At Fields of Dreams Uganda, we had a great start to 2020 with all the children that we serve at our partner schools happily returning back to school for first-term studies according to the Ugandan academic calendar.
In late February we received the first team of volunteers from the US, which was followed by another amazing team at the start of March. Both teams graced the commissioning of two changing rooms at our partner schools, distributed more than 1,500 hygiene kits to girls at our partner schools, and held two soccer championships. All of these activities were successfully implemented in both the Central and Northern Regions of Uganda.
As we continued to go deeper into the year, this encouraging start was suddenly overshadowed by the COVID-19 outbreak that was not taken so serious at first by many, especially in a developing country like Uganda where the majority of the families are living from hand to mouth.
Uganda reported its first coronavirus case in March 2020 and since then, the cases have been increasing to the extent of forcing a lock down to prevent further spread. Today, many Ugandans are staying home with no food, some even have no access to markets, shops, or their gardens; and many can’t even find casual work anywhere due to the suspension of both public and private transport across the country.
Currently, the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the survival of many vulnerable groups and this situation has not spared the families of our beneficiaries. Even before the pandemic, a majority of our beneficiaries' families were surviving on only one meal a day or a mere cup of porridge.
In this situation, FoDU has come to learn more that most of our beneficiaries are completely lacking something to put in their stomach and are living in fear. During a conversation between a FoDU staff member and the beneficiary, the beneficiary expressed that “We are starving to death; it will feel like Christmas the moment we get the opportunity of at least getting access to one meal in these strange days”.
This mounting crisis that seems to be having no immediate end in sight has made the children we serve -- just like any other child in a given family -- very worried of their survival, and they are living in fear with no hope for a better tomorrow.
In the efforts to build more hope and to drive away fear among the struggling families and to respond to some of the prevailing challenges, FoDU has started supplying some of its beneficiaries with the provision of food items like maize flour, rice, beans, sugar and soap. Their very survival depends on these basic staples.
We believe that our efforts will go even further with more support towards this noble cause. A heartfelt thanks go to everyone for the daily sacrifices that have made FoDU’s work relevant especially during these hard and trying days.
Stay safe and many blessings.