Uganda: Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Project
Promoting the Peaceful Coexistence of Refugees and the Host Community: Q3 2016
October 31, 2016
Naku Charles Lwanga
Summary of Activities
- Assist the refugee and host populations by treating the most prevalent conditions in the refugee settlement, with special attention to malaria and malnutrition at the Panyadoli Health Centres.
- Support the education of refugee schoolchildren.
- Develop the economic component of our humanitarian work through vocational training.
The population of the refugee community has increased lately due to push factors in refugees’ countries of origin, especially South Sudan. Push factors include violence, financial instability, famine, lack of reliable services, etc. According to UNHCR statistics, there have been 19,730 new South Sudanese arrivals in Kiryandongo between July 1, 2016 and September 25, 2016.
Primary School Support
Relief to Parents and Children
A total of 9,809 schoolchildren were supported by RMF/WCF funding in nursery, primary, and secondary schools including South Sudanese, Kenyan, Rwandan, Burundian, Ugandan IDP, and Congolese children/students. Third term school fees were paid in all sponsored schools. The number of youths and children who used to loiter in the settlement has reduced.
- Beth Cole Nursery School: 1,158 children supported
- Arnold Nursery School: 975 children supported
- Can Rom Primary School: 3,589 pupils supported
- Arnold Primary School: 2,908 pupils supported
- Panyadoli Self Help Secondary School: 1,179 students supported
We also provide other support as needed/budgeted to Kiryandongo schools and the community as a whole. This has helped to keep schools operating smoothly during the influx of refugees from South Sudan.
Increased Medical Staff
Meeting the Needs Immediately
RMF recruited two additional medical doctors, 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 that need surgery or specialists 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.
This strategy has helped RMF win the hearts of the Kiryandongo District Local Government, and has a direct bearing on promoting the peaceful coexistence of refugees and the host community.
Provision of Supplies
Assurance and Hope
During the reporting period, RMF/WCF provided medicine and medical supplies to the health centers in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. This was supplemented by medical supplies from Kiryandongo District’s local government and the UNHCR.
Salaries, wages, and top-up allowances for staff members delivering health services were paid in a timely manner.
Throughout this reporting period, we ensured that the health centers had sufficient medications, medical supplies, and cleaning supplies. There were no stock-outs.
The primary health problems addressed during this reporting period include:
- Respiratory Tract Infections
- Intestinal Worms
- Skin Disorders
- Hepatitis B
Facilities and Grounds
Maintenance and Cleanliness
Facilities entrusted to RMF have been protected accordingly. Throughout the reporting period, no cases of theft were reported. The health centers have maintained a high level of cleanliness. This is because we promote hygiene through employment of more compound and ward cleaners. New staff has been recruited to increase manpower in the health centers.
In addition to the above, we strive to:
- Maintain the upkeep and renovation of the health centers through periodic re-painting and re-plastering.
- Maintain and repair water taps at the health center, and repair some of the boreholes in the camp.
- Enhance existing structures for the Malnutrition ward and Panyadoli Health Centre III.
Plans for Next Quarter
Implementing New Ideas
- Supplementation of the health project: Possible introduction of a nutrition program that will involve sensitization and education of parents on the ways to curb malnutrition in children between 0-12 years of age.
- Research opening a hairdressing shop in the neighboring Bweyale Trading Centre. This will help students in training to do their field work and will also help advertise the services RMF delivers to the younger generation.
- Projected opening up of a carpentry workshop in Bweyale.
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
Click to enlarge
As per records provided by the UNHCR and Office of the Prime Minister, the current core population of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement is over 70,000, with at least 55,000 South Sudanese refugees and the remainder composed of Kenyan, Rwandan, Burundian, and Congolese refugees, as well as Ugandan IDPs. As of March 2016, 80% were at-risk women and children.
In addition to the refugee community, services provided by RMF benefit Kiryandongo District’s host population of over 266,197, including Bweyale and surrounding areas such as Mutunda, Karuma, and Nakasongola.
Results of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Project’s Presence
Hope and Security
Students and pupils study safely and comfortably without stress because their school fees are paid and scholastic materials such as books, pens, and pencils were provided for the 2016 third term thanks to RMF/WCF. The financial and scholastic support to schools has helped keep a huge number of children in school. This helps reduce the number of children that would have nowhere to go, many of them having lost their entire families in their home countries.
The Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) is providing solutions for economic recovery to numerous refugee youth. Maintaining youth participation in vocational training directly and indirectly helps to curb other social problems in the community, such as unplanned pregnancies, rape cases, substance abuse, etc. Vocational training also provides quick solutions for economic recovery to some refugee youth who, once finished their training, can begin generating income.
The community feels safe having access to quality health care at the Panyadoli Health Centres, and now finds hope and pride in its Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute, looking forward to expanding its programs and finding new ways to generate income through graduates of PVTI. The immunization rates, health facility utilization, HIV/AIDS service utilization, and the overall health of refugees has greatly improved, and we now have several doctors in the health facilities. Mothers are also receiving better antenatal care services, which has reduced maternal mortality rates in the community.
Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute
A Surplus of Prospective Students
We continue to provide financial support and guidance for the four departments at RMF’s Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI). During this reporting period:
- 80 new students were admitted for this intake, which is the most we can financially support at this time. The process of admitting new students was initiated through advertising the opportunity in the community. This led to 222 prospective students applying to PVTI.
- All students went through PVTI’s interview process, and the selection criteria were based upon passing the interview. All partners implementing activities in the settlement were invited, but only the OPM, UNHCR, Kiryandongo District Local Government, Community Leaders RWCIII, RMF’s coordinator, and PVTI instructors attended the interviews.
- All the materials for the third intake were provided.
- The second intake has just commenced.
In this new 2016 semester, 80 new students were accepted at the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute:
- 25 for Tailoring and Garment Cutting
- 25 for Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy
- 15 for Carpentry and Joinery
- 15 for Bricklaying and Concrete Practice.
Notable Project Challenges and Obstacles
Planning for the Future
- Find funding to open a hairdressing shop in the Bweyale Trading Centre. This will help PVTI students complete their field work, further developing their skills and advertising the services that RMF provides for the youth in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement and surrounding areas.
- Find funding to open a carpentry shop in the Bweyale Trading Centre. This will help students in training to do their field work, advertise the services RMF delivers to the younger generation, and generate income for the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute.
- The refugee community at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement continues to bring overwhelming needs and demands to RMF. This remains a challenge, because RMF Uganda does not have enough funds to resolve every problem presented.
- Language barriers still exist at the Panyadoli Vocational Institute. It is difficult to communicate with students who do not speak English, especially since the courses are more practical.
Patricia is a young girl undergoing treatment at the Uganda Heart Institute. Because of her heart problem, her body failed to grow normally. At 3 years old, Patricia could not walk on her own, speak, or play as expected. Her weight and height were below average.
RMF enabled Patricia to be enrolled at the Uganda Heart Institute. She has been able to see the consultant two times, and her improvement is promising. Patricia has started speaking, walking, and playing with her peers, and her weight has increased to 9.5 kg. Patricia is booked for another appointment in January 2017. We thank RMF for this support.