Q2/2013: Kiryandongo Refugee Report

August 1, 2013

Naku Charles Lwanga and Jonathan White

Project Background:

The Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Bweyale, Uganda, is a UNHCR managed refugee settlement that provides shelter, land and support for more than 25,000, comprised of Ugandan IDPs and refugees from Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Sudan.  RMF has partnered with UNHCR in supporting Kiryandango and the greater surrounding community of Bweyale (an additional 30,000 residents) with health care, education and vocational training since 2008.

International World Refugee Day Celebrations conducted on June 20th, 2013 at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. RMF/WCF contributed funds and supplies to the celebrations.

Project Objectives:

  • Provide funding for continuous running of the vocational school.
  • Provide funding to facilitate candidates taking their national exams in Masindi.  This facilitation includes transport to and from, accommodation, feeding, and the allowance for the teachers who take care of the students in Masindi.
  • Provide school fees and scholastic materials for all Kenyan and Sudanese refugee school children, at the beginning of the term.
  • Continuous maintenance of RMF office compound at the camp, for use by RMF staff in Kiryandongo resettlement camp.
  • Provide other support as needed/budgeted to the Kiryandongo schools, and community as a whole.
  • Maintenance and repair of the water taps at the health center, and repair of some boreholes at the camp.
  • Maintain adequate medicine and medical supplies to the Panyadoli Health Center. Research the upgrade of Panyadoli Health Centre III to Hospital level.
  • Provide funding to facilitate fieldwork for students studying geography.

Summary of RMF/WCF-sponsored activities carried out during the reporting period under each project objective:

Support the celebrations of International World Refugee Day with food and beverages. (See Appendix B for photos)

School Support

All the school fees in all sponsored schools have been cleared for the second term 2013.

1,286 children, pupils, and students in total are supported by RMF/WCF funding in Nursery, Primary, and Secondary schools:

  • Arnold Primary School, we support 410 students
  • Panyadoli Self Help Secondary School, 48 students
  • Can Rom Primary School, we support 681 students
  • Beth Cole Nursery School, we support 75 students
  • Daystar Nursery, we support 72 students

In summary:

Beth Cole and DaystarNursery Schools                      147

Can Rom and Arnold Primary Schools                    1,091

Panyadoli Self Help Secondary School                         48

Total Children Supported                                           1,286

Notebooks and other school supplies given to students

Medicine delivery

RMF/WCF, local government, and UNHCR equipped the health center with pharmaceuticals this reporting period. The last resupply was on May 15th, 2013.


Vocational Training Institute

Continued financial support and guidance for the RMF Tailoring and Hairdressing Vocational Training Institute; a total of 32 students graduated by June 13th, 2013.  Materials for classes and fuel for the generator were provided through the Second Quarter to ensure the efficient running of both programs.

Tailor Shop Program: 10 tailors who graduated with Panyadoli Vocational School were given funds and planning assistance to begin tailoring businesses. The sponsorship of these graduates with their own Tailoring Shop business begins with the purchase of sewing machine, fabrics, threads and other equipment. RMF will also support the rental payments on their shops for the first year.  In order to be approved for the program tailoring students will be expected to donate 10% of their profits back to the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) to be used to purchase supplies for the new students.  

Renovation of hair dressing class building

Support of graduation of students at Panyadoli Vocational School


Results and/or accomplishments achieved during this reporting period:

  • Second semester of Vocational Training began on March 18th, 2013, and graduation was celebrated on June 13th, 2013.
  • A total of 1,286 school children were supported for the first term of 2013, including Kenyan, Sudanese, Rwandan, Burundian, Ugandan IDP, and Congolese children/students.  Notebooks, pencils and other school supplies provided for our sponsored students.
  • Continued financial support for the running of the Vocational Training Institute for Tailoring and Hair dressing was provided. All the materials for the second semester of and for examinations were bought in plenty.

  • The RMF/WCF office at the camp was maintained.
  • The building where hair dressing classes are held was completely renovated.
  • Kiryandongo community appreciated the support to International World Refugee Day celebrations.
  • Successful launching of the Tailor Shop Program with 10 tailors selected for participation, and the equipment and supplies purchased in June.
  • Jane is employed at the health center by RMF to support herself and her daughter Lucy instead of depending on RMF’s monthly stipend; she is doing very well at the health center.

