Aug 28, 2020

Home visits

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the children and the women in the slum communities that we work with,they send their love and apperciation for all the support and help rendered to them during these hard times of the pandemic.

 They are so grateful for all the support rendered to them during these hard times of covid-19.The food supplies that were distributed to the households in the slum communities played a huge impact on their feeding patterns. Joy for Children field staff carried out home visits in the slum communities of Mulago, Bukoto and Makerere and engaged some women on a one on one about how their lives have been impacted by the pandemic.

We visted  Joyce(not real name),a resident of Mulago who is a single mother,she set up a garments stall in the market where she is able to get some profit and take care of her family, "Families only feed on one meal a day due to the scarcity of food, before the pandemic households used to have three meals a day but that is not the same now, the women who most of them are single mothers struggle to get what to feed their children, they only eat to survive."she narrates to us.

We also oberved that the breast feeding mothers and new born babies lack nutritional supplements that are essential for their growth, but despite these callenges women really appreciate the support "Juliet(not real name), a member of the women’s saving group says “I really thank God for the donors, because they were also  affected by the corona virus but they are still providing a helping hand.” She thanks the donors so much and wishes God grants all their hearts desires.  There is still so much need .$30 can feed a family of 4 for one month,$60 can feed a family of 8 for one month,$100 can feed 3 families for one month. 

Aug 28, 2020

Fresh floods

Residents of Kasese district in western Uganda woke up to a fresh wave of floods where the four major rivers burst their banks, they destroyed properties and lives. The rivers; Nyamwamba, Mubuku, Nyamughasana and Lhubiriha again burst their banks spilling water into the communities in the low lands putting the lives of hundreds people at greater risk. Whenever, the locals hear a strange sound they alert each other through various means of communications including making alarms.

More than 120,000 people mainly KilembeDivision were displaced and their crop gardens washed away when River Nyamwamba burst its banks .  Additional havoc was caused by overflows from River Nyamughasana, Mubuku, and Lhubiriha.  

Many of the area residents are now hosted in the six internally displaced people’s camps that were set up in the aftermath. Other displaced residents mainly mothers are residing in churches, open spaces and at the sub-county headquarters with their children.

Jennifer ,who lost her saloon and household items in the tragedy requests the government to extend more items to the affected persons especially for mothers and girls. She says that many of the mothers do not have food for their children since the road network has been cut off by water and all connecting bridges destroyed. 

There is still a wide gap interms of releif items for the affected visctims,   $20 will buy a blanket for a child,$50 can provide food for a family for one month,$100 will provide blankets for a family of 5. 

Jul 21, 2020

Increased number of teenage pregnancies.

There has been an increase in the number of teenage pregnancies,stigma and mental health problems in the country y due to the corona virus induced lockdown since the young girls are at home and vulnerable to their tormentors.

According to a UNFPA document on teenage pregnancy in Uganda during and post Covid-19 lockdown, Eastern Uganda (Busoga) has the highest reported cases with Luuka district alone reporting more than 600 cases. West Nile and Ankole regions are also reporting many cases. 

According to a Police report, 4,442 cases of defilement were reported between January and April 2020. The Sauti reported 800 cases of sexual abuse between January and May 2020, including increased cases of teenage pregnancy. 

In 2014, the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development in partnership with UNICEF and other stakeholders, established the toll-free number 116 as the Uganda Child Helpline (UCHL)/Sauti to encourage children and adults to report cases of child abuse and all forms of child rights violations.  

 Health experts argue that because of lack of sexual reproductive services and information coupled with students having to be locked up with their abusers during this lockdown, numerous unintended pregnancies could be one of the negative effects.

Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic globally, President Museveni in late March, ordered for the closure of all schools and universities with about 15 million learners sent home in a bid to minimise the spread of the deadly virus. Since containment measures in Uganda were put in place, including closing schools and restricting movement, accessing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services has become very challenging for girls and women. This is on top of cultural expectations surrounding abstinence, which already impacted young people’s confidence in seeking sexual and reproductive health services.

The closing down of all schools due to the COVID-19 crisis coupled with an ongoing restrictions on movement has exacerbated the limited access to sexual reproductive health information and services for young people. In fact, it has invoked fear among district officials, leaders, parents and other stakeholders that some girls may not return back to school due to unintended pregnancies after the long stay at home.

Much as the lock down is necceassry to curb the spread of the virus,empasis and rights of all children shoud be valued so as to avoid the longterm consequences even in post Covid times.

 
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