Gulu Mission Initiative (GMI) has been working in Northern Uganda for more than 10 years; rebuilding schools and communities that had been devastated by the 24 year civil war.
With the immediate lockdown of schools, public, social, religious and economic gatherings, the children and staff at Bethel schools had to very quickly go back to their homes.
There is no Government financial help, no food banks to access, and no school meals, families now find themselves desperately struggling to survive. Many have gone home to elderly guardians who are unable to feed themselves, let alone feed children too.
Teachers and staff have also had to go home without any salaries, due to not enough parents paying the small fees at the beginning of term (February). This has had such an impact on all our work. It’s heartbreaking.
WHO ARE GMI AND WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED OVER THE LAST DECADE:
We have helped over 900 children. Their home, Paminano, is a rural community with no nearby town. It has no health clinics, no shops for basic needs, it meant that hundreds of children couldn’t attend school due to fees being too costly. GMI have given these disadvantaged children the best opportunity in life, to go to school, to learn, to receive an education, to eat three meals a day, to help them turn their lives and their families lives around for a better future. Going from no hope to an everlasting hope.
The team at GMI, both here and in Uganda is determined to help. We are already working alongside trusted local Government officials in Gulu to distribute food to the worst affected and we need your help to do more.
Any money you can spare will make a big difference. If we have £50 we can buy very basics (posho, beans, salt, cooking oil, washing soap) which will last about 3 weeks in a family of 6 people. For one week £20 can help an elderly person who needs support by others to cook, wash and care for themselves, so in return shares what they have.
Needless to say, our teachers have been at the heart of everything we have done together over the last 10 years. We want to help them get through this, but we also want to be able to be ready to start everything up again as soon as we are allowed to do so. It only takes £50 to pay the salary for a support staff for a whole month. If we have £150 we can pay a teacher and £180 a head teacher.
Thanks for reading this far. If you'd like to know more please watch this video from one of our school directors (just click on Phoebe's picture), read the testimonies included below from just two of the people we want to help, or scroll down to read the facebook post from Martin Mapenduzi, Gulu District Local Government Chairperson and friend to GMI.
Janet: ‘I am in Senior 5. We have just had a long holiday from before December, so I was looking forward to the new term starting in February. I was excited to join higher level of my education. My guardian made such an effort to ensure I go to this next level. This excitement however has been cut short with the outbreak of COVID-19. We were sent away from school so suddenly. Unlike other school holidays where teachers give students some work to do during holidays, this was now not possible. We are stuck at home, and after spending so much on our fees and other requirements, my guardian was only expecting us home in May, so she is struggling to feed us. This is made worse by the fact that she can’t move about to do casual work and earn any money because of lockdown’
Joyce, Mother of 4: ‘Life is so difficult at the moment. I can’t move about my business of selling green vegetables because body boda riders are prohibited to carry passengers. I am at home with my children who need food. I am praying so hard for this Covid-19 to end so that my children can go back to school and I can resume my work’.