Uganda: Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Project
PVTI Trainees Showcase at Open Market: Q4 2018
February 19, 2019
Naku Charles Lwanga
Summary of Activities
- RMF’s secondary education support in Kiryandongo is now focused on the support of 14 vulnerable secondary school students.
- RMF continued to provide financial support to the Precious Children’s Centre in Kawempe, Kampala, which takes care of orphans and vulnerable children.
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.
- 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 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.
- The RMF follow-up team reported on the recovery progress and health status of 4-year-old heart surgery patient Patricia Biira.
Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI)
- This quarter, the new trainee orientation took place on September 17, 2018.
- Throughout 2018, we succeeded in registering all of our trainees for the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) Examination. This enables our students to receive certificates as evidence of their vocational training in order for them to ably practice their trade.
- PVTI was honored to host visitors from World Children’s Fund, University of Portsmouth, and Self Help Africa respectively on October 11, 22, and 29, 2018. During the visits, our coordinator updated the team about PVTI’s achievements and challenges and proposed intervention. The delegates showed appreciation for RMF’s efforts towards skilling the refugees and supporting them in becoming self-reliant.
Kiryandongo Sports Development Program
- The Sports Development Program was also excited to host Ms. Kathryn and Mr. Tim from the World Children’s Fund (WCF). This visit may positively impact the project by increasing funding, which will allow this young program to grow and improve.
- The Kiryandongo Sports Development Program has helped players cope with trauma and other psychological problems through our counseling and dialogue sessions. Prior to their involvement in the program, some of these youth had lost hope or even become involved in delinquent activities; however, now parents comment on the positive changes in their children’s characters and urge for the continuation of the project.
- The Sports Development Program team had the opportunity to participate in the ECO Communal Agricultural Project, where they were taught how to use farming skills and agricultural knowledge to improve their standards of living.
- The team also hosted a total of 3 teams from other districts and 4 teams from the host community. This has helped promote peace and create more interaction between communities.
Precious Children’s Centre
- The teachers were paid on time, which boosted their morale and helped them generate high passing rates for the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLEs).
- During 2018, these motivated teachers had 19 exam candidates in primary seven, 10 of whom passed in divisional grade one (the highest scoring group), and 9 of whom passed in grade two. There were no failing scores in the third and fourth divisional grades.
Creating a Better Environment
New Wall Fence Created
At Precious Children’s Centre, RMF’s donation goes toward food costs, allowing the school to use funds collected from school fees to organize school development projects. This quarter, the school was able to build a wall fence to protect the children and the school property, creating a better learning environment for students. The school was also able to renovate the classroom by repainting the walls and build another small dormitory.
Sports Development Program
Training Provided for Coaches
The Sports Program successfully implemented a one-day training for coaches, led by Mr. Asuman Lubega of FUFA House. For example, he taught coaches how to play in a small area successfully, how to be both a leader and friend to the players, as well as helping their players reach greater heights athletically.
Positively Impacting the Program
The Sports Development Program welcomes a team from StarTimes Television, one of the leading supporters of sports and sports talent development in Uganda. The team was included in a Startimes television program that will be airing across the country. This will help bring more publicity to the team, which may attract donations, grants, and other benefits.
Open Refugee Market
PVTI Trainees Showcase Items
From December 13–16, 2018, PVTI and its beneficiaries were privileged to participate in the annual Open Refugee Market in Kampala at Kira Road Police Station Grounds. Some of PVTI’s outstanding trainees represented the institute among participants from other refugee settlements. Trainees Juma Botul and Mwaka Simon both represented our Tailoring and Garment Cutting department at the event.
Two Ceremonies Held This Quarter
Graduation ceremonies were held on September 19, 2018, and December 12, 2018. The occasions were graced by guests and local leaders. During the ceremonies, various guests made speeches regarding their areas of expertise, trainees provided entertainment, certificates were awarded, and trainee graduates’ products were exhibited in tours.
