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Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda

by Uganda Hands for Hope
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Support and Educate Vulnerable children in Uganda
Small workshop regarding communication
Small workshop regarding communication

Dear Supporters,

We hope this message finds you and your family safe and well during these hard times. 

The Ugandan government has been extremely strict and has successfully kept COVID cases relatively low but the measures have made things very difficult for Hands for Hope and the families that we serve.  Most of our children rely on the school to provide them with 2 meals a day and with schools closed indefinitely, they are really struggling.  Many parents are also unable to work due to the restrictions so their already meagher incomes have been completely depleted.  Hands for Hope has continued its food distribution program and the social workers and teachers have also completed home visits to see if there are any other ways the organization can assist the families but the situation is still very dire.  

We have recently shifted our attention to working on activities which can allow for interaction with the children in the community even though schools remain closed.  We've been distributing home learning packs weekly for children to complete at home and we've also held several small workshops while still following social distancing protocols.  With our partners, we've offered programs on girls' health, communication, rights and responsibilities and the importance of this, particularly during these challenging times when our children remain at home.

We were also recently pleased to welcome a representative from Action For Development to conduct a training on gender for our staff. In a country such as Uganda, and especially so in places like the Namuwongo slum, gender roles are still often defined by tradition. It is therefore important for all our staff to understand where gender gaps exist in the community and the impact of this for the children and families that we support.

We will continue to keep you updated as the situation in Uganda evolves.  We are hopeful that as the threat from the pandemic lessens, we will be able to re-open our school in the coming months. 

As always, thank you for your support!

Handing in home learning packs!
Handing in home learning packs!

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Parent receiving food donation
Parent receiving food donation

Dear Supporters,

We hope that you and your families are safe and healthy during these crazy times.  While Ugandan schools are still closed, we wanted to give you an update on how we are supporting the children of Hands for Hope during this crisis.

The Ugandan government has lifted restrictions a little so private transport is being allowed again, although masks are compulsory everywhere outside of the house and a curfew is still in place from 7pm to 6:30am.  Our staff has started visiting the community and it is very clear that the families of our children are really suffering.  Many parents have not been able to work during the lockdown period and therefore have struggled to make ends meet, even more so than usual. In the last few weeks, we have witnessed some of our kids on the street, either begging or trying to sell whatever food scraps they can find to make what little money they can.

In an effort to help our children and their families during this trying time we have started a food distribution program that will cover all the UHfH families - around 400 in total.  The food given out will be a mixture of beans, posho (maize flour porridge), rice, cooking oil, salt and soap - enough for at least 3-4 weeks per family. In order to ensure safety and security, we are only distributing to small numbers from our facility each time, rather than in the community itself.  All parents and children who enter the premises wash their hands with soap upon entry and the children sit socially distant from each other whilst waiting for the distribution.  All UHfH staff wear masks whilst at the office and when visiting the community as well as washing hands/sanitizing regularly.

All the families and children we've seen so far are very happy to know we are slowly opening up again. Those that have received packages are very grateful, probably more so than they would normally be because of the current circumstances.

In addition to the food distribution, as schools remain closed, we have been able to distribute weekly home learning packs to our current P7 class. These will continue weekly whilst we wait for clarity from the President/Ministry of Education as to the plan for schools reopening.

We will continue to keep you updated as things progress and the situation changes in Uganda. 

We value your support and generosity now more than ever - thank you for taking the time to care about those struggling on the other side of the world!

Socially-distant distribution line.
Socially-distant distribution line.

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Greetings from Uganda!

As some of you may have heard, a Presidential announcement yesterday has decreed that all Ugandan schools are to be closed by midday tomorrow - Friday 20th March - for 30 days. Though there are no officially recorded cases of COVID-19 in Uganda at this time, these preventative measures are being taken to proactively stem the flow of the virus.

We have been all working extremely hard to educate our children on how what this virus is, how it is spread and how they can protect themselves. The school schedule has completely changed to incorporate rigorous hand washing and our older students have been instrumental in educating their younger peers on the matter. We have met with parents to provide information on sanitation and preventative personal safety measures, and are utilizing our parents’ council to spread correct information amongst the Namuwongo community.

UHfH school will close today after lunch and we are confident that, despite these trying times and given the circumstances, we have done all we can at this point. An enormous thank you to our supporters without whom we would be unable to provide the essential support our beneficiaries need at this time. Our thoughts are with you all, as we hope you are staying safe throughout this pandemic.

As we tell our children relentlessly; stay home, don’t touch your face and WASH YOUR HANDS!

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Surprise!  Free lunch on Saturdays!
Surprise! Free lunch on Saturdays!

Greetings from Uganda!

Hands for Hope has been bustling with energy!  Thanks to you, our generous supporters, we've been making some great improvements to our programs. 

The kids are very excited to have their weekly Saturday program back - and now, thanks to a wonderful donor, our students get to enjoy lunch every Saturday.  What an amazing surprise for our pupils!  

In February, we were very happy to host our friends from The Weald School in England and the prestigious Namilyango College in Mukono. Their students spent time with ours, learning some words in Luganda, tasting local food and playing local games and our students were delighted at the chance to engage with young people from the UK and such a well renowned school as Namilyango.  Thank you to all the students involved for their respect and enthusiasm! 

We've also just launched a new music initiative, in partnership with CRANE, to develop creativity and self expression amongst our students - as well as teaching them about the wonder of music!  If you have any old instruments lying around that our pupils could use, please get in touch!

Hands for Hope keeps growning and expanding its programs because of the goodwill and generosity of donors such as yourself and we are humbled by your continued support.

THANK YOU!  

New music program for our students!
New music program for our students!

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Our children enjoying the holiday celebration
Our children enjoying the holiday celebration

Thanks to you, our generous supporters, Hands for Hope was able to raise almost $15,000 USD this holiday season (not counting the $4000 we were awarded in matching funds from the Giving Tuesday campaign)! 

While we were mainly targeting the project that focuses on our most vulnerable girls, while school has been out, we've been extremely busy planning for 2020.   We are re-furbishing our library and classrooms, officially opening our new tailoring class, starting a computer lab to improve tech literacy for our staff as well as our children, and we are overhauling the school's overall schedule to include more extracurricular activities: music, art, sports and more!  Stay tuned for all the exciting updates over the next couple months.  

None of this would be possible without you! Your support makes all the difference not only to the children of Namuwongo, but also to the organization's staff who work extremely hard every day to ensure that our students thrive.

To celebrate, back in December we held our annual Holiday party with over 170 parents in the audience and every class performing!  We had dance, music, theatre, circus and comedy and are extremely proud of all of our talented pupils!

Thanks again to everyone who gave during this holiday season.  Here's to a great 2020!  

More performances from our holiday celebration
More performances from our holiday celebration

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Organization Information

Uganda Hands for Hope

Location: Kampala - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @handsforhopeug
Project Leader:
Joseph Cummiskey
Kampala, Uganda
$49,835 raised of $60,000 goal
 
431 donations
$10,165 to go
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