Success Stories:

Drug and medical supplies delivered to the Panyadoli Health Center by RMF/WCF this quarter:

International World Refugee Day Celebrations conducted on June 20th, 2013. RMF/WCF contributed funds to the celebrations.

Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute

School Year 2013


Tailoring and Garment Cutting Course

1.     Namatovu Maxensia (Senior Instructor).

2.     Mwaka Simon (Junior Instructor).

Hairdressing and Beauty Course

1.     Nakyagaba Teddy (Senior Instructor).

2.     Byamungu Kitsa Adolph (Junior Instructor).

47 applications were received in late 2011, and 44 students were accepted and reported to the institute for the first term opening in November of 2012.  28 were for hairdressing and 16 for tailoring.

Hairdressing and Beauty Summary

Students who successfully completed the course:

1.     Wabyoona Chalet                               11. Atim Fiona

2.     Abur Sharon                                        12. Angwech Hellen

3.     Sauda Doreen                                     13. Layet Sarah

4.     Faidha Beatrice                                   14. Temko Veronica

5.     Azill Toto Tiya                                      15. Adong Polline

6.     Kabang Rose                                      16. Nandutu Mary

7.     Achiro Filda                                         17. Amojong Jesca

8.     Karungi Judith                                     18. Alum Winnie

9.     Akikoli Agnes                                      19. Tumusiime Faith

10.  Mary Mothoni                                      20. Karigo Joseph

Number of Ugandan Nationals: 12

Number of Refugees: 8


Lessons run from 8:00am and end at 4:00pm from Monday to Friday with exception of public holidays, and weekends.


All practical and theory topics planned were satisfactorily taught by instructors from first term to second term.


Examinations for second term began on 5/20/2013 and ended on 5/31/2013.

One of the students in the examination conducting a facial practical on a client

Tailoring and Garment Cutting Program

We started the term with 16 students, 4 dropped out and 12 successfully completed the course, passed exams and graduated.

Students who successfully completed the course were;

1.     Amule Juliet                                       7. Ayoo Sunday

2.     Amase Mary                                       8. Katusiime Seritah

3.     Aryemo Martha                                   9. Prisca Ondoga

4.     Angwech Christine                            10. Pinyoloya Brenda

5.     Ayet Josephine                                  11. Nishimwe Marisiyene

6.     Alimo ketty                                         12. Nyaketcho Miriam

Number of Female Students -12

Number of Male Students – none

Number of Nationals -10

Number of Refugees – 2

New Tailor Shop Program

Tailoring Shop Program Goal

Setting up sustainable, market based business opportunities for the refugee and IDP graduates of the PVTI Tailoring Program.

Auma Santa, one of the graduates selected to participate in the Tailor Shop Progra, standing in front of her designed pillow cases at her work shop.

Tailoring Shop Program Background

Sponsorship of 10 RMF Tailoring Program graduates with their own Tailoring Shop businesses with the purchase of sewing machine, fabrics, threads and other equipment.  In order to be approved for the program tailoring students will be expected to donate 10% of their profits back to the Panyadoli Vocational Institute (PVTI).

During the month of June, RMF will be purchasing a sewing machine, enough fabric for a few months, threads, needles, and enough tables and chairs to set up new shop locations for each of the 10 selected. We will also be paying the monthly shop space rent for one year to help the Tailors become profitable and save enough money to continue their businesses in a sustainable fashion without further donations.  After a 3 month grace period, they will also be expected to donate 10% of their profits back to PVTI.  The sewing machine and any furniture provided will be lent to the tailor at no charge with the agreement that it is RMF property, and cannot be resold. Each of these tailors will sign an MOU with RMF that details their responsibilities and the expectations of being selected for this program.

Selection criteria

The criteria used for selecting the 10 Tailors were: classroom performance, level of interest expressed in school/ further training after graduation, and location to Kiryandongo/Bweyale. Of the students who graduated from the PVTI Tailoring program over the past two years there are many who have had to return to their villages to work in agriculture to earn a living as they didn’t have the capital available to start their own shops, and there aren’t enough apparel related jobs hiring locally. Of the 10 selected for this new program, two are current students about to graduate, and 8 are students who have already graduated and have displayed extra motivation to continue.