Precious Children’s Centre
385 Children Served
Throughout 2018, the Precious Children’s Centre had about 385 pupils. Since the school began receiving support from RMF, many students who would have otherwise dropped out were allowed to remain. RMF’s donation enables the school to care for students until the parents are able to pay. This ongoing support not only benefits the school but also the parents and pupils.
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
2015 PVTI Graduate
Angelo Darazo graduated from PVTI in 2015. He told the follow-up team, “I am so grateful to be one of the graduates of Tailoring and Garment Cutting at PVTI. I appreciate RMF for the effort they are making to equip us with these kinds of skills. The skills that I have acquired have made me so proud, as they have made me self-reliant and able to make money from my daily business of tailoring. This has helped me support my family very well and meet some of my personal challenges.”
2018 PVTI Graduate
John Kennedy graduated from PVTI’s Carpentry and Joinery department in 2018. He said he is thankful to RMF for equipping him with his vocational skills. John told the follow-up team, “I am able to make chairs, tables, and beds which has helped me a lot in raising money to support my family.”
Supporting Vulnerable Students
Giving Them Hope for the Future
In 2018, RMF sponsored 14 students who were enrolled in the school’s boarding section. The community identified these students as vulnerable because most of them had dropped out of school. When the community announced to them that they had been recommended to be sponsored by RMF to finish their secondary school education, they were excited as well as grateful to RMF for the chance to regain the life they thought they had given up. This has helped restore their peace of mind and their hope in the future. RMF is proud to sponsor these students who have maintained well-mannered and respectful attitudes despite their at-risk situations.
Collins Sabir, Senior 5
When Collins Sabir completed Senior 4 in the first division of his class, he felt that without RMF’s support he would not have discovered his academic abilities. “Thanks be to RMF that has helped me discover who I am academically and wishing RMF long live so I can continue with Senior 5 and through the end of Senior 6,” says Collins.
Thok Kher Thok, Senior 6
Thok Kher Thok is also anxiously awaiting his Senior 6 National Exam results which will be announced in the middle of February 2019. Thok says RMF has opened his door to opportunity. If he passes Senior 6, UNHCR will sponsor his university education.
Making an Astounding Recovery
Patricia Biira, who received RMF-sponsored heart surgery in Mulago National Referral Hospital in Uganda, has made a full recovery. Follow-up teams report that Patricia’s condition has greatly improved, and her growth rate has stabilized. In fact, she is growing so quickly that many of her community members in Kasese are astounded.
Prior to learning about her medical condition, many villagers believed that evil spirits from the clan were preventing Patricia from growing, and some asked her parents which church they attended to drive the demons out of her and allow her to grow normally. Others believed that she was bewitched and directed her parents to local witch doctors. However, Patricia’s parents told the villagers that RMF was the miracle worker that enabled them to reach Mulago National Referral Hospital and the Uganda Heart Institute in Kampala, where their daughter’s illness was discovered and treated by specialist doctors, and her life was put back in order.
Patricia’s father, who was able to observe Patricia’s recovery at their home on a daily basis after she returned from Uganda Heart Institute at Mulago, became an advocate of medical treatment for the community. Patricia’s parents now advise their community to always visit health facilities before attributing illness to witchcraft and evil spirits and seeking treatments that may not help improve one’s medical condition. Patricia’s recovery has become a public example both to the village and the sub-county at large of the benefits of seeking medical attention from trained medical workers.
Patricia’s parents, community, and medical team are all very thankful for Patricia’s full recovery and grateful to RMF for supporting her treatment. With Patricia and her parents living in such extreme poverty, she would have died without anyone knowing the reality of her medical condition, and many community members would have continued to believe in witchcraft and evil spirits as the main causes of disease. The villagers in Kasese have learned a lesson: seek treatment in a health facility first. Thanks to RMF, Patricia’s life has been extended, and the villagers have opened their eyes to the benefits of seeking medical attention.