Uganda: Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Project
10,083 Current Students Supported: Q1 2018
July 16, 2018
Alphonse Mwanamwolho and Naku Charles Lwanga
Summary of Activities
Currently, a total of 10,083 students are supported by RMF/WCF funding in nursery, primary, and secondary schools, including South Sudanese, Kenyan, Rwandan, Burundian, Ugandan IDP, and Congolese children/students. School fees for all RMF-sponsored students were paid at the beginning of the reporting period:
- Beth Cole Nursery School: 1,238 children supported
- Arnold Nursery School: 985 children supported
- Can Rom Primary School: 3,687 pupils supported
- Arnold Primary School: 2,987 pupils supported
- Panyadoli Self Help Secondary School: 1,186 students supported
Medicine and Human Resources Support
- During the reporting period, RMF/WCF provided medicine, as well as medical, laboratory, and cleaning supplies for the health centers in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. This was supplemented by medical supplies from Kiryandongo District’s local government and the UNHCR. RMF/WCF’s medical support benefits both refugees and nationals who come for treatment at Panyadoli Health Centre III, Panyadoli Hills Health Centre II, the Reception Centre Clinic, and Nyakadot Health Centre II.
- Recruited new staff members to work in the Operating Theatre (recently constructed at Panyadoli Health Centre III with funding from RMF), as well as other medical departments. This additional staff will eliminate the need for many referrals to other health facilities.
- Boosted the capacity of health facilities in the settlement—mainly Panyadoli Health Centre III, Panyadoli Hills Health Centre II, and Nyakadot Health Centre II—by recruiting additional medical and support staff and continuing to provide adequate medical and cleaning supplies.
- RMF/WCF funding also sustains data clerks in all the health facilities of the settlement so that all medical data is recorded and well organized.
- Salaries, wages, and top-up allowances for medical and support staff in the health program were paid in a timely manner.
Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI)
We continue to provide financial support and guidance for the four departments at RMF’s Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI). During this reporting period, the following accomplishments were achieved:
- The PVTI team conducted interviews to select candidates for the 14th intake, January–March 2018. 381 applicants expressed interest in joining the vocational training program. After the interview process and considering the institute’s financial capacity, 88 trainees were accepted.
- Of the 88 trainees accepted for the intake, 80 continued with their training and were registered for the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) examinations, which took place on April 25, 2018. Unfortunately, one Tailoring and Garment Cutting trainee died on the day of the examination. His name was John Taban Basilio, a male South Sudanese trainee who had been in poor health for some time.
- All four departments were provided with adequate training and examination materials during the reporting period, which helped PVTI to conduct training without interruption. Trainees were also provided with safety tools and uniforms.
- Due to the funding from RMF/WCF, the program is able to attract additional partners. During the previous reporting period, Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) received supplementary materials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). These materials supported training activities and the school office.
- Training sessions were effectively conducted and stayed on schedule.
- Instructors’ salaries were paid in a timely manner, which enables PVTI to maintain a highly motivated team.
- The cleanliness of the school’s premises was maintained by ensuring that the compound was mown and the training workshop and office kept clean.
- In order to promote the concept of democracy, trainees are encouraged to elect guild representatives. The activity makes the training lively, as different candidates try to win the electorate. This exercise took place on February 2, 2018, and the trainees are empowered to decide on the positions they consider vital to the institution.
- Follow-up visits were conducted for former trainees. In this way, the vocational training team was able to provide them with technical support on how to improve their businesses.
Kiryandongo Sports Development Program
RMF has continued to implement our sports development program, which is promoting psychological wellbeing, life skills, and cooperation among the youth. The program has helped diffuse some of the tension existing between different tribes from South Sudan. During this reporting period, the following activities were carried out:
- Conducted regular soccer trainings and organized matches both inside and outside of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.
- The team made a trip to Kampala, where they were hosted by the Airtel Rising Stars in Gayaza. This was a great opportunity for sharing experiences.
- The project purchased essential training equipment, including balls, sports bibs, uniforms, and cleats. This has led to easy identification during training and competitions. It has also attracted more participants to the program and created more confidence in the existing players because they are adequately facilitated.
- Maintained and greened the playing fields that are being used for practice.
- Conducted 2 dialogue sessions with the players to help build discipline and good habits among the participants.
- Throughout the reporting period, coaches of the different teams have been meeting together, which helps them coordinate the training activities of the program. During these meetings, the coaches are able to evaluate their performance, and this has become an important part of moving the program forward.
Precious Children’s Centre
RMF continued to provide financial support to the Precious Children’s Centre in Kawempe, Kampala, which takes care of orphans and vulnerable children. The funding from RMF is used to purchase of food for the children. This has helped to keep more children in class and to stabilize the center’s operations.
Support for a Young Heart Patient
Patricia Biira is a three-year-old girl who was born with holes in her heart. Thanks to RMF’s support, she underwent a successful heart surgery at the Uganda Heart Institute on August 16, 2017 and received emergency treatment a week later, when a new attack almost claimed her life. Patricia is now at home with her parents, and according to the medical review that was done in September, she is recovering steadily. Our team will check on Patricia’s progress again during the second quarter of 2018.
Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute
79 Students Take DIT Exams
A total of 80 students continued with their studies at Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI), completing their training in one of the school’s four departments: Bricklaying and Concrete Practice, Carpentry and Joinery, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy, or Tailoring and Garment Cutting. 79 of these students took the DIT exams on April 25, 2018, earning certificates that will facilitate further studies and/or employment at reputable businesses.
