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Week 1 in Quarantine

Locking-down responsibly

Dear Friends

The first week of quarantine meant enormous challenges for Kids of Africa. The village is now closed. The social situation in Uganda is precarious. Alas, our kids all pull together. Their solidarity is high, the mood is positive – and we welcomed three new siblings as permanent protegées. A brief report.


Uganda has issued a four-week national curfew and is implementing it with draconian measures. Kids of Africa has completely closed its gates since last weekend. We are under quarantine. Except with a state permit, no one can enter or leave the village. Most of our employees were sent home in accordance with government regulations. But at the same time, we have had more babies, children and adolescents with us since last week. In total we are now a group of around 170 people, 10 pigs and 2 dogs, none of whom will leave the village for the coming month.

For this reason, we spent last Saturday making careful preparations. Among other, we drafted

  • emergency plans,
  • quarantine plans,
  • school plans,
  • nutritional plans,
  • work plans,
  • Fitness and activity plans
  • Responsibility lists
  • Guard-plans and others

There are many things to consider if you self-quarantine yourself with around 170 people for a month. On Sunday we discussed and initiated the measures with all protégés in different age groups. On the same day, we took the last opportunity to collect part of our corn and cassava harvest on our cultivation area outside of the village. Fortunately, the rainy season has just ended and some of the fruit has already been harvested. Our smaller farm, which is located within the village, should allow our self-sufficiency with reduced portions, as far as the weather is good.

We welcome three new arrivals

In addition, the Ugandan social authority entrusted us with three other proteges last Sunday. One boy (6 months) was found by police in a latrine, alas in good health. He was given the name Philip by the probation office. He is now in house 8 with Mama Harriet. He is being treated for malaria as we diagnosed him positive.

Two other boys were rescued from their home by police – a room where they apparently were locked inside (with their younger brother) by their father, who had left. The police first left them with a poor neighbour while sending the youngest (Yusufu who may be 1 year old) to Mulago malnutrition center, where he still is. The Probation Office then sent the two older (also malnourished) boys Isaia (3 years) and Isma (5-6 years) to KoA amidst the chaos of closing schools, institutions, bars etc last Friday evening.
Isma, who was sent for check up on Saturday for stomach pain, was out running with the kids this morning

Work in the village

The oldest proteges who have returned from their secondary schools take on a large part of the work with a small, remaining staff. They work in our farm, mow the lawn, take on guard and maintenance tasks, work in the kitchen and are also given schooling as much as possible. The younger children participate according to their possibilities. We have designated a running track on our small property so that all children can do morning exercise in the morning. Football, athletics and other sports are also part of the fitness program.


We currently know of no corona infection in Kids of Africa. However, we do not have our own testing facilities – like nobody else in Uganda. Hopefully the impression is not deceptive. Because some of our protégés live with immune deficiencies like HIV or malaria, but we are adequately equipped for this.

On the whole, the first week was quarantined, calm and without major incidents. But the situation in the country is tense. Our resource planning has little scope for the unforeseen. But we will do our best every day. So that our protégés emerge healthy and safe from this difficult time in which we are challenged more than ever.

Thanks for your support!

Kind regards

you Burkhard Varnholt

2020-04-09T09:18:34+02:0027. March 2020|
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