Welcome to the August edition of our Luwero Newsletter. The Projects, and indeed all of Uganda, continue to be impacted by the affects of COVID-19. However, folk at Luwero and Kiryanyonza are continuing to try to live as normally as possible and I have a lot of news to share with you.
Gabriel, Deborah and Priscilla are all well. However, Deborah’s health recently gave some cause for concern and she spent 10 days in hospital. I am happy to inform you that she has since been discharged and Gabriel advises us that she is well. Her babies, thought to be triplets, are due in September. We continue to pray for their safe arrival and her continued good health.
Uganda is still in lockdown. At the time of writing there have been just over 1,200 reported cases of COVID-19 and 5 deaths. Whilst there has been some easing of lockdown restrictions, school pupils and staff have not returned and churches cannot hold services. Some shops have been allowed to reopen, public transport is now operating on a limited basis, private vehicles are limited to 4 occupants per vehicle and there remains a curfew in place between 9.00 pm and 6.00 am.
Gabriel is continuing to meet the needs of local people facing food shortages or financial hardship due to loss of employment. The funding of sponsored children is continuing and is happening indirectly where they have moved out of the Projects and relocated to their villages. The Ugandan government is expected to make further announcements regarding lockdown restrictions next month.
With the continuing ban on schools returning, Gabriel is directing his efforts towards retaining teaching staff so that the schools are fully staffed upon resumption. Similarly, he is intent on maintaining pupil numbers so that as many as possible return in January.
Work to complete the boys and girls dormitory blocks at the secondary school will restart soon. The blocks are both complete at ground floor level and are inhabited by pupils when school is in session. The remaining work involves the completion of the upper floors to increase their capacity and allow for more living space for the pupils.
Purchasing additional land to extend the farm remains a priority for the project. More land means more crops and less need to buy in food to feed the staff and pupils at the Projects. A number of potential sites have been identified recently and you will be kept abreast of developments once information becomes available.
Government elections are scheduled for January 2021 in Uganda. The country has been blessed with political and social stability in recent times and we pray that this continues during the election period, particularly since public meetings may not be allowed. The ability to receive foreign visitors and the desire of visitors to go to Uganda depends heavily on political stability.
‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’
Copies of Gabriel’s CD ‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’ are still available. They have been a great source of blessing by many and can be obtained via our website.
In October Luwero calendars for 2021 will become available for purchase. Details will be included in our next newsletter.
The schools may be closed because of COVID-19 but, just to remind us of the joy and innocence that usually denotes the ethos of the schools in the Project, I have included a short video of the primary school children in action.