After a very long time of communicating with most of our children virtually, I was able to discuss with them their return to school. All schools reopened on 10 January 2022 and all students except those who had completed candidate classes started from the next class. This means that children who were in senior two (S.2) started from senior three. This is due to available classes unable to handle the number of students who had been in the same class for two years.
Unfortunately, schools opened at a time when we have the highest numbers of Covid-19 cases in the country.
For the last two weeks or so, reports have been showing rapidly increasing cases on a daily basis even though many people are not captured by these statistics as they have not been tested. I personally know about 5 families of my friends who have all been treating Covid-19. We are still lucky though that the Omicron variant is not as deadly as the previous two, people are able to heal.
I managed to visit most of our children and spend time with them in person.
Some I was unable to meet with in person though did manage to talk with them about their education via phone calls. Meeting our children physically was quite interesting as all of them have actually grown in size! Little Carlos, Reagan, Timothy, Abu and Steven have all grown so much. All of the children were excited to be back at school and already looking forward to reporting back to me about how they are going.
From the day the President announced the reopening of schools, I received calls all day and night from a boy or girl somewhere reminding me about school requirements. They are so excited to be back at school finally.
I have been receiving many messages from guardians and schools about the new term. I am working closely with schools to reorient the children back into school life as I noticed some children had become quite comfortable with life outside of school and enjoying it a little too much! This phenomenon is not limited to only these children, the whole country is facing the same challenge.
Given the two years of school closures, our students began the year as if they were new students. All had grown out of their school uniforms. New uniforms and shoes were purchased and all bedding was replaced.
On a final note, some children are currently being assisted into vocational training and employment. Our priority is always to support them through their formal education until they have at least completed senior four (S.4) to give them their greatest chance at success. I have been working hard to find Ronald an apprenticeship.
I hope you can feel proud of the impact your support has on making the world a better, safer, kinder place of love and opportunities for these children and their families.
Thank you from my heart,
FMN Uganda Project Coordinator