As we in Ireland practice 'social distancing' and get used to home working, Uganda too has imposed stringent measures to try and limit the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Public transport has suspended, transporting people by motorbike has been banned, schools and churches closed, all public gatherings stopped and daily curfew imposed from 7pm - 7am. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has even released a video of himself working out in his office, to encourage citizens to exercise at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
But in the capital city and bigger towns, people are often living in congested housing; they are poor and looking for money to feed their families on a daily basis. While the wealthy middle classes rushed to stockpile food and medical supplies (as many did in Ireland), those on low incomes are forced to continue flogging their wares, or gather at boreholes to collect water.
Though Covid-19 has been slow to reach Uganda and other African nations, the World Health Organisation is urging the continent to prepare for the worst.
In the midst of all of this, our partners are seeking to bring hope and reassurance not only to us in Ireland but to their own Church family. Unlike us, very few have smartphones or internet access in their homes, so they have had to find new ways to get their message out, such as using local TV and radio.
It’s amazing that God in the midst of this very serious pandemic is giving a platform to the Church to broadcast not only to their dioceses, but to the entire nation!
Earlier this week, we received the following video greeting from Bishop Eridard Nsubuga of Luweero Diocese:
Please continue to pray for our partners in Uganda and for all of CMSI's Global Partners at this time. We'd also encourage you to support our Covid-19 Response Appeal:
This update is part of our special 'Voices Of Hope' series - as we seek to provide stories of light during this time of uncertainty and upheaval.