Our current projects include:
Safe Space and Vocational Training Centre for particularly Vulnerable Refugees
Refugees in Uganda confront many economic and social challenges. Certain subsets of refugees such as disabled and elderly people, single mothers, sex workers, HIV+ people, etc., meet additional challenges as they are often subjected to discrimination, humiliation and violence due to societal stigmas and prejudice. Their legal, social and economic opportunities are significantly reduced. This societal marginalization makes them particularly vulnerable, and many of them struggle to survive. This project aims to help these groups in their day to day survival, as well as equip them with practical vocational skills and help them integrate into the local economy and become self-sufficient. We are preparing to open a centre in Kampala, which will provide safe space for vulnerable refugees to socialize, learn, and receive small food donations.
Economic opportunities to refugees and other marginalized groups
We launched a Facebook page ‘Refugees in Uganda – Arts and Crafts‘. The page gives refugee artists a unique opportunity to promote their work, communicate directly with their customers and develop their businesses. 100% Of income goes directly to the artists and/or their organizations.
This went hand in hand with a weekly Local Arts & Crafts Community Market in Namuwongo. Every Saturday we were giving groups of women from the slam and refugee groups space to sell their products as well as to network between the intersectional groups and develop joint strategies and mutual support. The groups were presenting beautiful products such as jewelries, bags, shoes and many more unique souvenirs and gifts, all handmade by our people. 100% of the profits went directly to the groups selling. Unfortunately, we had to stop the markets due to the Covid-19 restrictions. We are hoping to resume this activity soon.
Vocational skills trainings – Since the beginning of our activities we have been teaching English, handicraft, soap making and other skills with adults of five different refugee communities in Kampala. We have also run weekly learning and playing activities with children of four different communities. All our activities are very inclusive and integrate children and adults from the neighboring Ugandan communities. We have already provided more than 150 hours of teaching activities in total reaching more than 300 Ugandan, South Sudanese, Sudanese and Congolese adults and children.
Grant Writing Workshops –
These workshops are directed towards small NGOs and CBOs, working with people and/or environment. The workshop covered the issues of:
- Identifying suitable grants
- (International and governmental).
- Understanding the grant’s requirements and conditions.
- Writing and editing of applications.
- Preparing the budget.
- Sending proposals and appropriate correspondence.
We ran the first workshop in Kampala and the second in Lira, reaching 39 people from 28 different organizations. The workshops were offered free of charge as we believe that small, local organizations are the best suited to give effective solutions to socio-environmental problems and therefore should be given a fair chance in finding finance to run their important activities.
Safe Housing and Health Support
Many refugees find themselves at great risk because of issues which made them leave their original countries, because of domestic violence or other because they belong to different marginalized groups. Last year we have provided temporary shelter to 21 people for times ranging from a few days to six months, depending on the case.
There are many cases where the authorities are unable to provide efficient and timely health support, which can cost some people their lives. During the year we supported 35 patients who failed to receive adequate care by other means, by paying their hospital bills. Cases were ranging from malaria to operations after violent and sexual attacks.
Advocating for for and teaching refugees rights – Not all refugees living in Uganda are currently recognized by the OPM, and many do not receive the support they deserve. part of the problem is that many refugees do not fully understand the registration process and their rights. Our team members have been giving personal and group counseling to refugees of different nationalities, and by that facilitating their successful and efficient status recognition by the state of Uganda.