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  • alistairjp6

Despite a number of obstacles created by the pandemic, we completed the planting of 25,000 saplings in the Mukono district in Uganda. The saplings were grown from seed by Robert Ebalu, a local physics teacher, and his band of volunteers.

Robert's passion for the environment was his motivation. The efforts, time and labour by Robert and his team planted the seeds and nurtured them to the sapling stage when they were ready for planting in various locations.

The Link received requests for over 70,000 saplings, this is very positive for the future but the 25,000 sapling this year have been distributed to church groups, local community groups and schools. This has all been achieved for £900. Thank you to all the supporters who have made donations.

All the saplings have been planted (September 2020) and to help the various groups maintain the new trees the Link has invested in a motorbike for Robert to enable him to visit the various sites and give advice about tree maintenance.

Robert has now (November 2020) begun the planting of another 30,000 seeds which will be ready for distribution next summer. November is a good time too start the process being the start of the wet season in Uganda. Any donations to help continue this process would be gratefully received.

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Like a lot of other countries Uganda went into lockdown in mid march in an effort to limit the spread of the Coronavirus infection. The authorities ensured this lockdown was strongly adhered to and has been effective in keeping cases of infection very low. However for a population who largely reply on day to day earnings to buy food and support their families the consequences for many families has been severe. Many families struggled to access food despite a government programme to support the population.

In Mukono a local committee was established led by Fred Yiga ( a senior Ugandan policeman and United Nations official) to help source and distribute food in the area. The Guildford Mukono Link appealed to its supporters for financial aid to help the situation. The response has been fantastic, £6000 has been donated to a central relief fund managed by Fred Yiga. This committee used the funds to directly purchase 6000kg of maize flour and 3300kg of beans for the most needy in Mukono. The food was distributed by the Mukono Red Cross Society Team and members of the local defense unit. Priority was given to to the people the Link has always supported in various ways as well as other families that had not had previous links with Guildford. Further separate donations totalling £750 have been given to specific individuals to help them support members of the community they work with on a day to day basis.

The impact has been significant as recognised by the authorities as well as many messages of appreciation from different homesteads that received this food.

In his report to the Guildford Committee, Fred Yiga states: 'I wish to thank you for your generous support to the needy elderly people of Mukono and the young but special interest groups of people (e.g. the disabled, pregnant and lactating mothers, etc.), who benefited from your benevolent act'

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  • alistairjp6

In Mukono, most people live from hand to mouth – earning a precarious income through casual work. A strict lockdown in Uganda was imposed on 31 March. But there was no government relief package which has accompanied lockdowns in the West. Families in Mukono cannot afford to buy basics such as food and are isolating in what is often one small room. Since the lockdown, the Guildford Mukono Link has been receiving messages of distress. People with no food, cases of domestic violence and attempted suicide. A local committee has now been set up under the leadership of a former Head of UN Police. Food is being distributed to the most vulnerable families. But this is relying on voluntary donations. The Guildford Mukono Link has so far sent £3,000.

More help is urgently needed If you able to help please follow the link below to the Just Giving donation page.

Guildford-Mukono Coronovirus Appeal Donation

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