We’ve been working in Uganda since 2008 to support marginalised children and young people affected by conflict, children in conflict with the law, and children and young people in refugee settlements.
Depend on agriculture to make a living.
Of children don’t complete primary school.
Refugees are living in Uganda.
Supporting refugees with justice and educaton
Uganda is host to 1.4 million refugees, the largest refugee hosting nation in Africa. Recently, many have arrived from DR Congo, where they are fleeing both war and Ebola. Life in the settlements is difficult, especially during the pandemic. Refugees rely on government support to survive. But food rations have been cut as more refugees arrive. Women and children must survive of maize flour and beans, but the rations now amount to a little over 1,00 calories.
Providing justice for refugees
In such difficult situations, refugee women and children end up breaking the law to survive. Women steal food simply to stop their children from starving. But when arrested, they are punished harshly. Conditions in prisons are poor, with a lack of food and sanitation. Every day they are at risk of violence.
We’re working with AWYAD and Penal Reform International to raise the standards of access to justice for women and children! That means ensuring access to quality legal support and providing training to the justice sector in child protection. We’re also directly supporting women and children to overcome trauma and build a life for themselves when they leave prison.
Supporting children with disabilities to go to school
Our survey found that 9% of children in Uganda’s refugee settlements have a disability. Yet of children in schools, just 2% did. This means that children with disabilities are less likely to go to school and are missing out on an education.
Now, we’re working with AWYAD to support 1,100 out of school children to get a quality, inclusive primary education! Your support helps to train teachers and teaching assistants to provide inclusive education, making it easier for children with disabilities to learn. Many children are out of school simply because their families can’t afford the fees or uniforms needed. We support parents with small business grants and training so they can earn a stable income.
Could buy a school uniform for a girl in a refugee settlement. Without a uniform, children are turned away from school. Can you please give £5?
Giving vulnerable young people access to employment and food
With endemic poverty and unemployment in northern Uganda, young people have no means to improve their prospects. Agriculture is by far Uganda’s largest employer, with 86% of Ugandans living in rural regions relying heavily on subsistence farming. However, in northern Uganda, agricultural production and know-how have been greatly disrupted by two decades of conflict, poor government investment in infrastructure and the effects of climate change. The Covid-19 pandemic and locust attacks have further exacerbated the threats to food security for many people in Uganda.
Tackling poverty with vocational training at the Patongo Centre
With our partner Passion for Community, we provide 3-month practical training courses and mentoring opportunities on agribusiness and entrepreneurship to vulnerable young people. This enables them to obtain higher agricultural yields, access the job market and eventually set up their own agricultural business. We also provide ongoing psychological support delivered by our social workers and peer educators.
Giving young people a Right2Change
Between 2015-18 in partnership with Passion for Community, we supported over 2,000 of some of the most vulnerable young people across the Agago, Pader, Kitgum and Lamwo districts. An amazing 99% of children and young people helped didn’t reoffend and 95% of our graduates are now earning an income. Before starting Right2Change, just 3% of young people had received information about the procedures of their cases, compared to 55% at project completion. Our approach was found to deliver excellent value for money, with each £1 invested in our Right2Change project, a social return of investment of £10.30 was generated.
After vocational training, young people can start their own businesses
What is it like to grow up in Uganda’s refugee settlements?
Imagine growing up in a war-torn area of DRC. Leaving everything behind, your parents decide to flee to safety. Your family finally escape the horrifying violence and arrive at the border with Uganda. What does life hold for you on the other side?
Our response during COVID-19
At the beginning of the lockdown, ensuring continued access to essential supplies was our priority. Through our Covid-19 Response Fund AWYAD was able to distribute soap, hand sanitiser and handwashing facilities – reaching over 1,000 refugees, children and community members. We also trained women to make reusable facemasks, meaning they are able to go out in public as well as sell the masks to bring in an income. Read more>
- Our technical guidance note on Promotion of Inclusive Education in Uganda during the COVID-19 Crisis (2021).
- Read our final evaluation of the Right2Change project (2019).
- Read about the social return on investment in our Right2Change project (2018).
- Why do girls break the law in northern Uganda? Read our report (2015).
- Our report on young people in conflict with the law in northern Uganda (2015).