We are in no doubt aware of the incidents that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from the loss of lives as a factor of underlying diseases to lose of life as a result of hunger because people were locked down and not able to work, physical classes were stopped thereby depriving students from going to school. We could go on and on discussing the incidents that occurred during the pandemic.
The pandemic also created sexual violence and exploitation of women and girls in a number of countries around the globe which exploded majorly in Uganda as explained below.
“On January 10, 2022, Uganda reopened its schools to some 15 million students, ending 83 weeks of school closure—the longest of any country during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many students are no doubt overjoyed at returning to school for the first time since March 2020, sadly most received no virtual or remote learning assistance during the prolonged closures. Our students at the Lukome Center were an exception, with staff members doing their utmost to stay in contact and provide support, including emergency hunger relief. Some schools, including the Lukome Center, were allowed to reopen at the end of 2020 if they had students that had been getting ready to graduate. This allowed these students to finish their education and prepare for national exams. Our students at the center were overjoyed. “I didn’t have any hope of coming back to the center because the pandemic spread to the entire world,” said Janet, one of our students. “I was very scared about the future.” However, as the pandemic surged again in the spring of 2021, another lockdown ensued. Our students at the Lukome Center were more fortunate than most; the center was allowed to remain open, although restrictions in class size and activity were put in place to protect students and staff. But lost education is not the only casualty created by the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. A “shadow pandemic” has emerged in a number of countries across the globe: sexual violence and exploitation of women and girls. In Uganda specifically, teen pregnancy has exploded. Nelson Ayo, Uganda’s Education Officer, stated in December 2021 that over 90,000 school-girls under 18 got pregnant. This led to a much higher than normal number of girls–over 200–applying to attend the Lukome Center in 2001. Sadly, because of capacity limitations, we were not able to take them all”.
We hope this kind of unforeseeable event will not occur in the future, but the truth is that we do not have a hang of it, so the likelihood of occurrence of a global disruption is inevitable. However, we could try in our own capacity that if it does happen, we are more security conscious of our environment and always looking out for our wards, friends, family, and loved ones. The COVID-19 pandemic was an eye opener for the world and everyone must wake up to the call as we are now aware that anything can happen next…
Do you know what would happen next?