The pandemic brought blessings in disguise to Michigan-based organization's chapter in Uganda, which operated more than ten residential schools.

Mission Network News said Set Free Ministries, a non-profit envisioned "to make captives of sin into disciples of Christ," through their Uganda chapter was able to proclaim the Gospel to the children in the comfort of their homes. Set Free Ministries has 14 schools throughout East Africa.

When the lockdown was implemented in Uganda two years ago due to the pandemic, Set Free instructed its teachers to visit the students in their respective villages for their lessons. This protected young female students from the abuse of their caregivers.

In addition, this gave the teachers the opportunities to preach the Gospel and Bible studies. The students, in turn, were strengthened by the Word of God and learned to trust "Jesus as Savior and Lord."

"Instead of having the children come in (to our schools), we could go out into the villages and meet the caregivers and the parents. It was an amazing blessing in disguise," Set Free Ministries Executive Director Dean Vander Mey said.

Mey explained that they learned female students were abused by caregivers during the pandemic. But since their teachers would visit the students, there was a way to monitor the children from abuse.

"There's a village near some of our schools, and in that region, over 1,200 girls (ages) 12 to 14 got pregnant because caregivers were abusing them, or boys from the neighborhood, or family members," Mey disclosed.

"It's (the lockdown) been devastating to some of the young girls. But because our teachers were going in and meeting with our children, (it provided) accountability. (Parents and guardians knew,) 'We're coming back, and we're going to do child monitoring; we care about our kids.'" he added.

Mey also disclosed that there were young girls who were not able to return to class when schools were opened for in-person learning last month ever since the lockdowns were imposed two years ago. Now that the children are back in the classroom, Set Free has began to improve their facilities to provide a brighter future for the students.

"We have restarted construction on Light Academy to make sure these youths, age 12 and 13, have a high school to go to. They can finish out their school years and get ready for university, or get ready for their careers," Mey shared.

"The need for that is vast; we're looking at (raising) a little more than $4 million in the next few years," he continued.

During the reopening of schools last January 10, AMG International's Brian Dennett revealed another reason students were unable to continue their education. Dennett said this was due to the students being employed already.

"So many students are probably not ever going to go back to their education. Many took jobs to help support their families during this time and have now tasted an income. And those families have come to rely on that," Dennett said.

Many schools in Uganda also were not able to reopen due to lack of funds and lack of manpower. Thousands of teachers were reported to have left the academe to find jobs to sustain their respective needs. Less than 50% of students participated in remote learning during the lockdown.

On top of these, school opening is expected to be temporary depending on the surge of COVID-19 cases. The government have expressed that "a next wave" would mean another lockdown.