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…)
—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...