Help us protect our volunteers and staff in Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on St John. It has changed how we reach the most vulnerable people, who depend on our help. Although we do all we can to continue our crucial health services in Malawi, Zambia and other developing countries, without proper personal protection for our staff and volunteers, we will not be able to do so.

Please support our St John’s Day Appeal 2020 with your donation, and help us provide life-saving face masks, gloves and other hygiene items for our volunteers and staff at the frontline.

Read more about or worldwide response

Most of St John’s projects, such as the maternal and child health project, but also commercial and charitable first aid training and first aid at events, have been suspended due to the current pandemic and restrictions imposed by governments. This will strongly affect the delivery of our projects in the long term and made it necessary for us to change our way of doing things. In addition, to reach the vulnerable population and prevent the virus from spreading, quick interventions are much needed.

Protecting our volunteers and delivering community health education

The right protection: While travel restrictions, health preventive measures and social distancing restrictions are in place, provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to our volunteers and project staff is extremely essential. We will procure the right PPE locally to protect them against the virus, before they can re-start their health activities in communities. Further PPE will be distributed to the most vulnerable people of the communities, if more funds become available.

Awareness and education: Volunteers will also incorporate community health education on COVID-19 into our existing projects, such as the Mother & Baby Programme in Malawi. They will carry out robust sensitisation and preventive messages to the communities and create awareness about COVID-19, especially to pregnant women, new mothers and their partners. Messages will include the importance of staying at home, hand washing, wearing a mask at all times when in public, social distancing and the signs and symptoms of the virus. The importance of calling the national COVID-19 hotline or the designated local COVID-19 centre will also be promoted.

At the same time, volunteers will be able re-establish their regular project activities, such water and sanitation assessments for households in Malawi, and support for expectant women and their families in Zimbabwe.

Please donate now and protect a volunteer with life-saving equipment

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Amidst all of this turmoil, I know that we have tens of thousands of St John people, staff and volunteers, in all types of roles who are standing up to provide healthcare services to those in need. Whatever your role supporting your communities and doing that in the name of St John, I extend my sincere and heartfelt thanks to you.

Professor Mark Compton AM GCStJ
Lord Prior

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If you want to know more about St John’s worldwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit to our COVID-19 page and our dedicated facebook page.