We are privileged to work with so many amazing partners and every day we are inspired by the stories they share and their determination to ensure that every child has a safe and happy childhood. Partners like Roger Nabyamu, a Project Assistant for AWYAD, working in the Kyaka II refugee settlement in Uganda.
Each day is a struggle in the settlements. Poor housing and lack of food are hard enough to deal with but when you have children who have experienced unimaginable trauma, getting them the support they need can seem an overwhelming impossibility. This is where Roger steps in. Having fled DRC five years ago as a political refugee, Roger understands what families and children growing up in the settlement need from AWYAD.
“Many of the children we help have witnessed their relatives being killed. They have been tortured or raped. They have terrible flashbacks and have had to leave everything behind. Everything here is new to them. Children come to the settlement with psychological problems and need counselling and reassurance that now they are in Uganda, they are safe.
“I tell them; the people that hurt you are behind you and are not here”roger
“I implement most of the activities to support children experiencing disabilities and work to get them access to education. We organise community awareness and social counselling because some of the parents have strong beliefs that children with disabilities and girls shouldn’t be educated.
The community doesn’t give any importance to education for these children, they think they are useless. But it is so important. If these children stay at home, young girls will get pregnant, they will have no future. It’s very bad for them.”
Not only does Roger and his colleagues work hard at changing perceptions and getting children to access to education, but they also create safe and stable environments for the families when they arrive. By helping to secure the things that the families need they can gain a sense of security and start rebuilding their lives:
“Everyone qualifies for food rations and a small amount of money each month here at the settlement but it’s very hard to live on. There is very high inflation and rations have been cut because of the pandemic and the rise in food costs. People can spend the money on what they like and sometimes we have problems in households, such as men spending money on drinks and there not being enough money left for extra food. We have started to run awareness sessions on budgeting, planning and finding work so that refugees can help support themselves.”
“There are always more than a thousand people on each transit of new refugees to the camp. It is a full force operation”.Roger
With conflict still raging it is estimated that almost six million people have been displaced internally in DRC and approximately 17,000 people have crossed the border and sought refuge in Uganda in the first part of this year alone. Our partners and colleagues, like Roger, are needed more than ever to provide tireless support to the growing number of refugee children and families in Uganda. Your support is essential in ensuring this vital work can continue.
A donation of £30 could train a community caseworker in psycho-social care to support children who have experienced severe trauma. Will you please make a donation today to support the children Roger helps?