Welcome to the September edition of our Luwero Newsletter. The prevailing conditions in Uganda, allied to the low range and unreliability of telecommunications networks, continue to make it difficult to maintain contact. However, Ernie and Gabriel continue to furnish us with the latest news.
Gabriel, Deborah and the four girls are all well. On the 10th of September the triplets, Gabriella, Debbie and Peggy celebrated their first birthdays. As you can see below, they are getting bigger and looking well
Following a peak in August, reported cases of coronavirus have dropped from over 20,000 per day to 138 per day: a total of 3,100 coronavirus deaths have been reported. A vaccination programme prioritising military personnel, medics and teachers is under way. Uganda has received vaccines donated by various countries around the world including the UK. Vaccination is free and it is estimated that about 1.6m doses have been administered, covering around 2% of the population. Some people have received their second jabs. There is a lot of suspicion and hesitancy from people in Africa about receiving the vaccinations. Gabriel and Deborah were called to the local hospital at Kiwoko for vaccination late last month.
Some limited relaxation of coronavirus restrictions has taken place; a nightly curfew still exists except for the transportation of essential goods.
Gabriel asks that we continue to pray for all of Africa.
Gabriel has maintained contact with church members and people are now allowed to congregate in groups of up to 200 in churches, including weddings and funerals. Good use continues to be made of loudspeakers been erected around the area and three times daily Christian music, sermons and local news and information about the pandemic are broadcast from the church. The church leaders are keeping in contact with church members by mobile phone. Members are encouraged to hold services privately in their own homes.
Schools have not yet re-opened: Uganda is likely to see a gradual reopening of schools from January 2022 onward. As a consequence of COVID, many teachers in Uganda have left the profession to earn a living by other means. However, Gabriel continues to maintain contact with Luwero school staff. When schools recommence, the recruiting of staff is likely to be a problem nationally. We hope that, because of the investment in and support of teachers of the schools at Luwero during lockdown, most of our teachers will return when the schools reopen.
Once schools resume, because of the lapse in their education, each child will be assessed and be placed in their appropriate academic stage. More generally, some children who are not being sponsored will have found employment and some girls will have been forced into marriage, the consequence of both situations is that they are unlikely to return to school. We pray that we can get as many back to school as possible.
Gabriel has been in contact with every sponsored child and their guardians again recently and provided them with either practical or financial support. Those who live locally, he has been able to see in person: for others living further away, he has been in contact with them by telephone. Not being in school can have a fundamental effect on them and their families and Gabriel is making every effort to keep them engaged and ensure that they return to school when it reopens
Despite lockdown, construction work has been allowed to proceed. The roof has now been completed on the girls dormitory block and metal door and window installations are in place. This will be followed with rendering, plastering and painting, etc. The boys dormitory block is nearing roof level and the roof will be constructed soon.
Gabriel is currently looking at 200 acres of ground suitable for farming, approximately 25 miles from the Projects. Supporters will be advised of any progress we are able to make as information becomes available. Acquiring additional land for farming has been a long-term aim for the Projects.
HIV/Aids is still prevalent in many parts of Africa and, with the coronavirus pandemic, it has largely been forgotten. Approximately 1.5m people are affected by HIV/Aids in Uganda, with women being disproportionately affected. Despite cultural and political barriers often hindering effective treatment, 85% of adults suffering from the problem receive antiretroviral treatments. Gabriel recently conducted the funeral service for a lady who died from the infection leaving seven mature children.
We appreciate the many supporters who continue to donate generously to support the work at Luwero. Thank you to those who donate anonymously; your kindness and generosity is gratefully acknowledged. Virgin Money Giving, who have facilitated our on-line giving via the website, has advised us that it is discontinuing its charitable giving platform at the end of November. We are putting alternative arrangements in place and donors donating via our website should not notice any difference during the transition period.
Luwero Community Projects Facebook Page
A new feature of our communications strategy is the establishment of an LCP Facebook page. The purpose of the page is to allow supporters of LCP to be kept up-to-date about life in the various aspects of the Projects more often and less formally. Supporters are also encouraged to share any news they have by posting directly to the page. It is now up and running and we look forward to your contributions . Just key “Luwero Community Projects” into the search box on your Facebook page
2022 Luwero Calendars
2022 Luwero calendars are presently in production: details will be available shortly. It is hoped that prices will be similar to last year with small desk calendars priced at £6.00 and wall calendars at £10 plus postage and packing. Calendars can be ordered via our website, email at [email protected] or post to our office.
Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns
A CD on which Gabriel sings some of his favourite hymns is available priced at £10.
“Knowing and Doing”
2,000 copies of the Luganda translation of the book Knowing and Doing, a book about Christian belief and practice, have just arrived in Uganda. The books were printed and published in Glasgow under the auspices of OPAL Trust. They were shipped by a sister missionary support agency to Uganda from Belfast. Gabriel is arranging for collection of the books.
We ask that you continue prayer for:
- the Kijjambu family,
- the pupils, teachers and their families, and that they will return to school in good numbers,
- church and community leaders,
- the crops and livestock at the farm,
- all of Africa, as people continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.
- all of Africa, as people continue to cope with the effects of HIV/Aids and the negative impact it is having on their lives.