The beauty of Uganda
Greetings Lovely Donors,
Three months have passed since our last report, and what a wild three months it has been. As we reported in our last message to you, our plan in the spring was for our CEO to travel to Gulu to move our operations into our new home. The universe had other plans. In March, our flights were canceled and Uganda closed Entebbe airport to all incoming foreign flights, making it impossible for us to carry out our plans. Little did we know, this pandemic situation was just beginning.
Fast forward to today and the current situation; although the reported number of COVID 19 cases in Uganda remains fairly low, whether that be due to limited testing or actual numbers, the effect on our targeted population of beneficiaries has been extreme and has created dire circumstances. Areas of Uganda, including Gulu, are under strict, government-ordered, quarantine and curfew that has been sometimes brutally enforced by local officials. Gatherings of any size are banned from happening, prohibiting us from operating our training programs at this time. This lockdown has created other concerns for our amazing women and their families. Starvation has become a real concern. This is a statement from one of our beneficiaries on the current situation:
"We are still under curfew with schools closed for almost 3 months - fear of community transmission is real while most cases come from people entering the country across the borders legitimately or otherwise... so life goes on under the stress of loss of income for so many in a situation of already high unemployment ... people are literally starving to death while the lack of transport means getting treatment for illness is much less likely...."
We want to assure you that all funds donated in our campaign remain safe and waiting for the opportunity to begin our next cycle of vocational training. In the meantime, we are attempting to do what we can to alleviate the dire situation our families now find themselves in. This is our community and we will continue to do what is necessary to provide assistance in any way it is needed. Our world has changed in the past three months, and we are doing our best to meet the needs those changes have created.
We hope our next report will have good news on this situation. We will not give up, the stakes are too high. Human lives hang in the balance...
The Ribe Project Team