Training materials for the semester were purchased in the required quantities and in the required timeline. Scholastic materials such as books and pens were also distributed.
Precious Children’s Centre
Financial support was delivered to the Precious Children’s Centre. This is used to purchase food for the children, improving their health and ability to concentrate on learning.
RMF Provides Medical Officer
RMF recruited additional medical and support staff, which has helped reduce the number of referrals. A majority of medical cases are now handled at the Panyadoli Health Centre III, and only complicated cases are referred to Kiryandongo Hospital, Gulu Hospital, or to the national referral hospital in Mulago.
The bond of collaboration between RMF and Kiryandongo Hospital has been strengthened since RMF has provided a medical officer to support the hospital, especially with cases requiring surgery.
The health centers have maintained a high level of cleanliness and we maintained our contribution of medications, medical supplies, laboratory supplies, and cleaning supplies.
Over 10,000 Students Helped
Delivered financial support to schools in the settlement supported by RMF/WCF: Beth Cole Nursery School, Arnold Nursery School, Can Rom Primary School, Arnold Primary School, and Panyadoli Self Help Secondary School.
10,083 schoolchildren were supported for the first term of 2018, including South Sudanese, Kenyan, Rwandan, Burundian, Ugandan IDP, and Congolese pupils. The number of youths and children who used to loiter in the settlement has reduced significantly.
Supplies Provided, Duties Fulfilled
RMF purchased and supplied required office stationery for the program, and facilities entrusted to RMF have been protected accordingly. Throughout the reporting period, no cases of theft were reported.
RMF has continued to deliver health services according to the tripartite agreement between the UNHCR, OPM, and RMF. Thus, RMF continues to perform our duties as the UNCHR Health Implementing Partner in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.
The health program continues to improve the health of refugee communities and host communities.
Sports Development Program
Attracting Media Attention, Providing Scholarships
The program hosted a total of 3 teams from other districts and 4 teams from the host community. This has been a good avenue for interaction and, consequently, creating bonds of friendship among participants.
Additionally, RMF purchased essential sports training items, including balls, cones, sports bibs, uniforms, and cleats, among others.
A special training session was conducted for the coaches by Asuman Lubega, an expert in soccer and a general advisor of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) House Uganda. During these sessions, the coaches were taught special skills for managing a team.
The sports development program has started attracting media attention. During the reporting period, the StarTimes TV crew came and conducted media interviews with the participants. This is helping to create publicity for the program.
The sports program has enabled some participants to secure scholarships for secondary school.
The Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Bweyale, Uganda, is a UNHCR managed refugee settlement that provides shelter, land, and support for more than 100,000 people. They are comprised of refugees from Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. RMF has partnered with UNHCR in supporting Kiryandango Refugee Settlement, the surrounding community of Bweyale, and the greater Kiryandongo District (an additional 266,197 people) with health care, education, and vocational training since 2008.
- To serve as a health care implementation partner with the UNHCR and Ugandan Government
- To provide health care services to over 100,000 refugees and persons in the community via the Panyadoli Health Centres
- To provide skills training for South Sudanese refugees to enable them to become self-reliant
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Developing a Clothing Business
Pauline Aber studied tailoring and garment cutting at PVTI. With her startup kit, she works in Bweyale market. According to Pauline, this has enabled her to earn an income, and she has continuously worked hard, which has provided her with more skills and also helped her to stay in touch with the skills she acquired during the training.
While at the market, the community or her clients approach Pauline with clothing orders, and this has enabled her to contribute towards the basic needs of her family, including her children, mother, sisters, and brothers. Pauline is now focused on raising money to rent a shop, buy materials, and produce outfits for her clients.
Earning an Income
Vivian Adokorach graduated in 2016 from PVTI’s Tailoring and Garment Cutting Department. Equipped with her startup kit, Vivian works at Bweyale market, making designed and kitenge clothing, bed sheets, pillowcases, and other products.
The money she earns assists her in buying food and other essential supplies at home, as well as more material. Vivian said that the only problem she has is capital to buy material that will attract more clients.
Planning to Open Her Own Shop
Scovia Achola graduated from PVTI in December 2017. She did not receive a startup kit, but she rents a sewing machine at UGX 10,000 per week. She loves her work, and she said that during market days she earns more than UGX 20,000, which helps support her family, paying school fees for her siblings and looking after her sickly mother.
Scovia is optimistic that from the savings she will accumulate this year, she will be able to expand her business, therefore being able to open her own shop.
Expanding her Business
Dorcus Angee graduated in August 2015 from PVTI’s Tailoring and Garment Cutting Department. Equipped with her startup kit, Dorcus rented a veranda in front of a shop, where she does her tailoring work and also sells clothes and bags to make ends meet. She is optimistic that by the start of next year, she will have saved enough money to shift to a better location and expand her business.
Dorcus also describes the difficulties of her situation: she spends part of her earnings on repairs for her sewing machine, the site of her business is not very comfortable, and dust disturbs her business. Despite these difficulties, she is thankful for the opportunity and to RMF and Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute for the skills acquired.
Caring for the Family of Late RMF Program Manager
The program faced a shock in November 2017 due the death of Caroline Tukugize, the well-loved RMF program manager for Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. She died shortly after undergoing a successful C-section to deliver twins at Paragon Hospital in Kampala.
Our team is keeping in touch with Caroline’s husband, Francis, and we are providing support for her twins.