OUR RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
This page is continually updated with the latest news and developments from our work in Uganda.
Uganda has been under lockdown with various restrictions on all transportation, border closures, limits on public gatherings and businesses since April 1st.
For more information and the latest updates on the response to the pandemic from the Government of Uganda, visit the Ministry of Health website.
Keeping children safe and in loving families remains our number one priority
In addition to our ongoing child protection work, we are using our unique position to mitigate the health and economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The consequences of the countrywide lockdown has been felt hardest by the most vulnerable. Many people will no longer have any means of earning a living with no welfare state ready to step in.
The Government of Uganda has done everything they can to try and prepare for the pandemic. However, most of the families we support live far away from the main medical centres and hospitals that are set up to handle the virus. Washing your hands also gets a lot more difficult if you do not have access to clean running water and soap.
We are making sure the risk from this virus is understood by our community volunteers who in turn pass this knowledge on to the families we support. We are also providing the essentials including; food, health, and hygiene materials to families who are finding themselves out of work and unable to provide for their loved ones to make sure they stay safe and at home.
We are taking the following steps to ensure that no family has to make the heartbreaking choice of placing their child in an orphanage. At the same time, we are ensuring children living in orphanages are not forgotten.
Click on each link or keep scrolling to read our detailed updates.
Bwire is one of our hundreds of community volunteers on the front line, supporting his community through this pandemic. While cases in Uganda are still low, he has been visiting families in his own community to help them understand how to keep safe.
Bwire is just one of the many daily efforts of our extended workforce at Child’s i Foundation - our community volunteers are ensuring families are able to stay together during this difficult time.
We are ensuring the safety of children, families and our beneficiaries
Child protection remains our utmost priority. Our team is monitoring over 900 children and families, as well as coordinating and responding to ongoing child protection issues with and through our network of community volunteers and local government partners.
As of July 1st, our team of social workers have followed up remotely with over 900 children to ensure they are safe and well. With the help of community volunteers, we delivered emergency support such as food and health supplies to 858 children in 262 families to help sustain them during this time of lock-down.
We are supporting institutions and orphanages
We are in regular contact with the orphanages we work with, via phone, to make sure no child is left behind during the pandemic. We have also maintained contact with the government to advocate for children in institutional care, to ensure they are prioritised and not forgotten during and after this pandemic.
As a result of the government’s announcement requesting schools to close, some child care institutions have sent children home. We have provided guidance to one of the orphanages we work with to ensure that children, who were rapidly reintegrated, are followed up with additional monitoring by our social workers in partnership with the orphanage staff and a government social worker.
We are keeping our volunteers and staff safe and secure
Our staff in the UK are continuing to work from home, following government guidelines. In Uganda, our staff are mostly working remotely prioritising visits to essential cases as they maintain regular telephone contact with the community volunteers who remain the first point of call for vulnerable children and families in the communities we work in.
We are working together with the Government of Uganda
We have been approached by the National Association of Social Workers in Uganda to be one of their key response partners in their coordinated approach with the Ministry of Health that will raise awareness about the virus and prioritise the social welfare. We will continue to develop our partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development during this time, as we support the National Child Protection Working Group to meet remotely.
We are taking extraordinary measures to support our community
We are keeping our communities safe from the Coronavirus by:
Giving out life saving public health information in local languages to families with no or limited access to radio, TV or Internet.
Preparing food, nutrition, hygiene and health supplies to families in lockdown.
Supporting families with money transfers to help them pay rent during this period when they are unable to work.
Making sure our staff have phones and enough mobile data to be able to remotely monitor and support families, and coordinate the efforts for these communities, including referrals to emergency response services.
Buying protective gear and paying for transport for when it is absolutely necessary for our staff to personally visit a community or family.