Help for our groups during coronavirus

We were delighted to receive a small grant from the Welsh Government via WCVA in early July to provide training about coronavirus and emergency food and soap to families in our Self Help Groups – and our partners in Mbale have already been busy in the community!

Uganda has been subjected for several months to a severe lockdown across the whole country to try and stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While this has helped to keep infection rates low, it has also meant many families losing their ability to raise money to buy food and essentials. When our partners asked for extra help, we were able to send enough from our Livelihoods fund to provide flour, sugar and soap to 200 families who were struggling. But we knew we needed to do much more – and this grant is allowing us to do just that.

The grant is being used to provide

  1. Basic training in the awareness of the threat from the virus and ways to help prevent its spread – especially handwashing. The team are visiting individual households due to restrictions on gatherings of people. Each family is provided with a bar of soap, something that is often not present in village households. 
  2. Extra support packages of basic food and soap for families identified during the training as being in special need. Extra food with a higher nutritional value will be provided to families with children who are suspected to be suffering from malnutrition.
  3. A cash injection to the savings funds of Self Help Groups we work with.  Most of the existing savings have been used up to provide food during the crisis and this cash will help people re-start their businesses or set up new ones as they come out of the lockdown period, helping them to pay for essentials such as medicines or school fees. 

The target is to provide:

  • 1200 families with the training
  • 300 families with the additional support packages
  • 40 Self Help Groups (involving approximately 800 – 1,200 people) with a cash injection of 200,000 UGX (about £45) per group to kick start their savings operations after the lockdown.

Our Ugandan partners have worked with these Groups for a number of years and have strong relationships with them. They are very well placed to spot needs in the communities, but in tough times they don’t have the financial resources to provide extra help themselves. 

Therefore they are so grateful that this funding will enable them to meet some of the immediate urgent needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis and then help people rebuild their lives as they come out of the crisis.

Update: Read about the first few weeks of the project – updates from Zebbie in Mbale.

Could you help support our Livelihoods projects in Mbale?