Greetings from Uganda, and warm welcome to our July Edition. No doubt, the Corona virus pandemic climate is still raging against the world but please be encouraged that we are praying and trusting that God will watch over you, to keep you and your families safe. We are in this together but the even better, God is with us. Your support is very important to us and to God as well. We send you a massive thanks for standing with us.
Update on Corona in Uganda
As communicated in our April updates, the situation is still the same in Uganda. Increase of infection cases are still being reported so far. Although Uganda has not yet lost lives due to Corona Virus, people dying of hunger. Government is having trouble in managing the crisis of supply of food and basic necessities. Poverty resulting from people not being able to work and fend for themselves is becoming more serious as the lock down and curfew have not been lifted.
The situation is quite serious. Scarcity of necessities and the lack of money to buy the little there is on the market is a concern, and the same goes for medical care which is resulting in loss of lives.
Personal cars and some of the public transport has been allowed to resume operations with social distancing measures. Use of facial masks has been directed by the Government although they are not affordable for local people who are already broke. Markets and some offices such as banks, hotels have opened. Some building work also commenced only that manual labour will be hard to come by because some of people left the city and returned to their villages to avoid the crisis in towns. Some businesses have completely been lost and business owners had no choice but to move out of town.
The Government is preparing for local elections which are likely to be conducted online. This has angered many leaders especially those in the opposition and they are now demanding for the elections to be postposed but the Government has not responded.
Taking Positive Steps at Abba Father's House
Pineapples grown at Abba Father's House
Firstly, we would like to share the good news about a new Trustee who joined AFH this June. Maggie Highs who is already familiar with AFH has come aboard to assist with the cares for the home. The trustee’s role involves ensuring that charity logistics and guidelines are adhered to, participate in creating policies, and also engaging in fundraising for the charity amongst other duties.
At the home in Jinja, the focus this season has been to keep safe. Although the last three months have been challenging, the fact that no one has died of Corona in Uganda yet is a big testimony for us the impact would be unimaginable.
At AFH, we are still maintaining the routine of regular washing of hands with soap and using sanitizers and children are reminded of this daily. The home is currently not open to visitors and we’re keeping a good distance with customers who come to buy our produce from time to time.
The Government has not decided on when to re-open schools, the Minister for Education and Sports was considering to re-open Universities and institutions before Primary and Secondary schools with following of social distancing measures from the Ministry of Health.
Education wise, we’re using text books and past papers and materials given by friends, however we have no labs and equipment to carry out experiments and staff to use them either. The school Teachers themselves are desperate for schools to open as they are not being paid and they have no other income.
The Uganda Government provided some tutorial paperwork through the Local Committee networking but it is not enough so it is still parents responsibility to find educative materials for their children. Home studying has been ridiculously challenging especially for our staff who have no teaching experience but we have managed to keep the children occupied so far.
It is still a challenge to find educative materials for all of our children who are in various classes but doing our best to continue to make connections to get educative material. Some scholastic materials are available for downloading but internet is another challenge for most people and use of cafes also very expensive and not that efficient.
We are managing food and medical shortages by ensuring advance stocking. There is still not much going on apart from maintaining the basic wellbeing of the home and praying for the pandemic to pass over so that things can get back to normal but we’re grateful to God for managing this far.
As expected, all plans for this year have been shuttered by the pandemic but the most important thing is to be alive. As the saying goes that “good can come out every bad situation”, the Lock Down period has brought about some good in that staff at the home have had an opportunity to give one to one attention to individual children and they have not lost out on Church either as Juliet stepped in to provide Virtual Church at the home which is empowering understanding the basic foundations of Christianity. This is bearing some good fruit of love and kindness to one another and strengthening a family bond.
Our projects are also doing well to our surprise but we think that the family bonding has cultivated all round betterment at the home.
Stocking up feeds for the flocks before lockdown has paid off. We have had better sales than before, also to our surprise. We even got a new breed from our pig’s herd.
Tomatoes from Abba Father's House
At the village level, families in our neighborhood are experiencing real challenges of living in very poor conditions due to extreme poverty as they are not working.
Those who did not return to their village numb their stress on alcohol consumption which is causing crime such as robbery and rapes in the area and not observing social distancing at all.
Here above is a picture of Team Abba Father’s House sharing food with the most vulnerable in the local community.
Preparing food to share
These are our egg laying hens
And these Kroilers will be for sale at Christmas
The children are coping well and enjoying the rest from rushing to get to school, but it has been a worry for Moses who was waiting to register and start university. Eva’s graduation is still pending due to lock down, but hopefully the graduation will be arranged at a time when it is possible to travel so that one of the UK trustees can attend her the ceremony.
As you’re aware, we encountered a lot of challenges in adopting to new ways of operation and changes made by the Ministry of Gender for charities which were very costly we last year. We also re-settled some of the children who were in our care for the same reason.
They are now considering to regulate orphanages to keep children for two years only and loading it on orphanages to arrange for the orphans to be placed with families in the local areas where the children come from in order for the children not lose their family/cultural connections.
This is because Governments has been introduced to better ways of raising up orphans which they hope ca be done at the orphanages expense.
The Government is expecting orphanages to create businesses for the families in local villages where the child/children would be placed to enable those families fund for the child/children. This opens up a lot of issues and the idea is not agreeable with our purpose and objectives. It is also ridiculous for the Government to load its responsibility to people with good intentions to help the very children that the Government has failed to support. This idea is only in its primary stage, we will take the necessary steps for to challenge the government of this so please look out for our next edition for further news on this.
Funding has always kept us on our toes. The situation has been made worse as some of our sponsors have been furloughed from their jobs and some have been made redundant. Lock down and social distancing means that we cannot carry out our mini fundraising activities. We currently have no idea on how we can sell our widows crafts and we would welcome any ideas for help.
At our recent Virtual trustee meeting, it was decided to start sending electronic requests for donations which we are letting you know in advance so that you can graciously help us to pass on these messages to your friends and family in case they might be willing to support us that the good work we started can be maintained. We hope that you will continue to extend your kindness to us in this regard.
Phase 2 Building Work
The Corona pandemic came at a time when construction work for phase two was still being carried out. As mentioned earlier, building work is resuming slowly in Uganda but with hardship of finding labourers. For us labourers are not the only challenge but that of funding as well. We still require funding to help with the remaining works. I understand that we’re currently in tough times especially financially but we thought it was necessary to give you some updates of the building progress. However, if you’re able to help us out, we would be very grateful.
Recognised by Amazon
We are appealing for people who shop on Amazon to support us through their Smile foundation. What this means is that when you shop at Amazon, you can get Amazon to donate to Abba Fathers House, 0.5% of your spend. To do this all you need to do is to login to Amazon through https://smile.amazon.co.uk, it will then ask you to choose the charity of your choice, please search for Abba Father’s- House (specifically with the apostrophe), then every time you purchase something login to Amazon through the smile URL and 0.5% of what you spend. This is also a great way to raise funds for Abba Father’s House.
All we do at Abba Father’s House is made possible by the generosity of our partners and friends. There is plenty of need and room for those of you who may wish to become a blessing to the orphans in Uganda. Please get in touch through our website;www.abbafathershouse.orgor firstname.lastname@example.org directly to find out how you can become a partner or sponsor a child or a project.
We wish and pray your safety until next time. Love, thanks and Grace to you all.