UCU kick-starts giving Christmas gifts to staff

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At the influxion of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of changes have taken shape of the entire universe.

Many learning institutions were closed, transport, marketing places and public places were put on halt as one of the preventive measures of the disease.

A number of guidelines were issued by the Ministry of Health and the President to curb the radical spread.

This caused gross-unemployment as thousands of workers were laid off by different organizations since their operations had been greatly hit by the outbreak.

With this, Uganda Christian University was not exceptional. Through the top management, UCU laid off her staff close to 500. This was done early in May this year.

The university resorted to short-Covid-contracts that run for three months. This came due to a fluctuating number of students since the government of Uganda only reopened for finalists which seem to have shattered the institution’s income.

To reach out to the staff members whose contracts were suspended, the university selected a team of seven to carry out fundraising. The outcome was expected to support staff members with Christmas package.

The issuing of gifts kick-started on December 10 and it is expected to continue for some days as they focus on observation of Standard Operating Procedures.

In an interview, the Vice-Chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi said that the team managed to collect Shs. 42 million to help facilitate the idea. He revealed that when the team calculated, they found out that each beneficiary would get a package of close to Sh.80,000.

“We find it kind enough to support each other in such unpredictable times. We found a big need that called upon us to address,” Mushengyezi said.

He also said that he was challenged by the former Vice-Chancellor, Dr. John Ssenyonyi who had given out his hampers to the staff in May.

“I was triggered to think of how such a noble cause would be maintained,” he added.

This initiative focuses on supporting staff members and their families to sail out safely in this Covid-19 period.

Talking to University’s Covid-19 Task Force, Dr. Edward Kakooza said that they still have a bigger task to perform as the institution gradually recovers from the effects of the pandemic. He also said that if the team worked well, the government may allow them to fully reopen.

“It depends on how this team shall work. We may be allowed to fully reopen and operate if we smoothly continue executing our duties,” Kakooza said.

The team is expected to coordinate all covid-19 activities through training and documentary dissertation to the community for awareness.

Mark Mariko, a staff member from the e-Learning department and also the beneficiary of the initiative applauded the top authorities for having considered them.

“You will agree with me that not many companies can ever think of such kind of initiative. I received my package today and I am exceedingly humbled,” Mariko said.

By press time, however, around 400 staff members had received their hampers. Kakooza said that the remaining balance would facilitate more 1000 members.

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Ivan Tsebeni

Ivan Tsebeni