Many of you might be wondering what life is like in Uganda during these challenging times. Here is what we know.
We have been in contact with Action For Children and with Jolly Nyeko and have learned that so far the COVID-19 outbreak has not affected Uganda very much even with a 40 M population. There are currently 56 reported cases in Uganda, 38 recovered, 18 remain in hospital and no deaths. In the third week of March the President of Uganda closed the borders to all international flights, closed churches, schools and all large gatherings, and a movement permit is required for any travel within the country.
Jolly has informed us that they are under curfew until May 5th as long as there are no new cases reported. While the schools are closed, the government has designed a school curriculum for those who can access radio and television. Of course, not many children in the rural area can access either of these. Uganda has had a lot of experience in dealing with large medical emergencies over the years like AIDS, Ebola, Zika, Typhoid and the fight against Malaria is ongoing. Geoff and I experienced their good response to the Ebola outbreak a few years ago as soon as we disembarked from the airplane.
Gratefulness for the running water on the property! During this pandemic the solar powered pump (funded in 2019) continually fills up the elevated tanks ensuring a constant supply of clean running water for all the children and staff during normal school days, but particularly now for the few staff taking care of the facilities. This was funded in 2019 by very generous friends with a big hearts. Thank you Rob and Steph!
We were not able to return to Uganda for a number of reasons including the pandemic. The following photos are a reminder of why do do what we do and what we miss the most:
The Jolly Progressive Secondary School has been in operation for just over a year now, and there have been positive things happening. In December of last year, there were many students out of the total of 300 in Primary School who wrote their Primary 7 Leaving Exams. JNFC had six sponsored children who wrote those exams and passed. They began Senior One at the Jolly Progressive Secondary School in February, along with the students who were in Senior Two. Then in March all the schools were closed because of the virus.
Last year JNFC provided some funds which enable Action For Children to begin constructing two more classrooms desperately needed for the Secondary School. With additional funds from other donors these classrooms were roofed. JNFC hopes to send more funds to help finish the inside of the classrooms, and to provide new desks, textbooks, resources and school equipment.
If you would like to contribute to any of these items, we would love to hear from you. Every dollar counts and goes ten times further in Uganda.
THANK YOU to all of our child sponsors and donors for your valued ongoing support of the children and families we serve!