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Annual State of COVE Letter

November 12, 2021

Dear COVE Sponsors, Supporters, and Friends,

As we approach the holidays, we feel gratitude while also recognizing the losses and struggles people continue to face here and around the world. These difficulties have been felt particularly strongly by our COVE Uganda community. As you know, Uganda implemented a second lockdown in June, closing schools, churches, and businesses again, in an attempt to halt the spread of a devastating new wave of COVID-19 infections ravaging the country. This forced sponsored students once again to return home or relocate to relatives. It also delayed the placement of secondary school graduates into Certificate (or tertiary) programs, the final step in their educational journeys, and stalled the completion of the academic year for all other students. In response, our incredible COVE Uganda staff pivoted, once again, to reinitiate remote learning and provide badly needed resources to our COVE families. Thankfully, lockdown restrictions have now eased - churches, tertiary programs, and all businesses (except bars) have reopened, but evening curfews remain in place.

Ugandan tertiary schools, including Certificate programs (nursing, midwifery, teaching, motor vehicle mechanics, agriculture, engineering/electrical/plumbing, hairdressing, etc.), have been granted permission to reopen and are currently in the process of formulating safe reopening strategies and timelines. COVE’s Secondary School graduates (those students who completed S4) have now chosen their intended vocational paths and will begin their Certificate programs as new tertiary students. Primary and Secondary schools are expected to resume in-person learning in January 2022. The Ugandan government delayed return to school for younger students in order to allow time for teachers around the country to get vaccinated. Thanks to your generosity, we are thrilled to announce that all COVE teachers and staff will be fully vaccinated before that time. COVE was able to host medical clinics to educate and vaccinate our faculty directly on campus and the COVE health clinic has remained open to the regional community throughout the year.

With your donations, COVE assembled a medical team from the St. Jerome COVE Health Clinic to work with school administrators and Bishop Asili Hospital in Kasana, Uganda to visit the homes of all sponsored children during a two-week period this summer. The team performed COVID testing on 1,050 members of sponsored children’s families, provided counseling services and education about COVID prevention measures, and dispensed medical treatment and immune boosters to at-risk family members and those showing signs of illness. We are thrilled to report that no COVID cases were identified among our COVE families. As part of these visits, the team also delivered desperately needed food, sanitation, and feminine hygiene items to our COVE families.

With your support, our program administrative staff has worked tirelessly throughout the year to care for our sponsored children, organizing outreach teams while schools have been closed, ensuring the continued maintenance of the COVE campus, overseeing the initial construction phase for our new security perimeter, and assisting teachers and support staff as they continue diligently creating learning modules and meeting with students to review and correct these packets. COVE has also continued expanding its land projects to include growing 10 acres of eucalyptus trees, 10 acres of coffee plants, and 12 acres of perennial crops such as beans, bananas, and maize to provide additional resources for the school.

Despite facing these pandemic challenges, we are proud of many accomplishments this year, most especially raising over $82,000 in generous contributions to our “Keep COVE Safe” campaign to build a much-needed security perimeter around our campus. We are pleased to report the first phase of that construction has been completed, and we’re making preparations to begin the second. Additionally, the dormitory water harvest system was completed this summer, just before the rainy season; the outdoor latrine project was also completed this summer, vastly increasing hygiene and accessibility while also bringing COVE into compliance with Ministry of Education rules requiring separate gender facilities; and the Main Hall floor restoration project was completed, with new flooring installed to repair years of wear. We also want to commend our Primary Grade 7 (“P7”) and S4 students for their excellent performance on their national exams this year, particularly in light of disruptive school closures and remote learning situations during COVID. In fact, one of our S4 students received the highest score in his school and his district, and one of the highest scores in the entire country! This student aspires to become a doctor, and COVE is working to help him achieve his dream. Finally, we announce with great pride that COVE received its national registration certificate in April and has just been licensed as an official examination center for the first time! This means COVE’s P7 students will be able to sit for their national exams at COVE and have the results accredited to COVE, rather than to the neighboring schools where students used to sit for exams. This will give COVE national visibility and increased desirability as a school.

We are so grateful to all of you for your continued financial support during another challenging year. It is due to your generosity that we have the resources to care for so many of Uganda’s children. We rely on this year’s Annual Appeal to continue providing humanitarian aid and emergency services to our sponsored students and their families, ensure the health clinic remains open to care for Kapeeka’s most vulnerable population, complete capital improvements, provide cottage business training to our older students as a stop gap measure until school resumes to provide for their families, continue planting eucalyptus trees, and purchase new desks and chairs, as well as much needed casual clothing for our sponsored students. Please consult your accountant or financial advisor for ways to take advantage of this year’s tax-free giving opportunities.

Projects

With our sincerest gratitude,

The COVE Alliance Board of Directors







Annual State of COVE