Utange during Covid-19
The Lifog school was closed from the end of March until 12 October due to the lockdown imposed by the school authorities. In practice, students missed a term, which, according to the latest guidelines, will be made up in early 2021 (hopefully without further closures). The eighth grade final exams will also be postponed until March 2021. GADU/S have continued to support Lifog, even in these difficult times due to the pandemic that has particularly affected our countries. Our associations have even anticipated preventive solutions:
- By distributing disinfectant soap to all the families of the children in our school and orphanage;
- By distributing food to families door to door;
- By having our teachers give "distance learning" lessons in the homes of the pupils, gathering them in small groups and keeping them at the right distance during the closure.
- Adapting and improving the distribution of water from the well, designing a better water pipe at the entrance to the school (handwashing compulsory before classes).
At the moment there are no reported cases of infection in our school community, although there have been in other schools. This leads us to believe that the initiatives taken so far have limited the problem. Throughout this period, Lifog's staff (headmaster, teachers, secretary, security guards and cleaners) have received their salaries without interruption, thus guaranteeing everyone's jobs and households.
Another project started at the beginning of the year, the purchase of a leather sewing machine and the training of some boys from our community in Utange in the basics of shoemaking, has been completed, although unfortunately the chosen teacher shoemaker (Christopher) was no longer available due to the difficulties caused by the pandemic. Christopher has been replaced by a fellow shoemaker who is now teaching the use of machines and local style shoemaking.
Sadly, the effects of the virus are already being felt and some sponsors have had to stop their distance support for financial reasons, which will unfortunately affect the continuation of one adopted boy's secondary education. We all hope that the pandemic will end as soon as possible and that we can return to normal conditions to better support our friends in Utange.