I don’t need to tell you that 2020 has been a difficult year. However, thanks to your support, Give Us Wings had the resources to help our partners in Uganda weather the pandemic-related challenges!
The events of 2020 forced Give Us Wings to pivot from our planned programs to developing new ones that helped our partners address their immense new challenges. In March, the government shut down public transportation and closed markets—the entire country of Uganda was locked down. People who had small businesses suddenly had no source of income and all the students returned home. Due to government restrictions on gatherings, we temporarily suspended our training programs. At the same time there was a tremendous increase in the need for medical services and public health education.
Fortunately, Give Us Wings’ trained medical and program staff had the experience, skills and compassion necessary to provide the community with vitally needed health and educational services.
One of the first steps we took was to increase the number of health care outreaches in isolated communities, teaching people how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and providing essential medical services to them. During a pandemic, the typical medical needs of the communities continue—people still contract malaria and need testing for HIV/AIDS, diabetes and other conditions, children still must be immunized and mothers continue to deliver babies.
Your donations made it possible for Give Us Wings to continue to provide high quality care at the clinic and at community outreaches, and to purchase additional PPE, hand washing stations, laboratory supplies, medicines, equipment, and fuel to transport our medical team.
We also addressed the additional public health crisis of increasing domestic violence and teen pregnancies. As the lockdown eased, our staff enlisted the help of local child protection officials and together they headed out into the community. Our team met with families, checked on their well-being and offered training and assistance to help them protect against domestic violence and teenage pregnancies. People appreciated that Give Us Wings worked with individual families allowing them to speak more candidly and address their specific concerns.
As the pandemic dragged on, children shared their concern that they were falling behind in their studies.
Give Us Wings responded by hiring local teachers to provide one-on-one tutoring for students in grades 5, 6 and 7 and by purchasing and distributing the schools’ educational packets to each student.
It is still unclear when schools will fully reopen, but when they do our sponsored students will be better equipped to successfully resume their studies.
“I had lost hope of going back to school. I thought learning had come to an end because of the COVID-19 pandemic…But this program [tutoring] has brought for me hope and I am very excited. I am always ready and waiting for the teachers.” – Nyapendi Gloria, Grade 6, October 2020
Your generous support makes it possible for Give Us Wings to stay with communities for several years. We partner with and learn from the people; together we develop programs that transform their lives by improving their access to quality health care, education and economic opportunities.
For example, programs like Family to Family have forever changed the lives of young women like Sharon. Sharon is 18 and in secondary school. Her family has been enrolled in the Family to Family program for five years. She is passionate about her studies and is a role model for other children in her community. Already she is seen as a leader in her community. One of her neighbors recently commented,
“Sharon offers to help other children do their homework, makes sure they do it correctly and reminds them that they should work hard so they can attend university.”
Many families have benefited from several Give Us Wings programs. Prisca’s family has worked with Give Us Wings for many years. They have received Give Us Wings’ business loans, they are members of the Family to Family program and they go to the Give Us Wings clinic for their health care. Prisca is 16 years old and attending secondary school through our Family to Family program. Some time ago, her father Geoffrey obtained a business loan to start his tree seedling business. Even during these difficult economic times, his business is profitable and the family is healthy. As a result of Give Us Wings health education programs, the family has put in place sanitation measures such as a hand washing station, a latrine, a plate drying rack and a washing line.
Geoffrey receives monthly treatment at the clinic for a medical condition and he reports,
“There are no serious health concerns, our family members are all in good health and we are assured treatment at the Give Us Wings clinic in case of any sickness or health challenge.”
Give Us Wings and our partners in Uganda urgently need your support in 2021.
We must continue our special pandemic programs as long as they are needed and our clinic must be able to provide outstanding health care to the community. Additionally, we will need to implement new economic development programs to help our partners rebuild their decimated businesses so they can get back on their feet.
As you consider your year-end donations, please remember how your support of Give Us Wings has improved the lives of thousands of people over the past 21 years. Help us continue our vital programs—make your donation today by mailing a donation to our office or by donating online at www.giveuswings.org.
YOUR DONATION WILL BRING HEALTH, HAPPINESS AND HOPE TO THOUSANDS IN UGANDA!
In a year when there is so much need, thank you for remembering and caring about the people in Uganda.
With warm wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season,
Therese Dosch Anderson
P.S. Please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (651) 789-5607 if you would like to schedule a virtual Meet & Greet to learn more about how your support is improving lives in Uganda.