Latest update

While Uganda's strict curfews and restrictions have begun to ease, local hospitals have been overwhelmed by patients requiring critical care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people have slipped back into poverty as a result of the crisis.

Local church partners in Uganda have operated at a variety of capacities during this time, based on the government guidelines in their area. Most child development centres have been meeting in smaller groups or virtually to prevent the spread of the virus. Staff also conduct home visits to assess the wellbeing of children and their familes. Since the beginning of the pandemic, local workers have delivered over 326,000 food packs and 893,000 hygiene kits.

Watch the latest video update below from our global neighbours in Uganda to learn more.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Uganda?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Some Compassion child development centres in Uganda are conducting home visits or meeting in small groups to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All registered children continue to receive love, care and support through our local church partners.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters are currently being delivered normally in Uganda, though the impacts of COVID-19 may mean it takes longer to receive a reply. We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters. Your words of encouragement and hope have an incredible impact!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed normally in Uganda. Local workers will meet with the child and their family and help them use the funds to purchase something that meets their greatest need.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for the children, families and local church partners we serve in Uganda!

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray that God would provide a safe home for Douglas and his family.
  • Pray for comfort and provision for Felix as he grieves his grandmother and guardian’s passing.
  • Pray that God would comfort Bruno and his family as they grieve his father’s passing.
  • Pray for healing and a quick recovery for Shania and Fortunate.
  • Pray for God’s protection over those who are vulnerable to child marriages.
  • Pray that God would bring clarity, comfort and healing to Mercy’s father.
  • Pray for peace and comfort for a child and their family as they prepare for the child’s upcoming operation.
  • Pray that God would encourage the local youth to continue their studies and seek to become all that God has called them to be.
  • Pray that God would provide economic stability and provision for those families impacted by inflation and rapidly rising food costs.
Food relief for families in Uganda

Food relief for families in Uganda

The lockdown restrictions in Uganda to prevent the spread of COVID-19 saw Obbo lose his job as a cook in a school. “I tried to look for work. However, the rich who can hire fear COVID-19 and wouldn’t hire me,” says Obbo. “The rich are fearful of COVID-19; the poor fear hunger.”   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, some child development centres in Uganda are still meeting in smaller groups or conducting home visits.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Uganda

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 11 visit the Compassion centre for eight hours on Saturdays.
  • Students aged 12 and older attend the centre for eight hours on Saturdays. They visit three to five days a week during school breaks.
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Compassion Program Activities in Uganda

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Compassion assisted children in Uganda typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Uganda.

9:00am - A time of prayer and devotion.

9:30am - Spiritual lessons, in which children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships. They are usually provided with a nutritional snack, such as tea, porridge and a bun.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch time where the meal often consists of maize, rice or plantains with beans, peas or beef.

1:00pm - Health lessons, in which children learn practical health and hygiene tips. Example topics include how to prevent malaria and HIV transmission.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Students can elect vocational training skills, such as carpentry, tailoring, and mat making. Parents are also offered monthly classes on adult literacy and quarterly training on topics such as hygiene, parenting and income generation activities.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Uganda

41%

of people live below the poverty line

375

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

80%

of people lack access to basic sanitation

Uganda has been free from colonial occupation for more than 50 years. That time has not been easy, yet the nation is slowly climbing out of the mire of political feuds, protracted conflict, and longstanding problems of corruption. It is now known as one of the strongest African economies and a place where poverty is on the retreat. However, the impacts of COVID-19 pose a significant threat to Uganda's economic growth and its recent gains in health development.

Many locals continue to deal with the aftermath of the brutal two-decade long civil war which terrorised the country’s north. The war, between rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, and government forces, remains Africa’s longest-running armed conflict. During their 26-year reign of terror, the LRA abducted more than 30,000 children, forcing them to become soldiers, weapon carriers, and sex slaves.

Since the LRA was pushed out of Uganda—and into neighbouring countries—in 2006, the majority of the 1.8 million people displaced by their violence have returned home or resettled. However, a generation of young people is scarred by the war. The process of rehabilitating displaced or traumatised children, women and men and reintegrating them back into society is made even more difficult by a lack of resources.

The refugee population in Uganda currently stands at approximately 1.2 million, a figure that has nearly tripled since 2016. This massive influx has made Uganda the largest refugee host in Africa and placed significant strain on social services, amenities and access to employment.

Despite the nation’s progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the last two decades, HIV continues to disproportionately affect adolescents, especially girls. Access to medical treatment is improving but is still a struggle for many, especially in rural areas.

Presidential elections were held in January 2021 and were preceded by political violence and unrest. President Yoweri Museveni was re-elected and has now led the nation for more than 30 years, having first come to power in 1986 when he led the National Resistance Army in a guerrilla war against then-President Milton Obote.

Meanwhile, local churches are hard at work, reaching out to the poorest children and their families and sharing a hope more powerful than poverty.

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Stories from Compassion around the world

20 Jul, 2016

Watch the Beautiful Moment Dami Im Met Jovia in Uganda

After taking the world stage at Eurovision, it was assumed that runner-up and crowd favourite Dami Im would stay in Europe to capitalise on her success. Instead, mere weeks later, Dami jumped on a plane to Uganda to meet her sponsored child, Jovia. Watch their beautiful meeting... Read more

04 Feb, 2015

Surprise Triplets: The Most Incredible Birth Story

It’s not every day that you hear a birth story including a motorbike! Meet Samuel, Grace and Patience. These adorable triplets from Uganda have quite the story behind their birth... Read more

14 Mar, 2018

Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

It can be disappointing if your sponsored child hasn’t responded to your questions or even mentioned the letter you sent them. Here’s why this could be happening, plus handy tips to prevent it. .. Read more