FINCA International Donates 1.5 million Face Masks to Schools in Uganda to Help Combat Covid-19
FINCA UK provided the Ministry of Education with PPE masks to help with the opening of schools in the country
LONDON, U.K., November 24, 2021 – FINCA International has worked with a London-based safety company to distribute over 1.5 million respirators, an important piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) across Africa, as part of the ongoing fight against COVID-19. As schools across Uganda prepare to reopen for the new school year, public schools will use the very effective protective respirators to minimize the spread of the virus.
Despite encouraging COVID-19 data being published, FINCA recently highlighted the ongoing need for adequate protection in Uganda, causing the British company to approach FINCA UK to organize a mask donation.
BrightLife, together with FINCA Uganda, reached out to Uganda’s Ministry of Education, who has expressed interest in the initiative and graciously welcomed the company’s generous donation. Some masks were set aside for FINCA Uganda and BrightLife clients and staff.
“We are proud to contribute to the opening of schools across Uganda by extending the donation from FINCA UK of N95 masks,” said Laurynas Vaiciulis, CEO, BrightLife Uganda. “BrightLife and FINCA Uganda are proud to impact and protect many lives from contracting and spreading the virus. A small part of the masks will be distributed to our clients to curb the spread and promote safety protocols that are clearly expressed by the Government of Uganda. We will continue to find ways to positively impact Uganda and its people through alleviating poverty, financial inclusion, and clean energy access.”
FINCA Uganda divided the 1.5 million masks and distributed them to the following organizations:
1.3 to Ministry of Education
100,000 to FINCA Uganda
80,000 to BrightLife
20,000 to UNCDF
Since FINCA began operations in Uganda two decades ago, the country’s poverty rate has dropped to 20 percent. However, the country’s rapid population growth poses a threat to this exceptional success. Uganda’s 40 million inhabitants could treble in two decades if current trends continue. Nearly 60 percent of the population is under the age of 18, and they face an increasingly difficult job market. Despite reductions in poverty, many people still lack essential services, such as the 90 percent of rural homes who rely on candles, kerosene, and wood for heat.
The masks were presented to the First Lady and Minister of Education, Honorable Janet Kataaha Museveni, at a ceremony held on the Kololo Independence grounds.
“These masks are a token of support and appreciation to the medical students in the tertiary institutions,” said Olive Lumonya, Board Chair, FINCA Uganda. “If COVID has taught us anything, it has taught us to be ready with the technical medical human resources to fight any other endemic or pandemic.”
Ms. Lumonya emphasized in her speech that FINCA’s objective is to alleviate poverty by providing long-term solutions that assist individuals establish assets, create jobs, and improve their living standards. This mission will be most effective if the general public is educated and healthy.
About FINCA International
FINCA International was founded in 1984 on a radical notion: giving small loans to the poor has the power to transform entire communities in a sustainable way. After impacting tens of millions of lives with responsible financial services, we are widening our focus to catalyze further economic growth and alleviate poverty in underserved markets around the world. We remain boldly committed to market-based solutions and are supporting the rise of social enterprises delivering basic service and financial innovation to help low-income families and communities achieve a better standard of living. For more information, visit www.FINCA.org or follow us on Twitter @FINCA.
About FINCA Uganda
FINCA Uganda is a forward-looking organization, constantly drawing upon the creativity of its clients, employees and board members to find more effective and efficient ways to empower our clients. FINCA purposes to be the unconventional community-based bank that profitably and responsibly provides innovative and impactful financial services to enable low-income individuals and communities to invest in their futures.
FINCA Uganda is regulated by Bank of Uganda and Customer deposits are protected by the Deposit Protection Fund.
BrightLife, a social enterprise by FINCA, pairs access to finance with access to energy to unlock productivity and wellbeing for the poor. It is also building pathways to financial inclusion for the unbanked. Access to responsible finance is an important tool for strengthening the economic security of poor and low-income families. Access to non-financial goods—like clean energy products—are also critical for improving health and wellbeing, increasing productivity and alleviating poverty.
RJ Cheremond, Communications Manager, FINCA International