At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools around the world closed to contain the spread of the virus. While most children in Western nations attended virtual classes or returned to in-person learning within a few months, 15 million Ugandan children remain out of school to this day. The Ugandan government is broadcasting lessons over the radio and television. However, high rates of illiteracy and extreme poverty have made these materials inaccessible in many rural communities, including the communities where some of our most vulnerable children live.
Concerned that our sponsored children would fall significantly behind in their studies and risk dropping out altogether, Covenant Mercies launched five community learning centers to provide our students with continued educational support. These centers are located right within the communities that are home to the majority of our sponsored children in Western Uganda.
Since last November, 380 children have been recipients of in-person instruction several times each week in socially distanced small groups. With the help of Hope Community Primary School teachers and volunteers, our staff teach the children using study materials provided by the Ugandan government and other local sources. The students have kept up with their testing and have received grades for all their school and at-home assignments. Our staff members have also been able to also use this frequent face-to-face time with the children and their guardians to minister, counsel, and pray together with them.
“We are thankful to Covenant Mercies for creating a program to teach our children during the lockdown,” said Monica Baryasiima, a guardian to one of our sponsored children. “We cannot afford to photocopy the children’s work given by the government. I appreciate and really thank the donors for providing funds for the education of our children. May God reward them abundantly.”