Ugandan Schools Reopen

At long last Ugandan children are returning to school! 2021 was a discouraging year for the country of Uganda. Their lockdown of schools and public places begun in 2020 continued through 2021 for the ENTIRE year, making it “the longest pandemic-prompted shutdown in the world,” according to a recent NYT article (dated 1.10.22).  It is estimated that 50% of the children (most rural) had absolutely NO form of education during this time. No E-learning, no TV, no radio, no homeschooling…NOTHING. This will negatively affect an entire generation, as many teen girls got pregnant and boys moved from school into the workforce and will not return. Additionally, many teachers moved to other employment and will not return to their classrooms, leaving many schools unable to re-open. The Ugandan National Planning Authority estimates 30% of students will not return to school at all. AND Uganda is also surging with the Omicron virus now. 

Amidst this sad news MCM Uganda has been, because of your support, a place of hope and help in our area. As schools reopen, we have 100% of our children returning to school! No pregnancies and only one boy who requested exiting the program. We have purchased over $23,000.00 worth of COVID food for our families, as well as for widows and widowers in our community in 2021 alone. Our completed “God’s Joy Library” has been a place students come (masked and distanced) to study education materials for free. In September, by the grace of God, we were able to hire a government- approved  primary teacher for MCM grades 1-5 (about 40 of our children). Unfortunately we were not granted permission to teach our secondary students. We thank God for you and for all of the many ways He has protected us! 

In addition, Phabi, our teen with brain cancer, is among our students returning to school this  month! After ten months living remotely in the city of Kampala with our House mum, receiving  both chemo and radiation to her head and back, Phabi’s spinal tap and CAT scans came back  cancer free! She returned home to our village in November and has been gaining weight and  strength. We are so proud of her desire to immediately return to school as a candidate student.  Our Phabi is fearless! God has been incredibly faithful in this as well, both healing her and  providing the funds needed to pay for her medical care while keeping her COVID- free throughout.

Our chickens are producing 10 trays of eggs daily. Our farms produced sorghum, beans and  soon the banana crop will be ready. Our cow is pregnant again so we will also be selling milk.  Our piggery continues to generate piglets which we sell as well. These self-sustainability  programs help provide seven full time MCM staff positions and another 6 part time jobs as well.  What a joy to be able to provide employment during COVID! 

I have tickets to return to Uganda in April. … I originally had tickets for January, however at  Christmas both Mark and I came down with COVID. SO discouraging! If this had happened in Uganda, I would have been detained for the full length it takes to gain a negative result.  This is a new reality I must accept. Please join me in praying for wisdom, trust and health. 

Again, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your compassionate and generous giving  especially during a time when Americans are also struggling. We are overwhelmed with your  godly love and faithfulness! May God bless you all the more!

Many blessings ~ 

Michele Pageau