Coronavirus Pandemic Response
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 10,000 meals to children living on the streets of Central Kampala;
- took the temperature of every child we interacted with;
- sanitized countless hands;
- quarantined 200 boys;
- resettled 10 children back with their families;
- sponsored two entrepreneurial endeavors for resettled children;
- and 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;
- distributed 500 face masks to boys living on the streets in Jinja and Mbale towns.
Throughout the lockdown, the kids received counseling and participated in various educational activities. Shule also purchased computers and launched our Computer Program, teaching boys basic computer skills.
A New Normal
As the country reopens and adapts to our new normal, Shule is making adjustments to our regular programs to meet the guidelines implemented by the Ministry of Health of Uganda.
We will continue to provide emergency medical care and quarantine small groups of boys for an extended period of time and are resettling those who are ready to return home.
We will resume our feeding and showering programs. And, through our outreaches, we will continue to educate street-connected children on the importance of social distancing and how they can best protect themselves from contracting COVID-19.
For the boys in Shule's Sponsorship Program, we have hired individual tutors to keep up with their studies as schools remain closed. The boys' goal is to be promoted to the next grade when they return to the classroom in 2021.
How can you help? Your support will help our team continue these essential programs, provide critical safety measures throughout the pandemic and ensuring the street-connected children of Kampala have access to regular meals, personal hygiene, education — and ultimately, the opportunity to leave street life behind.