Kasiisi Project and COVID-19

Covid-19 compliant!
Uganda closed its schools in March due to the corona virus pandemic. Since most of our work requires close face to face contact with students and teachers we had to find new ways to present our programs. Adhering to the Ugandan government’s rules on COVID-19 safety we closed our offices and our staff worked from home.  Using  ingenuity and imagination they adapted quickly to the new constraints and have been able to continue with over half of our planned projects despite the virus, by using radio broadcasts to reach communities and by moving our programs into the villages.

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Conservation Education Assistant Coordinator Nyabutona Gorret broadcasting at Radio Tooro studios, Fort Portal

PictureHealth Coordinator Tusiime Pat explaining rules for the art and story telling competitions

We have been using radio to reach our communities for several years. In Uganda, with poor telephone networks   people get most of their information over the radio. It is common for them to learn of meetings, school events, church news etc via the radio, so we knew we would have an  audience for any of our programs. Since June we have ensured we are not forgotten by broadcasting weekly talk shows addressing health and conservation issues, reaching out to communities up to 50 miles away. Competitions and prizes keep listeners tuning in and dedicated phone lines allow us to answer questions despite on-air time limits.

We have brought paper, pencils and crayons into the villages for safe distribution to over 200 bored children in 7 villages,  and challenged them to keep thinking about the environment with art and story telling competitions. We have encouraged parents to get involved too, with prizes awarded to the most environmentally friendly compounds.
We have continued to measure bee health in forest edge apiaries and collections of clinical samples tracking respiratory viruses in children and chimpanzees has continued, albeit with reduced sample sizes.  While workshops  to help parents talk to their children about reproductive health have had to be put on hold we have continued to work on production of informational booklets in English and local languages.