The Commonwealth Jewish Council (CJC) has pledged to support 40 Jewish students facing financial hardship in Uganda because of the coronavirus pandemic, enabling them to continue their studies.
The CJC said that it was supporting the students, who are based in Uganda’s capital Kampala, as they had lost jobs and other means of financial support since the east African country imposed a lockdown in March.
It is estimated that there are around 1,000 Jewish Ugandans, mainly from the Abayudaya community, who live in six villages in eastern Uganda.
Clive Lawton, the CEO of the CJC, said that the organisation had been contacted by the Jewish community in Kampala.
“We were delighted to help,” he said, “Tikun Olam lies at the heart of the ethos of the CJC.”
Mr Lawton said that beyond sharing “ideas, educational content and resources,” the CJC also gives grants and were “delighted to be able to alleviate some of the hardship experienced by Jewish students in Uganda at this most challenging time.”
The CJC is an umbrella organisation of over 35 Jewish communities which works to link and support communities around the Commonwealth and the wider Jewish world.
Tarphon Kampya from Jewish Response Uganda said: “We are grateful for the support from the CJC at this time. Though the donation, we have been able to feed and look after some of our students.
He continued: “It’s a very difficult period since many of them are no longer able to work part-time to support themselves. We look forward to ongoing links and collaboration with the CJC.”
“The organisation has continued not only helping students with food but also sensitizing communities about prevention of the pandemic by keeping social distance and washing hands regularly.”
As of June 15, Uganda had registered 724 confirmed cases of Covid-19, but had has not officially claimed any deaths from the virus.