Dear Supporters and Partners!
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, from 18th March 2020, we focused our urgent response activities to support women, children, District Task Forces (DTFs), and communities. At the grassroots level, we work hard to curb misinformation and create awareness to help communities to understand the reality of the situation. We provided sanitizers, food relief to over 872 vulnerable families in different districts and supported District Task Forces (DTFs) of Omoro, Gulu Nwoya, and Amuru Districts. We have deepened our networking efforts and work with several clusters especially those that work for gender justice.
We are doing our best to address increasing challenges which include gender-based violence, child marriage, the collapse of small businesses, increased food insecurity, and disconnection from education. The circumstances have shifted quickly, as our main area of operation became hot spots for corona virus-positive cases in northern Uganda.
We have come to the realization that we are in this crisis for the long term. Even if a vaccine arrives soon, the crisis has already triggered lasting consequences. For VacNet, this means continuing to generate funding both for emergency responses and for long-term adaptation and recovery for both our clients and the organization. To guide us, VacNet will maintain its commitment to a few guiding principles, no matter how long this crisis lasts or what our new reality will look like. We have already experienced shortfalls in funding and this is affecting our operation including running costs. We will remain.
Responsiveness: We are committed to listening to those that we support, our partners, and checking our work by asking how we are doing – and how we can do better especially as we adapt to the new normal. We will work hard to build trust through frank and transparent communication.
Safety: During the early stages of this crisis, and as communities in Uganda and in Particular Northern Region deal with long-term consequences, women and children will face greater risks to their wellbeing. It’s critical for VacNet and our partners to be a resource to the communities that we serve and others interested in safeguarding women and children now at greater risk of exploitation and harm.
Solidarity: We will remain committed to championing the power of grassroots women and their families who share our vision and values, and we believe this moment is critical as they need our support more than before.
Flexibility: We will remain flexible and responsive to the needs of women and children. We recognize how quickly the situation in communities can change and activities need to shift. We trust our clients to determine the best ways to recover, and we believe in maximizing opportunities for local women to adapt to the challenges facing their families and communities.
Coordination and networking: We will continue to network with all stakeholders to better position our understanding and working together on common goals.
It’s very important for us to recognize the moment we are in, to support each other through it, keep safe, and to seize the opportunity. We cannot do this without you.
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Volunteer Action Network