Helen Keller once said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming it.” In the face of unspeakable circumstances, the women and children in our care chose to keep fighting, because no matter how hard it was, they saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Now, in the face of a global pandemic, they must fight again. The difference? Now they have the Willow community’s support as we traverse the unknown together.
For you, our dedicated supporters, please see below for an update on the current state of the precious lives in our care and the precautionary measures being put into place at each of our shelters:
- As of this publication, Uganda has confirmed 14 cases of COVID-19, the border is closed, and strict shelter-in-place orders are being enforced.
- Our Ugandan staff has stocked a 90-day supply of food, water, and medicine for each of the shelters to provide for the vulnerable women and children in our care.
- As of March 18, 2020, all three shelters began a one-month lockdown that may likely be extended.
- Under lockdown, children are not being sent to school and women are not traveling to their training programs. Schooling and programming are taking place at the shelters.
- All shelters are fully staffed. Willow staff are either working exclusively from home or working and living at the shelters.
- We are treating the lockdown like a school holiday – we have fun activities planned including arts & crafts, movie nights, and baking.
- Survivors who have reintegrated into their communities and usually travel to the shelters for community-based care are receiving virtual support from their case managers. Should any of these individuals require medical care, healthcare costs will be reimbursed via mobile reimbursements.
- Any new survivors who are referred to join the shelter will be evaluated by Willow’s nurse, taken to one of the two area hospitals to test for COVID-19, and must be confirmed negative before entering one of the shelters.
Even though the survivors in our care have overcome unthinkable obstacles, they are now in the process of healing. One of the most critical components of healing is consistency. Our job is to make sure they are safe, that they have food and shelter, and that they are not at risk of danger. For these reasons, our staff (both in the US and Uganda) are dedicated to ensuring health, safety, and well-being during these uncertain times.
We know that many individuals, businesses, and families in our community have been affected by this crisis. If you need prayer, please reach out to us and our team will add you to our prayer list. If you feel compelled to make a contribution to support Willow’s efforts during this time of unrest, we would be deeply appreciative of your generosity. All contributions directly support our work providing life-saving services to those in our care.
Thank you for your interest in and support of our efforts during this global crisis.