FAQ - I Live Again Uganda's COVID-19 Response
Updated: Apr 20
I Live Again Uganda is committed to continuing our services during this challenging time. We are praying for the health and safety of not only our nation but for so many other nations that have been affected by this virus.
We have been getting a few questions on our response to the COVID-19 situation in Uganda and those we serve. Take some time to read through this short post to understand how we are continuing to provide services and how your partnership is is helping us during this challenging time.
How has ILA prepared their staff members to serve safely during this time of COVID-19?
Each of our staff have attended a training on preventative measures on the spread of COVID-19 this past March. We had two medical professionals from a hospital in our region come to the ILA office and do a training on preventative measures including proper hand washing, personal protective equipment, how to use personal protective equipment and other important information on how to prevent the spread of the virus.
What kind of restrictions are happening in Uganda at this time to stop the spread of COVID-19?
Our government is working extremely hard to stop the spread of the virus. All of our borders have been closed except for cargo. Anyone that does enter our country must go into quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to ensure they are not infected and will not spread the virus to others. All schools have been closed and there are only essential services open during this time. This includes grocery stores, banks, markets and emergency services. A curfew has been set in place from 7pm to 6am each day. Only essential vehicles, cargo vehicles and those with government permission are allowed to use the roads during this time. All buses, taxis and other vehicles transporting people are not allowed unless they have written permission.
With all these restrictions in place are you able to continue providing your services to those you serve in Acholi Quarter, villages in northern Uganda and the refugee settlement?
We have definitely had to make some adjustments to our programs during this time.
For our beneficiaries in Acholi Quarter we are planning to provide them with soap and food support. We are in regular contact with leaders, church leaders and our clients in the area to counsel, pray and encourage them during this time. We are not only providing physical support during this time but we are providing phone call counseling support.
As for our the villages in northern Uganda where we provide our services we are calling all our beneficiaries, community leaders and church leaders and providing phone counseling services during this season.
We are also meeting and supporting the Gulu Task Force that has been put in place during this COVID-19 period and are distributing soap in areas specified from this team. We have been meeting with regional leaders as well to ensure we are supporting in areas most needed.
The refugee settlement has been an area where we have been able to travel to and are currently distributing soap to refugees to help with proper hand washing. The UNHCR and the Ugandan government have requested these services for the refugees in the settlement and we are thankful to be of support. Not only are we also supporting with soap we are also providing phone counseling services to this community as well. We have not forgotten the Host Community. We are distributing soap to them as well as at the refugee settlement. Both areas are in need.
How has COVID-19 affected non-profit agencies in the country?
A lot of non-profit agencies have had to adjust their programs in this season. In the refugee settlement most of the agencies have had to withdraw their services at this time due to safety concerns. We are one of the few agencies helping on the ground during this sensitive time.
How has COVID-19 affected your staff members?
Right now, we have a few of our staff and/or family members with medical needs unrelated to COVID-19. We have a few of our staff/family that are expecting this month. There are definite concerns as they are preparing for their new family members and unable to go to hospitals that they had planned due to the travel restrictions in place in the country.
Our team are still working doing phone call counseling to our beneficiaries and some of our team are in the refugee settlement doing the distribution.
We are in daily contact with each of our staff members to make sure that they are managing safely during this time. We have clearly stood in support of our staff to stay home, self distance and stay healthy.
Has COVID 19 affected your donors and financial support?
We are praying for our donors and partners around the globe. Everything that we do is because of the generous donations of others that stand with us and believe in the work we do. We have been saddened to hear that some of our donors have had to stop giving to our important work due to job loss and financial constraints during this time. We understand it completely, and have been praying for all our donors, their nations and so many during this time. Its a challenging time for everyone - we are in hope for a better tomorrow.
What does ILA need during this time of COVID-19? How can others support you and those you serve at this critical time?
We need prayer, encouragement and financial support. We need prayer to keep us focused and not working in fear. We want this virus to stop completely.
We need encouragement as we are still on the front lines during this time and we are seeing those we serve suffering. So many people in Uganda depend on a day's work. The restrictions currently in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are preventing so many of those we serve from getting any finances to simply feed their families.
We need financial support to continue to be able to go to the refugee settlement, to provide food support to families, to purchase and distribute soap items, to provide phone counseling services, fuel to get to the refugee settlement and to provide salaries to our staff members.
We depend on God and that others will generously sow into this important work we are providing to victims of war. Many of those we serve were struggling a lot before this crisis.... this crisis has triggered past trauma as many have no idea how they will make it through the day.
If there was one word or message that you think the world needs right now what would that be?
Hope is needed now more than ever. Hope is key at ILA. We see hope is a driving force behind fulfilled dreams and visions of a better tomorrow. COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Its affecting some more than others. It has been extremely devastating for those who have lost jobs, businesses and some that have no idea how they will eat a meal for the day. We need hope right now more than ever. Hope comes in many forms. It can come physically, emotionally and spiritually. Hope can come through the giving of a bag of rice to family in the slum, or through a phone call of encouragement to man that doesn't know how he will provide finances for his children for a meal or through a prayer for a Pastor trying to lead his congregation during this time. Hope - it is such a powerful weapon in times of crisis.
If someone wanted to support the work of ILA during this time how can they do that?
We would be extremely grateful during this time. You can give easily through the donate page on our website at www.ilauganda.org. Feel free to contact us through the contact on our website, Facebook, Instagram or even Twitter if there are other inquiries.
Staff member Molly is making sure she's keeping her hands clean before entering our office in Gulu, Uganda.