Latest update

On February 4th 2021, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Uganda was 39,685, active cases were 433 and related deaths numbered 327. Uganda's state minister for health said in December 2020 that the second wave of COVID-19 was straining the health care system. Medical professionals expressed concern about the possibility of a malaria outbreak alongside the pandemic. A nationwide curfew is enforced from 9pm to 6am. The World Food Program predicts that the 1.2 million refugees in Uganda will be at risk of malnourishment in 2021.

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COVID-19 in Uganda

How is Compassion currently operating in Uganda?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Compassion child development centres in Uganda are currently operating at a variety of capacities depending on the region.

    Many centers have been able to welcome children and youth back to classes and activities in small groups. Others remain closed while staff members make home visits and phone calls to check on families and provide assistance. Staff members have been able to distribute over 108,000 food packs and 354,000 hygiene kits to Compassion-assisted families, and they have provided medical support to 72,000 individuals.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters are currently being delivered in Uganda, although delivery to and from your sponsored child may take a bit longer than normal. We encourage you to continue writing to your child, as all children need words of hope and encouragement now more than ever before.

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Uganda. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to caregivers, where appropriate. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Uganda who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • God would heal Ibrahim and Enock from their sickle cell anemia and restore them to full health.
  • God’s wisdom for the doctors treating Abbo’s rheumatoid arthritis and pneumonia.
  • God’s peace and comfort over Phillip’s caregiver, who is undergoing an operation to remove a cancerous tumour.
  • God’s joy and peace to fill Margaret’s heart and mind.
  • God’s wisdom and guidance for the doctors seeking to diagnose Dennis’ illness and Lodrick’s eye infection.
  • God’s blessing over the hearts and minds of the children as they prepare for final exams.
  • God’s provision for two churches that require resources and supplies to complete necessary repairs to their buildings.
  • Pray for encouragement for Nyakato and Alpha as they seek to provide and care for their children with disabilities.
  • Pray that God would heal Jacob, Jenifer, and Sylivia from epilepsy.
  • Pray that God would bring economic and political stability to the Ugandan people.
  • God’s continued hand of protection would be on the local church partner staff as they continue to serve and support the children, families and caregivers in their community.
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, many child development centres in Uganda are still temporarily closed. Our local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

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

21%

of people live below the poverty line

375

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

82%

of people lack access to improved 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

19 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

28 Apr, 2020

7 Curious Questions to Ask Your Sponsored Child

Try asking one of these curious questions in your next letter to spark a meaningful conversation with your sponsored child... Read more

28 Mar, 2018

An Astonishing Meeting that was 21 Years in the Making

When Jonathan and Rebecca started sponsoring Ronald, they had no idea that, more than 20 years later, they would become the guests of honour at his wedding in Uganda... Read more