A summary of 2020: Considerations at the turn of the year.
In April last year, we wrote that 2020 looked to be an annus horibilis. Nothing would go as planned, everything was uncertain. Now, when the year is over, we can conclude that 2020 was a different year both here at home and at Nyenga. At Nyenga, the year was better than we could have feared. Our supporters stepped in when we needed it, and extensive measures in Uganda have given the country control over the pandemic. No one we know is affected by corona, but many are affected by various consequences of the comprehensive measures. An example is that schools and higher education have been closed since March 2020. The exception is graduating classes that should have graduated in November. They started again on October 15 (!) With a planned exam in March. Our 7th grade is underway! The start of the new school year in February has been postponed, it is uncertain how long.
Since the pandemic reached Uganda, we have prioritized the safety of the children we are responsible for and farming for food production. Our leader, Lucy, resigned. It was a hectic period of remote management via emails and telephones to establish new structures and routines. In August, our new leader, Laureene Reeves Ndagire, was in place. Coincidently, Laureene was “stuck” in Norway due to corona travel restrictions when she was hired. It gave us the opportunity to get to know her and start working together while she was in Norway. We are very happy to have her on the team! She is a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and committed lady with a large network. She is passionate about realizing our vision among her farmers.
The Chinese sign of crisis is a juxtaposition of two signs: difficulty and opportunity. When the world community gradually takes back everyday life, we all have the opportunity to create a slightly new “normal” based on what the pandemic has taught us. On October 1, we started operation re-start at Nyenga. The staff was called back. Adults and children were divided into groups that now work together to get rid of routine work and other pending tasks. There is also the opportunity to be innovative with a view to making the work more self-sustaining, in other words creating income. New plants are being tested, and a group has tried their hand at producing soap. You are invited to innovate and collaborate across professions and workplaces.
We are in the process of reorganizing the health station. Due to low activity over time, opening hours and the number of employees is reduced. The offer that will be given is essentially the same. If the exciting project of organizing local health insurance groups works as intended, the number of patients will increase. Then we are ready to meet that challenge and possibly scale up again.
This year we wanted to focus on establishing jobs in the local community. We take that focus with us into the new year. There are so many possibilities! We must hurry slowly. December is a hectic Nyenga month here at home. Our traditional Christmas market and gathering point had to be done digitally last year. We aim to get back strong in our usual form this year – it’s more pleasant. We only have nice customers at our market!
We catch a glimpse of a rainbow ahead!