COVID-19: Ewafe Project Update
In our previous update we let you know how COVID-19 had resulted in us having to suspend or reduce the capacity of our regular projects, with our focus instead shifting to provide short-term food relief to vulnerable families through our Feeding Families: COVID-19 Emergency Appeal. Thanks to our loyal supporters, and the dedication and hard work of our Ugandan team and volunteers, I am pleased to say that we have managed to distribute an incredible ONE MILLION FOOD PARCELS to the most vulnerable families living in the slums of Kampala, Uganda! This has not only saved thousands of people from starvation, it has also reduced pressure for families, provided social connection during a crisis and helped to build a sustained sense of community.
However, whilst it is important to celebrate this incredible achievement, sadly the impacts of COVID-19 will be much deeper and longer lasting. We are already aware of an increase in domestic violence, family breakdown and child abandonment within our communities and as a result are expecting to see a surge in demand for our Ewafe Project. Thus, as we switch our focus from short-term relief to helping our communities rebuild, your kind support has never been more vital.
Although our Ewafe Project has remained open throughout lockdown, unfortunately we were unable to take any new children into our home due to the government guidance on social distancing. Despite this we decided that we would keep all staff on to ensure that all children who remained under our care were well looked after and to enable us to make several renovations to the home which we will show you later.
However, as lockdown has now begun to ease we are pleased to say that this has meant we have been able to start rescuing and rehabilitating children. During lockdown our social workers continued working to trace children's families and thus once restrictions eased we were able reunite several families. In the above photo you can see Sarah* finally being reunited with her mother and later on we will also tell you Emily's* story, who was reintegrated with her family just before lockdown restrictions came into force.
Our 'Brand New' Ewafe Office
During the lockdown in Uganda, our staff at the Ewafe home were working extremely hard to create a 'brand new' office space. The new office was actually created using an old shipping container, repurposed into an office space. Below are before (left) and after (right) images, and I am sure you will agree that the transformation is incredible and really does showcase recycling at its best.
Furthermore, by moving the office from inside the Ewafe home to the container (left), we have now have more space within the home for the children. We are now also utilising space within the home more effectively by introducing bunk beds (right). These are not only new and fun for the children but also enable us to increase the capacity of our home which means we can ultimately rescue more children.
Another Child Reunited With Her Family!
In September of last year, we welcomed 10-year-old Emily* to our transitional home, referred to us by the police as a missing child. When she arrived Emily was initially very quiet and spent most of the time on her own, however, as time passed she became more confident and began to enjoy playing with the other children.
Emily spent 6 months in our care and was provided with food, clothes, shelter, medical care and counselling, whilst our social workers attempted to trace her family. Thankfully back in March they made a breakthrough and soon after we were able to resettle Emily back with her mother, aunt and siblings.
Once returned Emily’s mother shared with us how she had ended up in Kampala:
“Shortly after Emily’s father passed away in 2016 my elder brother suggested that he and his wife take my daughter to Kampala to enroll her at school. As I had six children and was not capable of looking after all of them by myself I had no choice but to accept. From the time my brother left with Emily I only heard from them once in 2017, when he told me that my daughter was doing very well. However, I now know that he had not enrolled her in school or been looking after her properly which forced her to run away. Thank you very much Kids Club Kampala for bringing my daughter back to me. I can never thank you enough. May God bless you and the good work that you are doing.”
Emily* (centre) being reunited with her mother (right), brother (centre) and aunt (left).
Thank You and Call to Action
Thank you so much for your continued interest and support for our Ewafe Project!
However, with the impacts of COVID-19 exacerbating the demand for our Ewafe Project we are in need of more Family Champions to help make a difference. Could you forward this update to a friend and encourage them to donate to our Ewafe Project through GlobalGiving?