Welcome to the June edition of our Luwero Newsletter. The Projects, and indeed all of Uganda, continue to be impacted by the effects of COVID-19. However, folk at the Projects are continuing to try to live as normally as possible while adapting to their new “normal” and I have a lot of news to share with you.
Uganda is still on lockdown. At the time of writing there have been 616 reported cases of coronavirus in Uganda, 103 have recovered and there have been no deaths.
Some easing of restrictions is being considered and some changes have been implemented. Businesses have been allowed to re-open apart from salons, gyms and shopping arcades. Most shops are still closed which may cause problems purchasing school resources. Public transport was suspended in Uganda months ago, but private transport is now allowed so a lot of cycling is taking place from Luwero to Kiryanyonza and further afield. Facemasks are compulsory to everyone going out in public.
Preparations are in hand for the phased reopening of schools at some point during this month, albeit in a limited format. Work is under way to clean the school premises extra thoroughly, work out how social distancing can be effectively applied in the schools and dining hall, resolve school transport issues and train the pupils in the use of hand sanitisers etc.
Exam candidates and all final years’ pupils are to be allowed to go back to school soon and the rest will follow in due course.
Gabriel was delighted with, and grateful for, the emergency relief package sent to him. Consequently, he has been able to pay teachers’ salaries and give support to sponsored children.
The Kijjambu Family
Gabriel advises us the Family Kijjambu is on the point of expanding further. He has informed us that Deborah is four months pregnant and is expecting twins! She has been carefully quarantining herself to protect her health. Please pray for her and that her pregnancy runs full term and healthy babies are born in due course.
Pastors and Church Leaders Conference 2020
The pastors and church leaders conference which was scheduled to have taken place during May was cancelled due to the current situation with COVID-19. The possibilities of doing some work for pastors in some digital format is being investigated. However, given the limited access pastors in rural areas have to digital resources this may not be possible or effective.
One positive consequence of COVID-19 is that a lot of extra time and labour has been deployed on the farm. Lack of activity at the schools has freed up people to devote time to cultivating the crops. As you can see from the photos below of the maize and beans planted during lockdown, it seems to have been effective.
Bush has become a farmer
Bush has invested in becoming a pig farmer. She originally bought 3 pigs – some of which were pregnant – and her stock is steadily growing. She assures me the pigs are thriving and that she is getting better at being their “mother”. We wish her well in her new enterprise.
Luwero Community Projects Board Meeting
The next meeting of the LCB Board takes place on Friday 12th June. If you have any items that you would like them to consider, please contact them at the LCB office.
With the phased re-opening of schools across Uganda, please pray that all pupils are actually able return to school. Lack of family income and fractured contact with school could lead to a drastic fall in families sending their children back and our prayers should be directed towards preventing this.