Welcome to the February edition of our Luwero Newsletter.
Coronavirus infection rates in Uganda are decreasing and are currently averaging 42 cases per day. Uganda has recorded 163,000 cases in total with 3,580 deaths. A vaccination programme is currently in place with some 15 million doses of vaccine having been delivered. This is sufficient for 16.9% of the population. Whilst there has been a relaxation of restrictions across the country, some are still in place.
Nationally, school pupils returned to schools on 16th January: however not all children in Luwero have returned. There are various reasons for this and we are working with Gabriel to establish the actual number of returners. We are also awaiting details of sponsored children to establish who have or have not returned so that we can update their sponsors. We will do that as soon as it is practically possible.
Great efforts have been made by the team at Luwero to ensure that all coronavirus protocols have been properly implemented to ensure the safety of both pupils and staff. One of the problems being encountered is the lack of teachers. This is a national problem and has been brought about by the pandemic and closure of schools for the past two years. Teachers during that time have had to find other work and a significant number have decided to stay in their new employment rather than return to teaching. Some of Luwero’s former teachers have returned but there are ongoing staffing needs still to be met. Please pray for the schools, in particular for adequate staffing and the protection of the school community against coronavirus.
Until recently the family have all been well. However, Gabriella, Debbie and Peggy recently developed some health problems. Gabriel and Deborah sought medical advice from the local hospital and it would appear that all three are thought to be suffering from “sickle cell” disease and were admitted to hospital. The latest news is that Gabriella has responded to treatment and is improving, Debbie is on a support machine and Peggy has been admitted for further investigation. Please remember the whole family at this time in your prayers. We are in regular contact with Gabriel and have assured him of the prayerful support of his friends and partners in the UK and elsewhere. Our Board will bear any medical fees which he and Deborah incur.
For a short period during December 2021 our RBS bank account was not accessible. This was due to a breakdown in communications between the Bank and the Trust: the matter was resolved within a few days. We have written to all monthly donors who may have been affected. We ask any donors who would normally have donated by Standing Order between 13th and 21st December to check their bank statements to see if they have been affected. In the event that your Standing Order was rejected we could ask you to contact your bank and make the necessary adjustments. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Farm and Land
In December of last year 200 acres of land suitable for farming became available for purchase. Gabriel was heavily involved in discussions with the vendor and the UK Board regarding its possible purchase. The discussions straddled the Christmas and New Year holiday period during which time the vendor secured a higher offer for the land and it was sold.
Because of the high level of investment involved, and in order to ensure transparency regarding further land purchase at Luwero for farming purposes, the UK Board are putting in place arrangements for a Due Diligence check to be carried out by an independent agricultural expert based in Kampala. This will provide an independent audit on any land under consideration for purchase and will be quite separate from the normal legal and practical surveys which are ordinarily carried out. The due diligence is to be carried out for the UK Board in order to protect Gabriel’s position, satisfy the UK Board regarding the suitability and practicality of purchasing the land for its intended purpose, ensure accountability to our supporters and to satisfy any government appointed bodies such as charity overseers and tax authorities. regarding the investment.
2022 Luwero Calendars
Thank you to all of our supporters who purchased 2022 Luwero calendars. Around 250 orders were received.
We ask that you continue praying for:
the Kijjambu family, particularly Gabriella, Debbie and Peggy
the school, the pupils and teachers