Uganda: Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Project
Q2, 2016: Continued Hope through Healthcare and Education
July 31, 2016
Summary of Activities
Improve the health status and overall well being of refugees in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement and the surrounding host communities:
- Provide medicine, medical supplies, and medical support, especially at the Panyadoli Health Centres.
- Support service delivery through employing medical personnel, support and maintain the security of health centers through employing security guards, support the Health Management Information System Maintenance (staff and petrol supply), and promote hygiene through recruitment of more compound and ward cleaners.
- Reach communities with health services through community outreaches. Raise health service awareness through health promoters and community health teams.
- Contribute funds towards celebration of important events in the settlement, namely orientation of all IP and OP staffs. This has promoted solidarity between RMF and other partners in the settlement.
- Facilitation to attend UNHCR and partners’ coordinating meetings, both in the settlement and regional offices; this has helped to promote cohesiveness in operations.
- Continue maintenance of RMF’s office compound at the camp, for use by RMF staff in Kiryandongo Resettlement Camp.
- Provide funding for consistent purchase of food for Precious Children Kawempe Kampala (Robert OPM initiative).
Consistently Filling the Needs
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.
The primary health problems addressed during this reporting period include:
- Intestinal Worms
- Skin Disorders
- Hepatitis B
Vocational Training Institute
Education Leading to Livelihood
We continue to provide financial support and guidance for the four departments at RMF’s Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute. During this reporting period:
- 84 new students were admitted in the intake (out of 432 applicants).
- Sufficient training materials were purchased for the intake, thanks to the funding from RMF/WCF.
- Salaries for vocational training staff were paid in a timely manner, enabling the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute to maintain a highly motivated team.
Meeting Critical Needs
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
Partnering for Peace
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 Kiryandongo District’s local government, and has a direct bearing on promoting the peaceful coexistence of refugees and the host community.
Access to Healthcare
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.
World Refugee Day
“We Stand Together with Refugees. Please Stand with Us.”
The purpose is to raise public awareness regarding the plight of refugees. This year, on June 20th, we partnered working in the settlement joined over 53,000 refugees to celebrate the event. In honor of the day, many activities were carried out, including dramatic performances and the exhibition of arts and crafts. Refugees were encouraged to embrace vocational training, because it provides quick access to economic productivity.
The chief guest of the day was the Resident District Commissioner, who stressed the importance of creating awareness among refugees so that they can access opportunities in the settlement and surrounding communities, participating in society and improving their livelihoods.
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
A total of 7,524 schoolchildren were supported by RMF/WCF funding in nursery, primary, and secondary schools. Second term school fees were paid for all sponsored schools.
- Arnold Primary School: 1,874 pupils supported
- Panyadoli Self Help Secondary School: 943 students supported
- Can Rom Primary School: 2,879 pupils supported
- Beth Cole Nursery School: 735 children supported
Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute
New 2016 Semester
In this new 2016 semester, 84 new students were accepted at the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI):
- 26 for Tailoring and Garment Cutting
- 25 for Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy
- 16 for Carpentry and Joinery
- 17 for Bricklaying and Concrete Practice
The new PVTI students have started their first semester and sufficient training materials have been purchased. Training materials for the second semester were purchased in the required quantities and in the required timeline. Scholastic materials such as books and pens were distributed. The newly constructed Hairdressing classroom is operational, although electricity has not yet been installed. RMF purchased a new computer to support the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute’s office.
Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute ably exhibited some of their products during international celebrations that were conducted during the reporting period, for instance the World Refugee Day celebration.
Maintaining Youth Participation
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 second 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 is providing solutions for economic recovery for 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 for some refugee youth who, once finished their training, can begin generating income.
As per records provided by the UNHCR and OPM (Office of the Prime Minister), the current core population of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement is over 65,000, with at least 55,000 South Sudanese refugees and the remainder composed of Rwandans, Burundians, Congolese refugees, and Ugandan IDPs, with 80% being at-risk women and children (as of March).
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 including Mutunda, Karuma, and Nakasongola.
Notable Project Challenges and Objectives
- 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.