We hope you are well and surviving this situation we currently find ourselves in!
As you will appreciate, life in Uganda has not been easy for the past 17 months. The schools have been opening and closing, some children have been at school for some of the time, while others have been there on and off and some haven’t been at all since the initial lockdown. During that time, the trustees were mindful that without the teachers being paid, there is no other support for them and almost all are supporting extended families who are orphans. Potentially if they had to leave to find other work, the school would be short of teachers when it did open. There is also the school building which still needs to be maintained, children and families still needing to be fed and there was some emergency work that needed to be carried out to the playground. The fee paying families at the school have had no source of income so there has been zero funds coming into the school. The situation became quite serious and unfortunately is beginning to get much worse.
The trustees considered very carefully our christian responsibility to the school and all the families and felt it should not just be helping those who are sponsored but all of the school families who were suffering, so we used the monthly contributions to fund the teachers salary, send a lot of food parcels to families and children (sponsor children included, distributed by the deputy head and a team) and funded the emergency repairs and some other repairs to the school. The situation has now become very precarious again. Schools and educational facilities have been closed for a further 42 days, together with a large number of other restrictions including transport. Food is in very short supply again and families are beginning to run out. There are no food banks to support them.
Uganda has all but run out of Vaccine and Oxygen. Anyone who has already visited Uganda will know how woeful their hospital conditions are in the main and they never had much to start with. They have little facility to admit anyone to Intensive Care and have nothing to give them even if they do. The teachers in the school have had one dose of the vaccine. Cases have risen by 2800% and are getting out of control. Where the spread was not as rampant before due to distances between towns, the new Delta variant and the South African variants are spreading like wildfire. Just this week, Rukungiri lost their Bishop to Covid. Some of the trustees had the privilege of meeting him on several occasions. The people of Rukungiri will feel his loss. The churches are close knit communities.
We are intending to continue to support the school in the same way using the money we receive from you for your sponsored child for at least for the next 42 days and maybe beyond depending on their situation and will keep it under review. We are very aware that we, as a charity, have been trusted as stewards of your money and must distribute it in ways that meet the requirements of the charity commission and most of all, to the benefit of the children and their families. We are so grateful for your continued support but if you have any objections to what we have already done or intend to do in the interim, please let us know. We are happy to discuss the situation should anyone want to.
Life is hard enough for them without Covid. They have been praying for us while we have been going through the mill. Can we ask that you continue to pray for them too?
The Trustees – Rukungiri Orphan Partnership