After a sharp rise of COVID-19 cases across the country, the Ugandan government announced a second national lockdown last month (June 2021). With a re-closure of the country, including schools, centres, and markets, the communities that we work in are continuing to face incredibly difficult circumstances. There are travel restrictions within Kampala and between Districts, which has led to a plight for our participants and their families – many of whom are low-income earners who usually work as small-scale traders on the streets.
In response, Brass for Africa has been distributing COVID relief packages to the participants of our programmes and their families in Kampala. The delivered food items include posho, flour, oil, rice, beans, eggs, soya porridge and sugar; staple items to keep them going with regular meals. In the packages are also face masks and soap to support them in staying protected from the virus during this time, along with sanitary towels for the female participants. A tablet and speaker were also delivered to one of our partner outreaches, Good Shepherd Home, so that they can commence with e-learning soon.
In Kalangala, where we run two programmes in Mwena and Lutoboka landing sites, we are providing the same support and relief packages have also been distributed. The District Health Office (DHO), the Residential District Commissioner (RDC) and the Kalangala COVID-19 force have been assisting Brass for Africa in the distribution.
As the District is an island in Lake Victoria, it is more difficult for them to receive supplies from the mainland whilst everything is closed. Additionally, the District suffers from the highest HIV rate in Uganda, official figures report 18% infection rate (Uganda Aids Commission), although our own research puts this figure far higher.). This is an issue because if you are living HIV positive, getting enough food is crucial for the ART medication uptake. During a time with no income and food is scarce, it is essential that these communities receive our support.
The Residential District Commissioner sighted:
“Brass for Africa as the first NGO to donate to the District task force and Kalangala community. He thanked Brass for Africa for the genuine support at the most critical time of COVID-19 when the district is having a difficult time feeding the people. He also thanked the whole management staff and the team of Brass for Africa teaching life skills to the vulnerable children in their communities as a means of survival instead of stealing, fighting, taking drugs and prostitution.”
Joyce, the Community Representative for Mwena, shared:
“On behalf of my community, I would like to send my sincere appreciation from my community members for the wonderful relief refund that was given to us as the islanders. We are indeed so delighted for the loving and caring heart you showed to us; most especially the young positives that were suffering with a low diet in this pandemic. We, therefore, have no more to say but just a word of prayer from our inner hearts. You made our lives become better and healthier by providing us with a diet that enables and encourages us to take the medicine in time so that we boost our body cells and stay healthy.”
Thank you for your ongoing support which has provided over 200 people with this crucial aid during this incredibly difficult time.