Empowering Diverse Communities
Geographically, Uganda is at the center of the African continent. Many of the countries surrounding Uganda are embroiled in conflict or other humanitarian crises, leading refugees from a number of different nations to seek sanctuary within its borders. At the refugee settlements in which we work, ARC hosts people from some of the most diversely populated camps in the world, with residents from DRC, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi, and several other countries.
This confluence of cultures makes for an energizing and creative environment, bursting with ideas. We work closely with these communities and other organizations operating within the camp, coordinating our services to meet the needs of the diverse and vibrant population.
Water system for a city
In Nakivale, a settlement home to over 80,000 refugees, we supply clean water and sanitation to all of its residents. Sourcing from a nearby lake, we pump, treat, and distribute the water through access points throughout the settlement. Communities take it from there, organizing water management committees to help maintain and organize water collection. We distribute an astounding 1.1 million liters of water per day in Nakivale, ensuring that families have access to this basic human need.
Refugee settlements in Uganda are large communities, with a diverse set of needs. We work to meet those needs in whatever ways we can, including assisting community groups to build and design schools, providing supportive counseling services, resettlement orientation, and providing the everyday items required to run a household.
Violence prevention is crucial to helping families and individuals get back on their feet. Too often victims do not feel empowered to tell anyone about the abuse, and one of our goals is to encourage more women to report violent incidents. In this we’ve made great strides, utilizing community mobilization to unpack the power imbalances between men and women. We are constantly seeking out new opportunities and ways to support women and girls in not only feeling safe, but achieving their dreams.
We’ve got ideas
From an ARC radio station, to races run by refugees, to greenhouse cooperatives, great ideas are coming from our team in Uganda. And we’re working to implement them. One of these ideas came to fruition in the form of the first annual Nakivale Marathon, which saw the participation of hundreds of men and women running to raise money to help keep girls in school. Another idea is our new greenhouse cooperatives project. It works to empower women and provide them with a means to make a living, teaching them techniques that they can.
Together, we’re helping refugees survive conflict and crisis and rebuild lives of dignity – while making sure the world doesn’t forget about the amazing refugees in Uganda we work with every day.
- Mahmud Gaznabi, Country Director
—The World Refugee Day 5k is a race unlike any other. It gathers refugees, Ugandans, and friends from all over the world to come together and celebrate what’s possible. It shines a light on an often forgotten place, telling a story of hope and ideas, optimism and peace. And it's a moment of unity, with refugees from 13 different countries running together, all headed for the finish line. (more…)
NAKIVALE REFUGEE SETTLEMENT, UGANDAMORE INFO & RSVP FOR ROTARY TALK & TOUR AT AMERICAN REFUGEE COMMITTEE In 2016, American Refugee Committee held a first of its kind event in Kampala, Uganda, celebrating the ingenuity and creativity of refugee youth from Nakivale Refugee Settlement. That event sparked an idea - a joint project with the American Refugee Committee and Rotarians from Uganda and Minnesota to launch the first ever Rotaract Club in a refugee camp. The idea was simple, but the impact could be huge. Nakivale Rotaract Club became the first Rotaract Club to be established in a refugee settlement in June 2017. Currently there are 26 members representing 3 countries. The Nakivale Rotaract Club is a true example of the change that can be sparked from just one idea. And Nakivale Rotaractors are passing on that change to their community by being people of action.
YEAR OF ACTION & INSPIRATIONIn partnership with American Refugee Committee, Nakivale Rotaract Club is celebrating their one year anniversary by launching a “Year of Action & Inspiration”. Motivated to do the doable, they’ll bring community generated ideas to life through 52 weeks of projects. The “Year of Action & Inspiration” launched on World Refugee Day 2018 - June 20 - when refugees, Ugandans, Rotarians and ARC came together for a 5K run like no other. Over 1,000 runners submited their own project ideas to register. Every project idea will be displayed in the community and every week throughout the year another idea will be implemented by the Nakivale Rotaract Club and ARC. These Rotaractors desire to take action in their community as well as to be the inspiration for other refugee youth, with the goal to expand the reach of Rotaract to other communities and refugee settlements.
TravelParticipate alongside Nakivale Rotaractors in the implementation of some of the 52 projects that make of their “Year of Action & Inspiration”. Travel is being planned for the beginning of 2019, and dates will be announced soon. Let us know if you are interested in future travel opportunities to do the doable alongside the Nakivale Rotaract Club. Contact Amanda at AmandaO@ARCrelief.org
GiveEmpower Rotaractors to transform refugee community ideas into action, creating real change every week of the year. Each $500 contribution will provide for one community project to be carried out by Rotaractors in a refugee settlement. Give online here or mail donations to: American Refugee Committee, 615 First Avenue NE, Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55413. *Checks should be made payable to: American Refugee Committee. *In the interest of the Nakivale Rotaractors’ safety, ARC is acting as a financial conduit for the Club and providing procurement and logistical support for their “Year of Action & Inspiration”.
Help Expand RotaractExtend the impact of Rotaract in to other refugee settlements by sponsoring the creation of a new refugee Rotaract Club, supporting their Rotary journey to serve their community. Be the sponsor Rotary Club, twin Rotaract Club, or mentor Rotarian
Contact Amanda at AmandaO@ARCrelief.org to learn more!NAKIVALE ROTARACT CLUB was inspired by the vision of Ugandan Rotarians, including the late Sam Owori, onsite expertise of American Refugee Committee, and the motivation of local Nakivale youth to serve others. Rotary International made history on June 21, 2017 when the Nakivale Rotaract Club became the first chartered Rotary entity in a refugee settlement. The past year has been life-changing for these new Rotaractors. Living in a refugee settlement can often be an isolating experiencing. It’s difficult to connect with the people and places you left behind, not to mention how hard it can be to make new connections and create opportunities for yourself and your community. Through Rotaract, the Nakivale Rotaract Club has connected with Clubs and Rotarians throughout Uganda and the world. Rotaract has broadened their world of possibilities and brought their goal of strengthening their own community within reach. Watch video from the 2018 World Refugee Day 5k below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBGVnAkYuZM
—You may not have heard of Bidi Bidi. A few short months ago it didn't exist. It has very quickly become the second largest refugee camp in the world. This summer it was a huge, empty, arid patch of land nearby the small Ugandan border town of Yumbe. But today it is home to some 270,000 refugees, most of whom have fled the violence and upheaval in South Sudan. Read More...