COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Uganda

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Uganda

Last Updated: 04/12/2021

On average, Uganda is reporting 25 new cases of COVID-19 per day in April, which is a steep decrease from its peak of nearly 1,200 in December. As of April 5, Uganda had administered enough doses to fully vaccinate 0.1% of its 40.9 million people. A nationwide curfew is enforced from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Citizens are expected to wear face masks while in public and observe a safe, social distance at all times. Schools began reopening in March on staggered shifts and have been asked by the Ugandan president to follow safety guidelines.

Compassion development centers in Uganda are operating at a variety of capacities depending on the region. Many centers have been able to welcome children and youth back to classes and activities in small groups. Others remain closed while staff members make home visits and phone calls to check on families and provide assistance. Staff members have been able to distribute over 114,000 food packs and almost 435,000 hygiene kits to Compassion-assisted families, and they have provided medical support to almost 97,000 individuals.

COVID response in Uganda

A Message From National Staff

How Is Compassion Currently Operating in Uganda?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Uganda, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Depending on the region, many centers in Uganda have restarted programming, welcoming small groups of children and youth for classes and activities. Staff members also continue to make phone calls and conduct home visits. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 114,000 food packs and almost 435,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in Uganda

child reading IconStory From the Field

Chris was just 2 years old when his mother abandoned him. She gave no reason for leaving and little information about where she was going – or if she would come back. His grandmother, Bettinah, was shocked at his appearance.

“His skin was pale, and it looked like he was anemic. When Chris would sleep, he could not get up by himself because he had no energy,” she says. She took him to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a hernia. Doctors recommended a series of urgent surgeries, which would cost 4,000,000 shillings (US $1,081). She tried her best, but Bettinah could only raise 200,000 shillings (US $54), a fraction of the cost. She could find little work during the pandemic, and hospitals were already overrun with COVID-19 cases.

As she called relatives asking for help, she discovered Chris was part of the Compassion Child Sponsorship Program. Edith, the director of the center Chris had attended, had no idea where he was, and she was relieved that his grandmother contacted her. Edith and the staff at the center were able to use Compassion funds to cover the cost of the three surgeries that Chris required.

Bettinah says she still remembers the day Edith called her to tell her the good news. “I was in the market. I felt like a big load had left me,” she says. “I called Edith three times confirming what she had said. I thought I was dreaming but it was all true.”

Shortly after, Chris was admitted to the hospital, where he underwent a successful surgery that took eight hours. Afterwards, Edith gave Bettinah food parcels because her husband’s source of income had also been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, and Chris needed to stay fed and strong to recover.

Today, Chris looks like a different child, running and playing with his friends. His mother hasn’t returned, but Bettinah has fallen in love with him, and with the help of Compassion, she is committing to raising her grandson.

How can I pray for Uganda?

Pray for students and staff at schools as they begin returning to in-person learning; pray that God would keep them safe from COVID-19 and that going back into the classroom is a positive experience for all. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Uganda
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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