Uganda just extended the national lockdown for two more weeks. So, what is different for Sole Hope right now? Everything and nothing.
Our world looks totally different and we are complying with all local guidelines on health and safety in regards to virus safety. That means the Hope Center is not bringing in patients from around the country, school and community clinics are impossible since gatherings are limited to less than 5 people, and our shoemaking and tailoring have been operating with less than five staff people.
But Sole Hope’s mission, our hearts, and our drive to make an impact on the lives of vulnerable people in our communities are alive and well! These new and challenging circumstances have brought new opportunities to serve people around us in ways that are critically important at the present moment.
The government’s quick and firm reaction has made Uganda a world leader in COVID response. In a nation of 45 million, not a single person has lost their lives to COVID-19 and there have been less than 100 confirmed cases of the virus to date!
This national success has come at a very high price for our neighbors and friends. For more than 5 weeks now, the nation has been on a very strict lockdown with all public and private transportation closed, and only a very few essential businesses being open. Many people in our communities rely on their daily income to feed their families and with the regulations in place earning an income is impossible. Unemployment services and food banks are not available in our communities. Additionally, getting medical care is difficult when driving is illegal. Many people are struggling trying to figure out how to feed and care for their families during this crisis. Some don’t know where to turn for help when things go wrong.
How is Sole Hope responding?
Sole Hope is stepping in to make a difference in the community in the following ways:
We have registered our vehicles with the local government and are allowed to drive people to the doctor. Emma, Sole Hope’s driver has transported people who needed to get to the doctor for everything from new babies to bacterial infections.
Sole Hope has partnered with local leaders and the Red Cross to do food distributions to the most vulnerable families in our community. We’ve delivered food packages to more than 200 families in desperate need.
The medical team from the Hope Center is on the front lines of healthcare in Uganda. They are working at local hospitals to ensure that the people who need care the most have access to it. Due to the lockdown and the national focus on coronavirus, it’s harder than ever for people to get treatment for illnesses before they become critical. Our team is working to make sure people are treated expertly and with the care they deserve.
Okello, our head tailor is sewing masks to keep people safe when they go out to do essential activities.
Sole Hope has also donated personal protective equipment to frontline health workers who did not have access to masks or gloves.
When the country opens back up we will be ready to fight jiggers harder than ever. Meanwhile, we are doing everything in our power to make sure people are healthy, safe, and have food on the table. We will continue to use our hearts, resources, and creativity to love our neighbors well.
Today, all across the world people are participating in something called Giving Tuesday Now. It’s a chance to partner with organizations that are bringing hope and relief to people during this time. We’d be honored if you would choose to support Sole Hope today.