Christian schools thrive in Uganda despite world’s longest pandemic shutdown

By January 31, 2022

Uganda (MNN) — In Uganda, Christian schools thrive despite the world’s longest pandemic shutdown.

“Throughout the lockdowns, we’ve had 720 decisions for Christ, and about 120 of those were the parents and guardians of kids in our schools,” Set Free Ministries’ Dave McIntyre says.

“We’ve been very blessed during the lockdown. Our team ‘took the bull by the horns’ and went out there and continued the work of Christ.”

Set Free cares for thousands of vulnerable kids in East Africa through its 15 Impact Sites. More about that here. These facilities provide a safe place for children to eat, sleep, and receive a Christian education.

When strict lockdowns sent students back to their home communities in March 2020, “We just went to Plan B,” McIntyre says.

“We’ve been paying our teachers during the entire shutdown, and we sent them out to the villages. They were hand-writing lessons to take out to the kids. [This] was not a one-time meeting; those teachers were going back again and again, week after week.”

Along with formal education, children learn a trade like sewing or mechanics.
(Photo courtesy of Set Free Ministries)

The believers’ commitment “made a huge impression on parents and the villages,” McIntyre continues.

“When they first started doing it, the parents [said], ‘We’re not paying school fees, why are you here?’ And they (the teachers) [said], ‘Well, we just love your kids, and we’re going to be meeting with them.’”

A future for Uganda

Uganda lifted its lockdowns earlier this month, allowing students back into the classroom. Pray for low infection rates so schools can remain open.

“We know our schools are reopening, and our teachers are fired up to have their kids back. But that’s taking place in the context of a devastating situation,” McIntyre says.

“Many teachers have had to find other employment. Many schools have converted to housing, taking their buildings and making them into apartments.”

While thousands of children receive an education and more through Set Free, scores are waiting in the wings. “We have several hundred kids we’d love to add to that program, but [they need to be] sponsored,” McIntyre says.

For $35 each month, you can help a vulnerable child attend school and have a future beyond stealing or prostitution.

“These are kids who have serious needs. They’re either double orphans or in situations where they have one parent, [and] this is a way they can continue to go to school,” McIntyre explains.

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Header and story images courtesy of Set Free Ministries.