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How You Lit Up the Dark for Kids in Uganda

By providing solar lamps, sponsors and donors are helping children in Uganda learn at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has created so many challenges for the children and families sponsors and donors support through Holt International. With schools closed and families isolating at home, one of the greatest challenges parents face is how to keep their kids learning outside the traditional classroom setting.

From country to country, the needs are a little different. In many places, access to remote learning devices like phones and tablets is a major obstacle. In some countries, lessons are broadcast via television — making it difficult for families who don’t own a TV. But in the rural farming communities where sponsored children live in Uganda, it’s not a lack of devices that keeps kids from learning— but a lack of electricity. Children are struggling to complete their schoolwork in the dark!

“The majority of families cannot afford electricity installation costs. The majority use kerosene lamps. But kerosene is a cost families have to incur on a regular basis … When they have no money, they stay in darkness.”

Lydia Nyesigomwe, Holt Uganda country representative

As Lydia Nyesigomwe, our Uganda country representative, explains, “The majority of families cannot afford electricity installation costs. The majority use kerosene lamps. But kerosene is a cost families have to incur on a regular basis … When they have no money, they stay in darkness.”

Here’s where this story gets really interesting.

Over the summer, we reached out to you to help provide extra resources children need to continue their education during the pandemic — everything from special workbooks and supplies to masks and hand sanitizers for kids returning to class.

Do you know what your back-to-school gifts provided for children in Uganda? Solar lamps!

Because of you, 4-year-old Miremba now has enough light to read and do her schoolwork.

“Miremba’s mum was filled with tears of joy upon receiving a solar lamp for the children.”

Lydia Nyesigomwe

During normal times, Miremba and her cousin attend an early childhood education center supported by sponsors like you.

“Miremba’s mum was filled with tears of joy upon receiving a solar lamp for the children,” Lydia says. “She also received a blanket and basin in September and the family feels overly loved. Miremba’s father abandoned them … but they thank God who has used Holt sponsors to bless them.”

Not only are solar lamps cost- and energy-efficient, they’re also a better source of light as the fumes from kerosene lamps pose health risks to children — and the light they produce is too dim to read by. As Lydia explains, “Now, when these families get these solar lamps, it solves all the problems because all they have to do is recharge them in the sun and they are good to go.”

This global pandemic has challenged all of us in so many ways. But we are continually amazed by the innovative solutions of our staff and partners around the world. Most of all, we are humbled to see how devoted sponsors and donors have gone above and beyond to ensure that every child has what they need to not only survive, but continue to learn and grow and thrive even in these fragile and uncertain times.

We, too, thank God for you.

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