We were delighted to see so many of our loyal donors and supporters online as we gave an update on how COVID-19 is affecting the team in Uganda. A recording is available below.

On Saturday, 28 donors and supporters joined our first ever webinar on Zoom – a chance to hear directly from WATSAN’s patron, trustees and staff about how we are affected by and responding to COVID-19.

The session opened with thoughts from our Patron Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford, who said: “I’ve always been touched by the way WATSAN brings together clear thinking with a warm heart. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he says ‘Let us not grow weary of doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time if we do not give up. So then whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all.’ Where our own issues and problems as a country can occupy our thinking rather a lot, or perhaps individual challenges, I’ve been very conscious of those in parts of Africa where they have very little resource.”

We shared our new video giving background to how exactly WATSAN works, in the words of our Field Director Eric Baingana and Kinkiizi Link Moses Kabarebe. Here they emphasise the importance of community involvement in both fundraising for and building water and sanitation projects, as well as the philosophy WATSAN follows of formally handing the project back to the community via a celebratory commissioning ceremony.

The webinar was also a chance for the trustees to introduce themselves to donors, and to hear about how the team have managed since the arrival of the pandemic in Uganda. Eric emphasised: “At the moment we have our field staff laid off, because there is no project work. They are without monthly salaries. And yet they have families to feed. So we are concerned, and we pray that we might be able to get something in particular to support them financially.” We are appealing for help towards a hardship fund that can be used for exactly this, as well as fundraising for a project to begin in Bwanga Hill so that staff can be redeployed.

During an open question and answer session, supporters were keen to plan together how we can boost both of these initiatives through adapted fundraising events (such as an online Christmas quiz), and through next year’s virtual Walk for Water.

The webinar closed with a blessing by Bishop Andrew. A recording of the full webinar can be seen below.