In just one month, the all-volunteer Catholic charity SPICMA (Special Projects in Christian Missionary Areas) has disbursed nearly £100,000, well over a third of its total for all of last year. Already dipping into its reserves, the charity is appealing urgently for donations. The money is being sent to distressed parishes in Kenya, Uganda, India, and Pakistan, all hit by the Covid-19 lockdown.
One such parish is based in Sotik, a small town in the Rift Valley area of western Kenya, where Father Eliud Otunga is the parish priest. Aged 40, he has been a priest for ten years. This is only his second year in the parish, where he provides spiritual and social services to some 2,000 parishioners scattered across 16 villages and many square miles.