family, as well as the community at large.

My thoughts also go out to all the kids here in Maine and around the world who are stuck in their homes and unable to get outside for school, play, and to enjoy each other’s company.

To all faith community members unable to freely worship God, to all businesses owners that are suffering the tremendous loss of the capital that they have worked for so many years to raise, and to all the people who have lost their jobs – remember that we will emerge from this precarious situation and start the recovery process together.

I pray that God will entrust our scientists and government leaders with special knowledge, wisdom, and the resources they need to develop a vaccine capable of controlling the spread of the virus.

And to all who are more fortunate than others, I plead with you to extend a helping hand toward those that cannot survive without help.

We at Amjambo Africa have dedicated our time throughout this difficult period in our history to publish information designed to help the immigrant population in Maine. Our ability to publish in multiple languages has afforded us the unique opportunity to reach a diverse audience. We believe that providing information in multiple languages helps equalize opportunity for vulnerable communities – with information everyone can learn how to avoid spreading the virus, and protect against sickness.

With sincere love and my heartfelt hope that we will soon be able to lift the Stay at Home mandate and resume our accustomed activities,

Georges Budagu Makoko

Co-Founder and Publisher of Amjambo Africa