What we had been fearing has happened, a country wide lockdown. We know this can be helpful in stopping the spread of COVID-19, but the restrictions that were put in place, with very little notice, are going to be hard and even dangerous for the children and families we serve.
The borders are now completely closed, no one in or out. A curfew is in place from 7pm – 5am. Public transportation has been completely shutdowns and the use of private vehicles is prohibited. The only stores that are open sell food and medicine and the shop keepers have to sleep there because they can not travel back and forth. No more than 5 people can gather, some of our families have more than 5 people in them. And anyone distributing food can be arrested and charged with murder because it might cause people to gather and spread the virus.
Our families only have whatever food they have in their homes, and what they can get from their gardens if they have one. They can walk to a shop, or ride a bicycle to get food, if those shops remain open and if they have any supplies. For the few parents and guardians that had jobs, many of them have lost them due to the shutdowns.
Our social workers are not able to transport any of our children to medical facilities without an authorization letter from local officials. They are feeling helpless to serve our kids, and we are feeling helpless because there is nothing we can do.
We are in constant contact with our team, seeking ways that we can support and help. Please pray for our families, our children, and our team. These are hard days for them all, but Ugandans have an amazing perseverance, will find always find hope and have amazing faith.