Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL*) response towards gender based violence and alcohol abuse during the lockdown.
The COVID 19 pandemic globally has had a devastating negative impact especially in low income countries like Uganda who have o welfare system and medical care is wanting. Families and children in the city were caught off-guard as Government struggled to draw a strategy to deal with the pandemic both at medical and social behavioral level. Governments declared lockdown and everything stood at stand still. The initial 14 days of lock down appeared manageable, then 21 and another 21 then things become worse. Children and their families depending on small informal business closed, capital eaten up and didn’t know what to happen next. We saw an increased in enforcing the lockdown and stay at home policies.
UYDEL received distress calls from some our 1,500 young people we serve daily in our drop in centers that life had become unbearable, there was a lot of hunger, and some violence was inflicted on children. Children trying to cope in the pandemic were far worse off and some taken play by the exploiters in the name of giving food (exchange for sex). There was a spike and increase of sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the informal settlement and slums. Gladly we requested for support from OAK Foundation, who responded positively to this emergency to assist and help over 1500 children in Kampala city who were scattered in the city.
UYDEL Response: With support from donors, we have put together hygiene basket composed of wash stands with buckets, soap and Dettol, with informational brochures that were distributed through our networks and with our partners in urban communities, and in support of local government leadership. We are mobilizing and supporting youth in our networks who know how to sew to make artisanal face masks that can be made available to the wider community on sale at reasonable cost.
UYDEL is a member organisation of WFAD, with representation in the WFAD International Board through Mr. Rogers Kasirye, Vice-President of the Board.