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UPDATE ON COVID-19 IN  UGANDA

UPDATE ON COVID-19 IN UGANDA

Ojera Family

After spending almost three weeks in Bombo General Military Hospital, we are thrilled to report that Alex and Millie have finally been discharged! Alex notes: "I am glad we stayed some extra days at the hospital; the quiet environment was probably much needed for my continued recuperation and further healing." We heard from Pastor Jim at Peninsula Community Church who spoke with Alex yesterday. He reports: "The Ojeras went by church today to greet folks and Alex saw his doctors. They adjusted his meds and reminded him of the continuing physiotherapy routine. They said he was out of the danger zone, but it is a miracle that he is still alive." Deep-felt thanks from all of us at Align and Bombo Pentecostal Church (BPC) staff for your prayers.

Bombo Community

When Alex was admitted at the hospital for COVID, BPC staff took the necessary steps and tested all immediate contacts to the Ojera family. Praise the Lord all the tests returned negative! And as of yesterday, no cases have surfaced in the Bombo Pentecostal Church community. The required precautionary measures will continue to be taken at church services including the wearing of masks and temperature monitoring for every congregant, as well as frequent disinfecting of all surfaces. In the larger community, BPC Staff Rose Akiror reports: "We have heard that COVID is not in Bombo as much as in neighboring communities. However there is a lot of stigma with COVID patients and their families because of the fear of isolation." Hence, numbers may not be as accurate as hoped. The most recent data we have received indicates there have been 38,000+ positive COVID-19 cases and just over 300 deaths throughout the country of Uganda.

LIFE HOME CONSTRUCTION

We are pleased to report that construction on the Warden's house in the Life Home Village has been completed. A small water tank still needs to be installed before the Life Home Warden, Diana Sekibaala, can move in full-time. Thanks to all of you who have contributed financially, prayerfully and otherwise. Our next task is to make a decision regarding the best way to fulfill Ugandan Government  healthcare requirements for our Life Home children. We are looking at building a Nurse's Station or purchasing a vehicle which would provide 24/7 transportation to health care facilities. We ask for your prayers that God would direct Align and BPC to be wise stewards in our decisions as we consider all options.



The recently constructed Life Home Warden residence

LIFE HOME CHILD SPONSORSHIP

Several of our children have recently had to move out of our Life Homes because they are over the age of eighteen, a stipulation imposed by the  Ugandan Government. We have identified thirteen new children to move into our Life Homes, and they are scheduled to arrive next month. We have nine boys and four girls - eight of these children are five years old or younger. We need to find each of them both Life with Hope and Ewange sponsors at $35/each. This means we need twenty-six sponsorships to fully fund all new children moving into Life Homes. We will be highlighting these children in a series of weekly March Newsletters. There are many ways you can help! You can sponsor a child/children - click here to see all the children up for sponsorship. You can also make a general donation to all the children who need sponsorship in the Life Homes. And for you over-achiever types, you can see if your church would be interested in running a sponsorship campaign to help get all children sponsored. For more details, please contact Barbara Jackson at barbara@aligninternational.net. WEEBALE!



Abandoned by both parents, 3-year-old Patience is hoping for sponsorship so she can move into a Life Home




3-year-old John's father died before he was born, and he is hoping for sponsorship so he can go into a Life Home

SHOE-MAKING PROJECT

The children in our Life Homes were recently taught how to make sandals so they had a trade which they could potentially use once they leave our Life Homes. Client Coordinator Millie Akello reports: "The awesome part about it is that their teacher is our very own Gorrety (an Align scholarship recipient currently in pre-university). She makes and sells them herself, and felt it would be good to teach our Life with Hope-sponsored children. Her proposal sounded good, so we hired her to teach our Life  Home children. Our aim is not a money-making venture; rather, we are simply trying to put a skill in the kids' hands. Some income trickling in will be an added advantage if we're able to sell some here and there. Who knows? Maybe one day an aged-out kid that is more vocationally-wired will run with it and make something bigger out of it."

This shoe-making project meets one of the requirements of the Ugandan Government which mandates the Life Home children be taught skills to help them live life once they are discharged from our care. In addition, the soles of the shoes come from old tires so the skill is also environmentally friendly. Kudos to the Life with Hope staff for their clever and eco-friendly ideas!



Life Home children learning how to make sandals

 

Almost completed sandals - the soles are made from old car tires!

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN UGANDA

Ugandan Elections

The Ugandan presidential elections were held on January 14, 2021, and sitting President, 76-year-old Youweri Museveni, has declared himself the victor for his sixth term. Museveni has been in power for over 30 years, and he has faced accusations of corruption over his tenure. His political opponents, in particular Museveni's greatest challenger and former Reggae singing star Bobi Wine, believe the elections were fraught with fraud. Wine states that he will present evidence of his accusations once internet service is restored to Uganda. Click here for a Reuters' article with more detail. So far no significant violence has arisen because of the elections. Rose Akiror reports: "Yes (the potential for) violence is there, but we know that God is in charge. The church is praying and fasting this week for the nation, and we trust that God will take us through this election season peaceful."

Donela Schools Reopening

Since the lockdown has been imposed in Uganda in March 2020, the Government has not given a firm date as to when all schools will reopen. However, Donela School Administration anticipates that children in all grades will be able to return to their respective locations once that date has been determined.

AMAZON SMILE

Just a reminder, if you sign up for Amazon Smile and choose Align International as your charity of choice, Amazon will donate a small percentage of your purchase total to Align. Click here to sign up and continue giving to those in need in Uganda throughout 2021 - WEEBALE!