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Ugandan Kiwanis club serves families amid COVID pandemic

Jennifer Morlan | Nov 06, 2020

The Kiwanis Club of Wakiso, Uganda, distributes food.


As the COVID-19 pandemic marched across the globe, the Kiwanis Club of Wakiso in Uganda prepared to do what Kiwanians have done for more than 100 years — serve its community.

In mid-March, Uganda shuttered businesses, banned public transportation, closed borders and prohibited all public gatherings. The Kiwanians knew the pandemic was aggravating the extreme poverty that existed in villages near Wakiso in southeastern Uganda.

Past President Catherine Namusisi said the club wanted to distribute maize and beans to 500 vulnerable households in two villages to sustain children and families. Maize, or corn flour, is a major staple food in Uganda, providing more than 40% of the average daily calorie consumption.

But the 19-member club was able to reach even more households after receiving a grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. The grant allowed the club to expand the project to reach three villages. The Kiwanians worked with village leaders and the Uganda Police Defense Force to distribute beans, maize flour and soap to 600 households. Club members also collected rice, sugar, salt, tea, clothing, shoes and bedding to give to the villagers.

Namusisi said three Uganda television networks aired stories about the project, raising awareness of Kiwanis International and the plight of the villages the members served.

“Kiwanis was very much appreciated for showing love and care to such a huge number of homesteads that are living below the poverty line and were severely affected by lockdown effects of COVID-19,” Namusisi wrote to the Children’s Fund.

  • Read more about how clubs used Kiwanis Children’s Fund grants to feed hungry children and families, provide computers and technology to assist home learning, supply masks and sanitizers and more during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

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