You know how you just keep hoping against hope that something won’t happen? That was how I felt about the covid-19 virus … Please don’t let Uganda get it. Sad to say, they have it.

Last week President Museveni took a pro-active stance and applied many of the restrictions that we are experiencing here in the US …wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds and he closed all the schools for 32 days. Because they had their first case March 21, he is now debating whether to stop public transportation and enforce the six foot distance ruling. Now, all of this is fine for us in the United States. Bear with me for a minute and let me tell you how difficult it is to follow these instructions in Uganda..

First, water … here in the .US. all we have to do is turn on the faucet and we can follow the instructions. In Uganda, where 95% of the homes have no running water, they first have to take their Jerry cans, walk one to five miles to find water and even then they aren’t guaranteed it is safe because it may be from a gulley by the side of the road! (And, you may say, why don’t they buy water? 51% of the population lives on $2 a day … it’s either water or food!).

Second, schools … in the U.S. all children have the opportunity to learn at home through web classes. In Uganda, where 95% of the homes have no electricity, how do they continue their education? They have no access! How will they make up what they are losing?

Third, transportation … the majority of people do not have cars or even bicycles but, rather, rely on buses, taxis and Boda-Bodas (mopeds). If, for example, the bus has a 42-person capacity you may find as many at 75-80 people on that bus. The taxis are vans with as many as 15 people to a van. Lastly, a Boda-Boda driver may carry as many as four people on the back of the moped! As a result, people are limited on their mobility and reduced to distances that they can comfortably walk. (Usually up to 10 miles but sometimes more.)

I know many of you are worrying about what tomorrow will bring … however, we still have options. But our teachers, our parents, our guardians and our students don’t have options, and I am sincerely hoping you will help us get through these unprecedented times. As we come into the Easter and Passover season, where many of us gather with family and friends, we will be confined to virtual contact. Use the kindness and generosity of this time to help the Mbiriizi Advanced Primary and Day Care School get through this pandemic. Think of us as your virtual family during this happy holiday season and please make a donation to help us. We can’t mail chocolate bunnies or matzohs but we can send them love and help them financially.

And, it’s easy …. … go to this link and click on the PayPal button (if you have PayPal) or print out the donation form and email it to us with a credit card or mail to us with a check (mailing address 89 Middletown Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733) or call me(732-946-2711) and give me the information over the telephone. Whatever you can do would be greatly appreciated … thank you for taking time to read this and respond.



Thanks to all of you for your ongoing support of Sylvia’s Children and caring about the children in Mbiriizi, Uganda, Africa.