As the COVID-19 pandemic struck the whole world, Africa as a continent was not left out. Facing the peril of the deadly disease with many sectors of the economy feeling its bite, education, not spared.
The Ugandan government decrees to curb the spread of the disease included closures of schools. This has brought forth untold sufferings mostly to the teachers who have been laid off for close to four months now, as their employers could not sustain paying their salaries in this lockdown.
In the field team’s follow-up calls with our Field of Hope teachers, we learned of the financial hardships facing these teachers, unable to meet some of their basic needs such as food and health care, among others.
Most private school teachers have not been receiving salaries owing to the fact that their schools are not operating. These are teachers with families with children back at home (unplanned due to the lockdown), hence increased numbers of mouths to feed. While some of these teachers have side businesses to supplement their income, these businesses fall under the categories prohibited from operating by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 is not only testing the physical resilience of human beings, but also the various systems that handle it. Mental health, though our Ugandan people like to term it “mental stress”, was never considered critical or better said… lethal. However, we are witnessing an increase in heart-breaking occurrences first-hand as teachers struggle to cope up with the existing situation due to lack of resources. Instances of domestic violence have also risen during this lockdown.
At the end of the tunnel, advents “the Field of Hope” granting every teacher a sigh of relief. As reported by most, these teachers provided for their families food, medical care, and more. Mr. Isooba Jimmy could attest to this where he voiced out, “Thanks FOH for that heart am very grateful to u all blessed…am off to buy some rice.”
This good gesture by the Field of Hope will help deepen the bond between teachers and the organization through the economic support offered, along with the social support by way of motivation and inspiration found during our TeacherTalks on Zoom and within our WhatsApp groups.
As stated by Mr. Kabali Edward, “(This) morning I received relief from Field of Hope through Mr. Okullu Walter. I am really grateful and continue to pray that God richly blesses you. For sure the situation is so bad, but you have provided for me in this time of need.”
Mr. Jonah N. Musiimenta couldn’t hide his delight: “We really appreciate the relief from Field of Hope in this hard economic times, this is a sign of real love and care, we pray that the almighty God blesses the Board of Directors of Field of Hope, Staff and the whole family and make them yield more fruits in the whole of Africa and the world at large.”
Spiritually, it has imparted the lives of teachers as one Mrs. Suzanne Mwesigwa said, “Receive my sincere gratitude to the aid. I have received mine, gave tithe to the almighty God and the rest is for me and my family. Thanks Field of Hope team, may God bless you.” This resonates well with Field of Hope’s foundation which is hinged on Christ’s philosophies of prayers, love, care and service.
Field of Hope understands that all things come from the Lord, as He said, “Your needs and my riches are a perfect fit. I never meant for you to be self-sufficient. Instead I designed you to need me not only for daily bread but also for fulfillment of deep yearnings. I carefully crafted your longings and feelings of incompleteness, to point you to me. Therefore, do not try to bury or deny feelings with lesser gods: people, possessions, power.” We see the current trend of events as crisis but the to the Lord, this is a manifestation of His words that we should draw hope from because He said that, “Come in your neediness and desire to be blessed. As you spend time in My presence, your deepest longings are fulfilled.”
Field of Hope, the Lord’s tool of blessing!
Ugandan Country Coordinator