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Two years of COVID-19 restrictions on Uganda

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Against the backdrop of two years of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, we take a moment to look back on the impact this had on Ugandan communities, alongside the rapid adjustments our team made to respond to the immediate needs of kids and their families.

The first confirmed COVID case in Uganda was reported on March 21, 2020. Although a health crisis, the economic impacts were severe and Uganda endured the longest period of school closures worldwide – almost two years over the course of the pandemic.

Many of those living in the slum communities rely on informal labour. Due to lockdown restrictions,

incomes were lost, food was inaccessible and families were at risk of starvation.

Responding to food insecurity - we take a closer look

In 2020, we launched an emergency appeal to provide food parcels to vulnerable families. In the two year, food prices in Uganda have risen a staggering 400%. A meal that would have cost 20p in 2021 now costs £1.

With the support of our communities, we were able to convert our classrooms into 4 community food banks. We provided a staggering 2.7 million food parcels to over 58,000 families. This means over 290,000 people were able receive vital food packages, equating to 27 million meals. We were also invited to expand our reach into Kisenyi slum by local leaders as a result of our incredible impact and local reputation.

Food banks were a lifeline to so many families in Kampala’s slums.

“During those hard times, when all our sources of income were cut off, the food packages provided by Kids Club Kampala were a great help” - Jane* and her family received a weekly food package

“People used to come to me asking for food but my hands were all tied up. It was hard seeing people battling with hunger. I am so grateful for the generous food relief packages by Kids Club Kampala ever since the lockdown started. A lot of people have been saved from hunger.” - Tim*, Wandegeya Community Leader

We also installed 8 hand washing stations to help fight the spread of COVID-19. We also built a new toilet block in Katanga slum to help improve sanitation.

Responding to School closures

Kids in Kampala missed over 300 days of school during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Uganda had the longest period of school closures worldwide, almost two years.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic reached Kampala, we saw a rise in cases of abuse and neglect of vulnerable children. This paired with school closures and travel restrictions meant our Ewafe home quickly reached full capacity. Thanks to a generous donation and donations to our Ewafe Bed appeal, we were able to expand the Ewafe home. Read our full Ewafe expansion blog here.

We supported 311 students with homeschooling. Our fantastic volunteer teachers visited kids enrolled on the programme with school supplies, home learning and support for parents.

“I have been a teacher for 9 years. Since the schools closed I have been visiting children on the Early Education project at their homes helping them with their school work. It’s a great privilege to see them thrive through the services we give them as teachers.” - Julia*, Kids Club Kampala teacher

Despite the huge reach of our food banks, the longer term impacts of COVID-19 on education in Uganda remain to be seen. It is estimated that 15 million pupils did not attend school between 2020 - 2022. Inequalities in educational access, have now intensified both during and after school closures. This means children are being left behind in their education, increasing the risks of child labour, impacting girls in particular.

Education is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty. But in Uganda, school is not free. As a Child Sponsor, you can make a huge difference to the life of a vulnerable child by giving them the gift of education, giving them hope for a bright future.

Find our more about how you could make a difference as a Child Sponsor below;


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