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
One child's individual home project
One child's individual home project

Greetings from Uganda!

It has certainly been a turbulent time at Hands for Hope recently.  Not only has the COVID situation been worsening in the country but the violent protests surrounding the election last week and the subsequent government imposed internet outage made for some scary times for everyone.  We are back online now after almost a week but unfortunately schools are still not permitted to open due to the increasing COVID risk.   

We were able to welcome back our candidate class (Primary 7) yesterday but there has still been no indication of when we will be able to bring the rest of our children back to school.  In the meantime, we have been continuing with our home visits, making sure that every child has at least 1 home visit from a teacher every week.  When a teacher visits a child, they provide them with curriculum-specific school work and check up on their creative individual projects as well. Many children have been working around the theme of environmental awareness and some have chosen projects based on renewable/recyclable materials.  Many have been using discarded materials to make unique tools or fun toys as you can see in the photo.  

The teachers also look out for and report any child protection issues they encounter to the social workers who also visit the slum every day to offer social support to the children and their families.

There's also a lot being done at the school site during this forced period of closure.  We're in the process of building the furniture for our brand new secondary school so that it's ready for when the children come back.  We are also putting the finishing touches on a new community safe space for girls where they will be able to discuss any particular issues they are facing.  And finally, we have started looking for a reputable supplier who will be able to provide us with computers for the lab we plan to open with some of the funds raised during the Giving Tuesday campaign!  Thanks again to all who contributed!

Please keep in touch and stay safe!

Finishing touches on our new girls' safe space!
Finishing touches on our new girls' safe space!

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From last year's holiday celebration
From last year's holiday celebration

Because of YOU, Hands for Hope was able to raise $11,737 USD on Giving Tuesday!  And we were awarded almost $4,000 USD in bonus funds from GlobalGiving, bringing our total to almost $15,500 USD!

We can't THANK YOU enough for supporting us during this extremely difficult year.  The impact of your donations will be felt immediately by the children and families that are really struggling to survive in these tumultuous times. 

We're also excited to announce that the funds raised will help our team to launch a brand new computer lab in 2021!

None of this would have been 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.  

Thanks again to everyone who gave on Giving Tuesday - this holiday season is going to be a little bit brighter for the children because of you.  

Happy Holidays!  

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Our P7 class learning about our COVID guidelines
Our P7 class learning about our COVID guidelines

Dear Supporters,

We hope that you are staying safe and healthy.  

COVID restrictions are still limiting our ability to hold in-person classes but thankfully we have been able to find other ways to support our children and their families during this stressful time.  Our graduating Primary 7 class was permitted to return last month as this is such a pivotal time for their education and we were very happy to see them.  According to the Ugandan government's projections, we plan to re-open all classes fully after the new year.

In the meantime, our food distribution program is still helping our families survive this extremely difficult time when many parents have lost their already meagher incomes.  Our teachers and social workers have also continued to visit all of the children at their homes on a weekly basis, ensuring that they know that they have our full support and making sure they are doing alright.  In lieu of in-person classes, home workbooks are being distributed on a weekly basis.  They are collected and marked the following week by our devoted teachers.  

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  With the holidays approaching, we're hoping that if any of you are considering a donation this season, please help us raise even more by timing your donation with Giving Tuesday (December 1st) when GlobalGiving will be giving out 1 million USD in matching funds.  Our hope is that we'll be able to raise enough money on December 1st to jump start our plans to build out a computer lab for our children in 2021.  

We will be sending more details about this incredible opportunity as the date approaches so please stay tuned! 

As always, thank you for your continued support!

We hope to see you on Giving Tuesday.

Keeping everyone safe on site!
Keeping everyone safe on site!

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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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Organization Information

Uganda Hands for Hope

Location: Kampala - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @handsforhopeug
Project Leader:
Joseph Cummiskey
Kampala, Uganda
$71,872 raised of $90,000 goal
 
569 donations
$18,128 to go
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