Last Updated: 03/23/2021

On March 3, Uganda reported 25,053 active cases of COVID-19. As of that date, over 40,000 people had been infected with the virus, over 15,000 had recovered and 334 had died. The country planned to start a vaccination campaign on March 10 after receiving an initial batch of 864,000 vaccine doses from the World Health Organization. A nationwide curfew is enforced from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Citizens are expected to wear face masks while in public and observe a safe, social distance at all times. Compassion development centers in Uganda are operating at a variety of capacities depending on the region. Many centers have been able to welcome children and youth back to classes and activities in small groups. Others remain closed while staff members make home visits and phone calls to check on families and provide assistance. Staff members have been able to distribute almost 112,000 food packs and over 393,000 hygiene kits to Compassion-assisted families, and they have provided medical support to nearly 85,000 individuals. 

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Uganda?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Uganda, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Depending on the region, many centers in Uganda have restarted programming, welcoming small groups of children and youth for classes and activities. Staff members also continue to make phone calls and conduct home visits. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 112,000 food packs and 393,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

Letters are currently being delivered in Uganda, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Uganda. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

Six-year-old Jackson has nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder. Up until May, his family had been able to keep his condition under control. However, amid the COVID-19 restrictions, Jackson’s condition worsened. He was taken to a hospital in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, where doctors said his kidney would need to be removed.

“I knew that the money was going to be too much,” says Jackson’s father, Michael, who earns a living by driving a motorcycle taxi. “I imagined that I was finished. I cried! My heart was broken.”

Out of work since March because of the pandemic, Michael had no way to pay for his son's medical care. Despairing, he went to the local Compassion partner church where Jackson is registered in Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program and shared his dilemma with the staff.

Two days later, Martin, the director of the child development center, visited Michael and told him they would take care of all Jackson’s bills.

Now, since his successful surgery, Jackson is much better, says Michael. “His cheeks are still a bit swollen but the doctor said he can now start eating things he was not been eating before, like a little salt and meat, and he can now play with his friends. Without the help of Compassion, I think Jackson would have died. I could not have afforded to pay for the medical bills."

How can I pray for Uganda?

Pray that God will open safe job opportunities for caregivers and parents to provide for their families.

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