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The Problem
 
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The Future
         

During the 5 months of lockdown of our sanctuary we hosted the families of two of our staff members at our private house.

There were 5 children et it was great seeing them run and play in our garden. Remember, two of the kids had become “Super Heroes”.

Then, baby Eliezer arrived –  a little boy born last August in times of trouble and demonstrations… He was staying with us too

Today, now that lockdown has been lifted, each family has gone back home. We sayed goodbye with plenty of tears in our eyes s very strong bonds have been created with some of the family members. This experience has been intens – we miss our Super Heroes already!

Before the children left they were given the chance to go to the sanctuary. They had never seen the place where their parents worked, so, it was amazing to the to meet the chimps and to see their parents at work.

We are glad everyone is now back home. However, since the virus is still around, no one can go back to a normal life just like before. At J.A.C.K. and at home we have set up new sanitary measures.

🐵
End of lockdown announced by Mr MUIR, Provincial wildlife authority. Our team has remained 5 months without leavng the comlex. A huge sacrifice. Today, all our staff members can go back home although the virus is still in town and around the sanctuary. A sanitary protocol will be implemented on August 31st at night.

 

Many thanks again to our ICCN partner for having guided J.A.C.K. through these stressful and tough times of pandemic!

🌴LOCKDOWN HAS BEEN LIFTED-our workers are now back with their families after 5 months of lockdown. We are more worried than ever: the virus is still around and might enter the sanctuary at any time…

🌿J.A.C.K. /3 DAYS LEFT TILL LOCKDOWN IS LIFTED – a happy team tonight as all our staff members will soon go back home after a 5-month lockdown! The virus is still around and more challenges are to come😢
#DECONFINEMENT #equipe
#lockdown #staff

While Gracia met her doctor, I took her baby to be weighed. Eliezer weighs a bit more than 11 lbs and has gained about 4.8lbs in 42 days…So glad Mom and baby are doing great!!

 

🥒54 meals are cooked daily for our locked down team. I personnaly cook international dishes and introduce new veggies the team has never tasted before sothat they disvover new flavors

It’s been a month now that baby ELIEZER joined our team that has been lockdown at our home. ELIEZER indeed is 1 month old today. He gained some weight and, just like his mother, he is doing very well.

Unlike all the members of the team of J.A.C.K. , Eliezer’s parents were confined at our house on April 1st. Gracia, his mother, was pregnant and all her medical expenses (regular check ups, delivery & hospialization) were covered thanks to the wonderful generosity of two great friends, Rebecca & Bob.

Gracia has been very lucky to give birth in a “lockdown mode”: the clinic stuck to our lockdown rules (personal room & bathroom, no visits except the doctors’ and mine) and we knew Mama and baby were in good hands!

Delivery was long and painful. During her stay, Gracia was spoilt by the nurses who I thank again from the deepest of my heart as they did a very good job!!!

Today, we are all happy that Eliezer is healthy and growing well. He has a big brother, Elvie (6 years old) and a sister, Emmanuella (3).

Many thanks again to Rebecca and Bob for their amazing suport during these very partcular times. Also, thanks again to the Clinic, its kind Managers & team for all that they have done for Gracia & her baby.

 

Our team is making so many sacrifices to protect our residents against the virus and we really thank THEM for their hard work!

” To infinity, and beyond!” – Meet Elvie & Quentin, our 2 super heroes locked down with us at home💚

In March 2020, the Covid-19 Pandemic stroke worldwide and the local Congolese economy as well as the whole sanitary system was badly hit too . The first Covid case was confirmed in Kinshasa (the capital)  on the 10th of March and all the different DRC provinces were immediately put on the alert. Although the presence of the virus was not yet confirmed at that time around J.A.C.K. in Lubumbashi (South DR Congo), the sanctuary  Founders, Franck and Roxane CHANTEREAU,  could already feel its economic repercussions and had to face a sudden increase in prices, food shortage, growing inscurity, etc.

Last January, when the Covid-19 virus was extending all over China and because there were still flights between Beijing and Lubumbashi, Franck and Roxane already decided to strengthen the health control at the sanctuary. Since nothing is known about damage caused by this virus on great apes, both Founders were too scared the corona virus would enter the complex and contaminate the chimpanzees! It was therefore obvious more sanitary measures had to be taken to prevent zoonoses!

The team of J.A.C.K. has been working with masks, gloves and footbaths since 2008. In early 2020, temperature of staff was taken twice a day and if a member of the team showed any signs of flu, he/she was isolated and kept in observation for 21 days.

Also, because it was not confirmed the disease was already in town (Lubumbashi had been set on a two-day lockdown, cirizens were said to be positive and later on negative…), Franck set his mind on buying bicycles for the personnel so that it no longer had to depend on public transport.

This is how J.A.C.K applied for Emergency Funds from the PAN AFRICAN SANCTUARY ALLIANCE (PASA) to purchase bikes and to store enough food as it was clear tough  times were to come: borders had been closed, unscrupulous merchants put exagerated prices on their goods, the DRC local currency (Congolese Franc) devaluated, insecurity was getting worse and the population did not respect barrier gestures.

So, in March, thanks to the great support of PASA’s Donors, J.A.C.K. managed to protect its team and its hairy residents from the virus and from dreath. In town, many people made fun of J.A.C.K.’s Founders due to the so many sanitary measures they were taking. Only a few of them understood they both had a huge responsability to keep the sanctuary safe from harm… What would happen if the virus entered the Centre?

Among these few people was Mr MUIR, Provincial Director of ICCN. He is the Wildlife Authority of the Province. He is the Congolese Wildlife partner of J.A.C.K. and he is also in charge of all the fauna and the flora of the area.

Mr MUIR was extremely worried that the virus would already be in the city and enter the sanctuary despite all the health control measures. To him and to J.A.C.K. Founders lockdown was unavoidable! Therefore, a PREVENTIVE LOCKDOWN was decreed from April 1st till April the 30th.

Again, thanks to the generosity of PASA’s Donors, J.A.C.K. bought all the needed equipment to make the team feel “at home” at the sanctuary (matrasses, mosquito nets, buckets, kitchen ustensils, a TV set, toiletry items, etc.).

During this isolation period, Franck and Roxane cannot be 100% isolated as their mission is to provide the team (18 people) and the sanctuary residents (34 chimpanzees) with all the food and medication that they need.

Unfortunately, at that time, the one and only car of J.A.C.K. broke down and the Emergency Grant of PASA also enabled to buy a second hand gearbox. The vehicle is essential to the sanctuary: if there is no car, no food can be bought nor collected from local sponsors and no supplies can be driven to the sanctuary…

Today, lockdown at J.A.C.K.  is now TOTAL since May 1st until further notice. Lubumbashi is counting hundreds of confirmed positive Covid-19 cases and the disease is all around the sanctuary! The people that were laughing at the Founders’ sanitary measures  now consider taking the same measures to protect themselves and realise Franck and Roxane were right and did well! We all hope and pray this nightmare will soon come to an end so that “normal” life can come back at the sanctuary.

Many, many thanks to PASA nd its Donors for the wonderful support which has helped J.A.C.K. for the last 11 weeks. We all live awful times because of the virus and it is clear that, without Love and solidarity, we can’t make it! We must all work together hand in hand to face one common enemy: the Covid-19 virus!

 

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