Training for refugees in Uganda: a model of integration

Uganda allows refugees to move in and out of settlements, provides land, and allows them to work. It’s an approach which makes Uganda one of the most innovative countries for refugee crisis management.

Nyumanzi vocational training centre

Schools play a key role in making refugees more self-reliant. The centre is run by the Norwegian Refugee Council, and financed by the European Union. Some 200 refugees are at the centre working hard for a fresh start.

Bakery course instructor Jackson Aliga told Euronews why his course is one of the most popular ones on offer.

“The bakery training takes six months, every week we have five days training. The first group, which consisted of 31 people, I would say 50 percent have already found jobs and others are in the process.”

Bakery trainee Yarkon brought her four children, and four of her relatives’ children, from South Sudan to Uganda. A situation that is not uncommon. She aims to open a business to provide for her family.

The courses were offered after research was carried out, aimed at understanding the needs of both refugees’ and their host community. They are in big demand, as the course area manager Hosana Adisu told Euronews.

“We are working on how refugees can link up with the markets in the surroundings. We have established relations between the graduates and the existing financial institutions in this area. It can be micro finance institutions, savings and credits, and the banks.”

Spotlight on #SouthSudan 🎥🇸🇸

Hundreds of thousands are fleeing violence and heading to neighbouring countries pic.twitter.com/M90brvdLBd— BBC Africa (@BBCAfrica) October 28, 2016

Graduates are given start-up cash,tools for their trade, and they benefit from a six-month follow up.

Daruka Ayak opened her bakery with four other trainees. Today they trade inside the settlement and at the local market.  

“I’ve felt comfortable from the moment I started this work,” Daruka told Euronews. “All my kids have clothes and shoes and if they need to buy something at school I can pay. Things have changed compared to the moment I came from South Sudan.”

One of the happiest smiles from one of the saddest countries. South Sudan.

Photo: Sebastian Rich for unicefssudan https://t.co/EHvRjvyuFm pic.twitter.com/ExIw8hafFB

— Sebastian Rich (Hopefocus) October 31, 2016

Armed groups in South Sudan push more and more people to flee.

New settlements have sprung up over in the past few months following the peak in arrivals.

Aid Zone visited the collection centre at one of Uganda’s main entry points Eleg, where refugees reported killings, looting and forced recruitment of youths into armed groups in South Sudan.

“Currently we receive between 100 and 180, but previously around July 17-18, at the peak of the influx, we were receiving between 3,000 to 4,000 refugees per day,” Gerald Edema, Registration assistant, Uganda Government, told Euronews.

Three months ago, it was a tiny Ugandan village. Now it's the world's fourth-largest refugee camp. https://t.co/CHQSqzJ6aK— Anouk Delafortrie (@ECHO_CESAfrica) October 28, 2016

Refugees usually stay in collection centres for a couple of days, but the peak in arrivals often leaves people stranded for months.

The increased number of people seeking asylum protection in Uganda is challenging the country’s approach to dealing with refugees.

There are around 300 business, technical and vocational institutions in Uganda.

The country’s unique laws and regulations are key for effective integration into local communities.

Thanks to donors such as the #EU, each month WFP assists 500K people in #SouthSudan who can only be reached by air pic.twitter.com/6DZpBLhHMM

— WFP Europe (WFP_Europe) October 11, 2016
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