OUR RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
This page is continually updated with the latest news and developments from our work in Uganda.
As of today, there have been a total of 413 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Uganda, with 72 recoveries. There have been no reported deaths from the virus in Uganda. The country 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.
Last updated on 1 June 2020
Keeping children safe and in loving families remains our number one priority
In addition to our ongoing child protection work, we are also using our unique position in the communities we work with to help mitigate the health and economic impact of the pandemic. The consequences of a countrywide lockdown will inevitably be felt hardest by the most vulnerable, many of whom 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.
Below are the steps we are taking to make sure that no family has to make the heartbreaking choice of placing their child in an orphanage because of this pandemic, and 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 staff are remotely monitoring over 800 children and families, as well as coordinating response to ongoing child protection issues through our network of community volunteers and local government partners.
As of May 7th, our team of social workers have followed up remotely with 815 children and 433 families to ensure they are safe and well. With the help of community volunteers, we delivered emergency support such as food and health supplies to 266 children in 97 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, checking in via phone, to make sure no child is left behind during the pandemic. We have shared information and guidance on safety and hygiene and ensure that they understand what lockdown means in practice for their organisation. We also have been in touch with the Government to advocate for children in institutional care, and have ensured that 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
Our staff in the UK continue working from home and following government guidelines. In Uganda, our staff are working remotely and maintaining regular contact by phone with the community volunteers who remain the first point of contact for vulnerable children and families in the communities where we work.
We are working together with the Government of Uganda
We have been approached by the National Association of Social Workers Uganda to be one of their key social work response partners in a concept note they are putting to the Ministry of Health. We will continue to develop our partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development during this time, as well as supporting 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.