World Refugee Day: Providing Hope for Refugees in Uganda

June 20, 2011

Jonathan White


In recognition of today's World Refugee Day, we would like to highlight our work with refugees in Uganda and the overall plight of more than 40 million uprooted people around the world. With conflict and natural disasters escalating in many countries, finding new homes and allowing refugees to restart their lives is increasingly difficult.

Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) supplies the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda, a home to more than 26,000 Sudanese, Kenyan, Congolese and internally displaced Ugandans, with something rarely found at refugee camps; HOPE. Providing this hope to Kiryandongo by supporting the healthcare, education and vocational support of its residents. We have been working with Kiryandongo since 2008 through a grant from the World Children's Fund and other individual donations and in collaboration with UNHCR and the Ugandan Office of the Prime Minister.

"Kiryandongo has become a permanent settlement," says Real Medicine Foundation Founder and CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs. "The residents cannot return to their homes, and they deserve opportunities for a future beyond the camp. Real Medicine's programs want to supply not just concrete support, but a sense of hope that life can and will get better."

Education is currently supported by directly paying for school fees, uniforms and supplies for 638 children, roughly half the students at the settlement schools. The kids range from nursery through high school age. RMF also provides a Vocational Training Center at the settlement for young adults, employing local instructors to teach marketable skills such as hairdressing and tailoring.
RMF also supports the "Panyandoli" health clinic at Kiryandongo which services more than 40,000 people in the camps and surrounding areas and treats as many as 4,400 patients a month. The majority of patients are women, many of them suffering from malaria or pneumonia. RMF provides the clinic with medicine, medical supplies, cleaning staff, repairs, renovation and a solar powered water system.

In addition, RMF provides support and training for treatment of post-traumatic stress among the students and orphans at the Mama Kevina School in Tororo, Uganda where many of the children have been affected by war, AIDS, floods and deep poverty. Several of the students were also forced to be child soldiers and are currently recovering from those horrors.

We are highlighting the plight of refugees under our care and to advocate on their behalf for the help they need and ask you to contribute in whatever way you can to helping them rebuild their lives.

Country Page: Uganda Initiative Page: Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Project