Metro News July 2020
It has been a few months since our last news report and so much seems to be happening in the world that it is hard to keep up with all that is going on. We do pray for you – our supporters and friends – for strength, health, financial security and peace.
Sadly, there has not been much change in Uganda in the last few months. The country is still in a lockdown which means many people have lost their income as businesses are still closed. Crime, murders and suicides have all risen due to the poverty and hopelessness that many are facing. It is common now in Uganda for the majority of people to manage on 1 meal a day instead of 3.
The education system is made up of many private schools which rely on payments from the families. Since schools have not been operating for months they are facing a huge financial crisis with the majority of teachers not being paid a salary. The common practice for the schools is to borrow money from banks and pay this loan back as schools fees are paid. This year they have not been able to pay their loans back and many schools face closure. During term time it is common for pupils to board at school and with the loss of this safe environment there has been an increase in sexual abuse and pregnancies in young girls.
Our staff all say they are missing their work in the schools and the interaction with the children. They miss hearing stories from the children about how God is working in their lives. They regularly send messages thanking the supporters for the continued payment of their salaries throughout this difficult time and David the Director wishes all those that donate “to experience the Lord Jesus blessing you abundantly”
South Africa has the highest rate of infection on the African continent and now has over a half a million people that have been tested positive with Covid-19. The densely populated townships, with several families sharing communal toilets and sinks, do not allow for self-isolating to prevent the spread of Covid. Hospitals are struggling to cope with the extra burden of care. In March, South Africa began one of the strictest lockdowns in the world with the sale of cigarettes and alcohol being banned. Economic pressures have caused the country to partially open up again but the lockdown has affected many families. We are hearing the same story over and over of a waiter, a shop assistant or a domestic worker losing their job and now there is no income for the family. Schools have mostly been closed since March. The majority of children in the townships received a meal at school and now face hunger.
Even our staff have been fearful that they too could face the loss of employment.
Here are some thoughts from Unathi, the manager in South Africa.
‘I must say ever since the Covid happened, I was worried of losing my job. I was not sure how are we as an organization were going to survive this, if people all around the world are affected by this and some of the people who support us are losing their jobs as well. I was asking myself what’s going to happen to my family? Who is going to support my mother? I had lots of hard life questions. It’s really by the grace of God that I still have my Job. I am very grateful to God about it’
Our staff all live in the townships and once they were allowed back into work in May, they have been working diligently delivering food parcels from donations from some of you. 479 food parcels have been personally delivered to children who are part of Metro Kids Africa.. They tell us that when they arrive at a house with a food parcel the family express thanks and relief that they now know they have food to eat. Thank you for making this possible.
There is no easy answer to the world’s problems, but living as a child in South Africa at this moment is especially difficult. All over the world we are learning to wear masks, to keep socially distancing from our friends and families and to
queue to get into supermarkets, but dealing with all of this plus the fear of having no food to eat and the worry of when things will change is causing severe anxiety in many children. Children keep asking when they will go back to school as they miss their friends and the safe environment of school.
Crime has risen in an already crime ridden society. Just this morning as I was writing this newsletter one of our young leaders told us that her father has just been shot and murdered by thieves stealing his car. He was a good, hard working man who had worked as a teacher. His death will affect not only his family but the children he taught faithfully.
This year, those of us who live in a normally stable world have faced uncertainty. The people we serve always live with uncertainty. Thank you for helping us represent Jesus’ love and compassion and be a constant caring presence in the lives of thousands of children.
If you wish to donate we have enclosed bank details.
Thank you and may the Lord be with you
Janet, James and all at Metro Kids Africa
“Please check out our new website on www.metrokidsafrica.org
We want to say a huge thank you to Mirjam Ramseier for constructing this and thank you to a great team of translators working very hard in order that we have the website in English and German. I am sure you will all enjoy seeing happy children and hearing stories of how their lives have been changed by the love of Jesus”