Life under lockdown is hard for us all. Life under lockdown whilst living in a slum in one of the poorest countries in the world: almost impossible. When COVID-19 hit, we had to drastically adapt our work, prioritising supporting the immediate needs of Kampala’s most vulnerable families with food to ensure that they did not starve. Altogether, we have given our 1.2 million food parcels to over 32,000 families in Kampala’s slums.
Although we are now beginning to see life in Uganda return to some level of normality, there are several complex needs that now require addressing. Children have lost vital time in education, and women and children are at greater risk of violence and abuse. Many families are still struggling to find work, and need to continue using our food banks.
This is where Kids Club Kampala’s Road to Recovery plan comes into action. The plan is made up of four key phases outlined below, accompanied by a case story which reflects how the Road to Recovery is and will continue to change lives:
Phase 1: Feeding - providing immediate food support for families
Doreen*’s Story “My name is Doreen, and I didn’t have anything to eat for Eid, until Kids Club Kampala provided me with food to eat. Kids Club Kampala have been very helpful to us all, they are not selective in who they help, and we have seen them doing everything they can for us during this lockdown season. They provide food items such as sugar, beans, cassava, potatoes, and so much more. I am really grateful and I pray for the expansion of this organisation so that it can continue to extend help to everyone in need”
Phase 2: Protecting - increasing safeguarding to keep children safe
Hannah*’s Story Hannah was 15 when she was referred to our Ewafe project as a missing child in May 2020. Hannah opened up to us about why she ran away from home. “I stole my grandmother’s money because my friend told me to. When my grandmother realised and demanded her money be returned, I decided to run away from home. I ended up in a place that I didn’t know, and I was sleeping outside in the bush. One morning, the community members handed me over to the police. I’m so grateful to Kids Club Kampala for picking me up from the police and taking me in. I’m very happy because I receive everything that I need; we sleep well and eat good food and also have time to play”
We got in touch with Hannah’s grandmother, who later came to the Ewafe house to visit Hannah. They were both very happy to be reconciled, and her grandmother said: “I’m so grateful to the Ewafe project for taking good care of my granddaughter and keeping her safe in these hard times of COVID-19”.
Hannah was reintegrated with her family in Gombe parish, Wakiso district, on 7th July 2020.
Phase 3: Educating - increasing access to education
John*’s story John is one of our sponsored children who has come through school and now has a job as a mechanic, demonstrating the long-lasting change we strive to achieve.
Having spent a year without going to school due to lack of fees and support, John had lost hope and never thought he would go back to school. Kids Club Kampala and his sponsor got John back to school, paying his fees and providing school materials. After completing his O Levels at Kampala High School, John opted to undertake a motor mechanics internship at a local garage.
John is now 22 years old and working at the garage in Katanga where he undertook his internship. The owner of the garage was so impressed with John that he decided to take him on full time. John now earns a sufficient income to comfortably support himself and his mother by contributing to household expenses. He plans to attain further skills by learning from his colleagues, and is particularly interested in car bodywork and would like to specialise in this area.
Phase 4: Skilling - rebuilding livelihoods by providing vocational training
Elizabeth*’s story “Before joining the tailoring project I was working in a school, but when schools were closed due to COVID-19, I was one of the people laid off. I was stranded and started wondering what was next for my life. A friend of mine who is a beneficiary of Kids Club Kampala’s tailoring project told me about the project, and luckily, they were still registering for the next intake and I was recruited. I am so grateful for the opportunity to acquire a skill in tailoring, and I am sure that my life will never be the same. I have already started getting customers for my products, and this has given me confidence. I might not look for a job again, but instead start my own tailoring business”.
Our Road to Recovery plan aims to transform lives and help Kampala’s most vulnerable communities rebuild after the repercussions of COVID-19.