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
World Refugee Day 5k
Anyone who has ever played a sport, has an all-time favorite sports team, or even knows someone who breaks out the body paint and funny hats every Sunday afternoon, realizes the power of sports to change lives. It’s true for ourselves, our friends and family. So why wouldn’t it be true for refugees around the world?
Sports give a sense of purpose to young people’s lives – and especially to refugees. For many refugees, staying fit, active, and positive is a daily challenge. Sports can be a pathway toward achieving all three. From getting your friends together for a pickup soccer game, to being inspired to learn acrobatics, to learning to run competitively, refugees have told us that playing sports helps them to feel alive.
In Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda, there are hundreds of young people who are already getting active and doing some amazing things. They – just like you – know that sports can change the way they see the world, how they interact with their communities. But these kids are often playing with the basics, or less than that – garbage bags pulled together to make a soccer ball, concrete blocks as weights.
So we thought, what if we could give them a boost? And not only that, what if we could shine a light on Nakivale as a place of hope, creativity, and amazing athletes?
With the World Refugee Day 5k, we can. This June 20th – World Refugee Day – ARC is hosting the first of its kind 5k in Nakivale Refugee Settlement. The run will bring together refugees, Olympians, ARC staff, supporters, and friends from all over the world, all united for one purpose – a chance to play for refugee youth.
We got to work organizing some of these amazing youth in Nakivale and asked them all – if you had $500 to promote opportunities in the settlement to do sports and play, what would you do?
The response was incredible. You can read all of their ideas - and meet the teams - on our Crowdrise Page. You can also sponsor a team, helping them take their game to the next level.
These young people are acrobats, soccer players, runners, musicians, and artists. They each have a specific project and goal in mind, and they’ll be running for their cause at the World Refugee Day 5k.
Follow along with us as we raise support for the teams, and cheer them on as they reach the finish line on June 20th. And on June 21st – with your support – we’ll start making their sports dreams into reality!
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...
ARC Staff Making Change
On World Refugee Day, we launched our fourth annual Changemakers Award Competition. Changemakers is an ideas competition for our 1,600 staff around the world. We ask everyone one simple question and provide the platform for their ideas to pour in. (more…)
Four Stars, Five Years Running
For the fifth year in a row, American Refugee Committee has attained the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency! The 4-star rating is the highest possible rating – only 6% of the organizations evaluated by Charity Navigator, (more…)
UNHCR, UNFPA, BPRM
Nakivale Settlement, Kyangwali Settlement
Over 200,000 people helped