In times, such as this, the world, and mostly conflict-affected communities, have been hit by a pandemic — coronavirus also known as COVID-19. The people displaced from their homes by the wars and conflicts included- a people that CIYOTA serves. As an organization, we made a tough but vital decision also issued by the government of Uganda to send our learners and tutors home in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus among crowds but also to keep our community safe. The learners, locked down in their homes have little and or no food, limited access to continued learning, worse still limited, and or no access to knowledge about the coronavirus, the spread, and prevention of COVID-19.
A happy child is a focused child. Our major concern is that children are surviving in these times, through our partnership with The Power of 1, we know that 28 orphans’ food needs have been met. We are expanding the food distribution to other families who cannot afford a meal in a day in the Kyangwali refugee settlement. For safety and precautionary measures, together with our partner, StreetChild Uganda, 10 of our prevention leaders have reached 2500 refugees in 500 households in the refugee settlement about preventing the spread of COVID-19. Teaching the communities how to make their own tippy tap handwashing stations using jerricans, rope, and sticks. Providing basic hygiene items like soap, masks, and others to help protect themselves from the virus.
We made an effort to ensure continued learning for the conflict-affected children, who need to attain an education like any other child. Constrained by the online learning tools and gadgets, a few of our community leaders offered their gadgets to enable students in the candidate classes to access learning through Whatsapp, in small numbers, and following guidelines as instructed by the government. The Refugee Joint-Education Program for refugee-led organizations operating in the refugee settlement, we bring together educators to enable continued learning for other children in the community. Teachers from the different schools within the settlement will, in addition to learning material distributed by the government, co-create learning materials under the Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP).
We acknowledge the tremendous support from CIYOTA friends and partners that enables us to serve the children and the community during this pandemic.