Back to school in Uganda: starting again from infection prevention measures in Nyumanzi refugee camp

A project of Sant'Egidio and the Italian Bishops' Conference

Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic and the necessary measures put in place by the Ugandan Ministry of Education to limit contagion in schools, the activities of the Sant'Egidio School of Peace primary school in the Nyumanzi refugee camp in northern Uganda have continued in recent months, at least for some of the pupils, with outreach schools - that is home visits and lessons in small groups in the open air.
For a few weeks now, the students have been gradually going back to school after the long months of lockdown. The 500 students that have already been allowed to attend face-to-face classes - about half of those enrolled - are enjoying the school days and studying hard. Classes are scheduled also in the afternoons to make better use of classroom space and to respect safety distances. In the coming weeks, as more students are readmitted, classes will also be held at weekends.

At the moment it is particularly important to increase awareness of measures to prevent Covid-19 re-emergence. Therefore, Sant'Egidio has been distributing not only school materials but also sets of protective equipment (masks and sanitising gel) thanks to the project "Growing together in Uganda: towards active citizenship among young people" that is supported by the Italian Catholic Church.

These are the first steps in a project that the Community has been carrying out also in collaboration with the diocese of Arua. In the next two years the school facilities will be improved by building new classrooms. In addition, school and food support will be provided for the displaced youth.