How Windle International is responding to the COVID-19 pandemicAtim Patience
A message from Windle International’s Chief Executive, Marangu Njogu
As an international NGO with member offices across East Africa and Europe, we are, like so many organizations, businesses, and communities, being affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Like everyone else around the world, we are adapting to this new situation as best we can. Although it is changing almost daily in each country we work in, I want to take this opportunity to assure you that we remain committed to making sure that children and young people who have been affected by conflict and marginalization can continue to access quality education.
The health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers are paramount. In all countries that we operate in, our staff are working from home and abiding by government rules on social distancing. The people who work for and with Windle are amazing, and their dedication to prioritizing the needs of refugees, displaced people and their host communities, and all individuals who have been affected by conflict and marginalization, particularly in these trying circumstances, continues to inspire me.
People and families living in refugee camps and settlements are some of the most at risk from this pandemic. We are working with and supporting UNHCR and other partners to make sure that they are protected and included in national COVID-19 preparedness and response activities. For example, we are part of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies Regional Working Group, and we continue to monitor and respond to the situation as it develops.
All of our members have been proactive in raising awareness about how to prevent the spread of the virus, promoting hygiene and social distancing measures, and making sure that all our locations and workspaces have proper hand washing facilities and access to hand sanitizers.
As schools and other educational institutions around the world close, we are working closely with our partners to find ways of helping people to get a quality education.
We’ll keep you updated on our activity as the situation develops. I wish to extend my thanks to everyone who has reached out to us and supported us, and to everyone for their continued interest in supporting all people who have been affected by conflict and marginalization to access education and work towards creating a more peaceful world. I hope that everyone is doing all they can to support each other, and to keep each other safe during this difficult time. Now more than ever we must work together as a global family.
What we are doing in Uganda
Windle International Uganda (WIU) is in full support and cooperation with the Government of Uganda (GoU)’s efforts aimed at protecting the citizens of Uganda, including our staff and PoCs from the dreaded COVID-19 infections and curtailing its further spread.
In-line with government directives to restrict movements effective March 31, 2020, WIU management is providing telecommuting options to staff in an effort to minimize movements and physical interactions with partners, stakeholders, PoCs and colleagues across the country during this period. This is to ensure that there is no disruption of the organization’s operations during this period (apart from those that have been directly constrained by the directives of GoU communicated since 18th March 2020 including the closing of schools).
WIU understands that a number of activities have been shelved due to the current measures in place. Our partners and stakeholders, including UNHCR and OPM, have communicated preference for remote engagements and we support and facilitate that to the extent possible and will be reviewing this regularly.
WIU is providing all her stakeholders and especially Persons of Concern with credible updates and Information on the education sector strategies and on COVID-19 from GoU, MoH, MoES, WHO and other relevant agencies.
WIU remains committed to providing access to Quality Education for Refugees and Persons affected by conflict. While we are uncertain of how long this situation will last, WIU is working with other education partners in Uganda to devise other means of delivering learning and keeping our children engaged should the situation persist beyond the current emergency measures.
Please follow and abide by government directives and guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 Virus.
Wherever you are, stay safe.