Coronavirus Pandemic Response
UPDATE: June 18, 2021, Uganda entered into its second countrywide lockdown, putting the boys living on the streets at great risk. Shule continues to provide access to food, medical care, masks, hand sanitizer, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities. Our quarantine center remains a safe place for boys living on the streets who want to give up street life and wait out the lockdown. When the restrictions are lifted Shule will resettle boys who want to go home.
On March 21, 2020, Uganda registered its first coronavirus case.
As the coronavirus outbreak hit Uganda, the Shule Foundation immediately purchased 20 liters of 70% alcohol, spray bottles, hand soap, water tanks and a thermometer. Enlisting doctors' help, we hit the streets to educate street-connected children about COVID-19, social distancing, and other ways to protect themselves from contracting the virus – including how to properly wash their hands following World Health Organization guidelines for hand hygiene. Shule set up hand-washing stations in areas where homeless children live and continued to conduct COVID-19 outreaches day and night, through March 31.
As the government began implementing directives (social distancing, closing of shops, etc.) to combat the spread of the virus, the lives of Kampala’s street-connected children became even harder.
Since March 21, 2020, Shule Foundation:
- distributed more than 30,000 meals to children living on the streets of Central Kampala;
- sanitized countless hands;
- resettled 100 children back with their families;
- took the temperature of every child we interacted with;
- sponsored five entrepreneurial endeavors for resettled children;
- quarantined 75 boys at our center and 250 at a government-sponsored location;
- distributed 3000 face masks to boys living on the streets in Kampala, Jinja and Mbale districts.
- engaged 13 children in quarantine in tree planting on Shule’s farm, resulting in more than 1,500 Eucalyptus seedlings being put in the ground.
Throughout the pandemic, the kids receive counseling and participate in various educational activities. Shule purchased computers and launched our Computer Program, teaching boys basic computer skills.
Our New Normal
Shule has made adjustments to our regular programs to meet the guidelines implemented by the Ministry of Health of Uganda.
We continue to provide emergency medical care and educate street-connected children on the importance of social distancing and how they can best protect themselves from contracting COVID-19.
Our Skills Training Center now operates as a quarantine center. We house a small group of boys over an extended period of time. The kids participate in music, dance and acting lessons. Play football and chess. Attend computer, English and math classes. Make sandals and liquid soap. Receive counseling in preparation for going home and back to school.
The boys in Shule's Sponsorship Program, are tutored from home until schools reopen.
How can you help? Your support will help our team continue these essential programs, provide assistance to street-connected boys throughout the pandemic and ensure they have access to regular meals, personal hygiene, education — and ultimately, the opportunity to leave street life behind.