RMF Uganda Country Director, Naku Charles Lwanga, with our 10 selected Tailors on a celabratory lunch and supply trip to Kampala

The two students who are just about to graduate were selected based on their performance in the first term, their discipline and creativity.  One of the students, Nyakecho Maria, had been at another vocational training school on the other side of Uganda that had closed, and through determination and will power had found our school at Kiryandongo, traveled to Kiryandongo to meet the staff of the school and was eventually accepted into the new incoming class.  The other 8 Tailor Graduates were already working in some capacity in tailoring but were actively looking to start their own business, were regularly in touch with their teachers to learn new skills and have displayed their dedication to owning their own business.

Photos/Profiles of the 10 selected:


Anyango is a young Ugandan national, who dropped out of high school and was living at home helping her parents until she had the opportunity to join the tailoring program after RMF/PVTI had advertised throughout Bweyale with posters. She completed the courses successfully and expressed her gratitude that her Instructor, Simon Mwaka of PVTI, found her a job immediately after her graduation at the Bweyale Trading Centre. The skills she learned at PVTI have enabled her to successfully continue with more training, and to meet her personal needs through her earnings by sewing customers’ garments. She is very excited to purchase her own sewing machine, and open her own tailoring shop.


Angela is a Sudanese refugee, living in the Kiryandongo refugee settlement. She says before her studies at PVTI, she was at home being only able to do some farming to earn money. She saw the PVTI program advertised and discussed the study opportunity with her husband, and decided to apply for the tailoring program. Her husband bought her a sewing machine immediately after her graduation from his sale of maize. Angela currently has a home-based tailoring/sewing workshop, but is looking forward to having assistance setting up her own shop at the Bweyale Trading Center and purchasing more advanced sewing equipment to expand her services and become self-sufficient. 


Nekesa is a Kenyan refugee in the Kiryandongo refugee settlement, and before taking the PVTI classes she was at home taking care of her children and doing some farming.  Africa Action International (AAH), another NGO operating in Kiryandongo informed Nekesa of the RMF/WCF program and Nekesa applied and was accepted for training. Immediately after her graduation AAH gave her a sewing machine and a pair of scissors and most recently she has been working from home. She is already earning some money to help her family and has plans to teach her children the same tailoring skills, and how to operate a sewing machine.

She is greatly looking forward to joining RMF’s Tailoring Shop program to assist her in setting up her own shop in Bweyale and purchasing some more advanced equipment and supplies in order to expand her business.


Auma is a Ugandan national, who had previously cherished farming as the only option of her earning a living for her children.  She saw the posters advertising the free tailoring courses and decided to take a chance and apply.  After her being accepted and completing the training, she has most recently been working with the Give and Take Designing Centre where she sews/designs customers’ garments. With the help of RMF’s Tailor program she is looking forward to having a much wider supply of equipment, fabrics and her very own work space at the Bweyale Trading Center.

She said she was also able to pick up some hairdressing skills from the hairdressing course at PVTI and now is working a little in both areas, and is able to provide for her family. She also has plans to open/set up her hair salon alongside her new tailoring shop.


Atto is a Sudanese refugee living in ranch 37, cluster N-Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, and is married with 2 small children.  Atto narrated the following about joining the Tailoring Program:

“I dropped out of school from Primary 7-Star Education Centre-Bweyale, after I had a child.  2 years down the road I’ve been at home doing farming and had another child, our home budget increased and we needed jobs for both me and my husband.  When PVTI advertised I applied for the tailoring training and was admitted. After my graduation I first stayed home doing farming but later was given an old sewing machine by a neighbor (who had returned to Kenya ). I began operating the machine at home where I could sew customers’ garments and earn income to cater for the family’s needs. Unfortunately the machine broke down so I have not been sewing since then, with no income to repair/service the machine. Recently my only means of earning a living has been returning to farming. I forward my gratitude to the funders for the chance given to pursue a tailoring shop, have further training and receive some help with equipment and supplies to begin tailoring again.”


Mariam is a Ugandan national who had moved to Kiryandongo from Tororo specifically to attend PVTI after being guided there through RMF staff in Tororo.  She is just about to finish the training in tailoring and garment cutting at PVTI. She will be returning to Tororo to set up her first tailoring shop under the program umbrella and will be monitored by the RMF staff in Tororo.  She narrated:

“I dropped out of school in senior four, stayed out for two years at home, later my parents took me to Grace Line Vocational School in Tororo town. I studied for one year, but unfortunately the school was closed and I had to hunt for another program, and luckily was able to find PVTI where I am continuing with my vocational studies in Kiryandongo district. During the first semester exams I was the second best. I have studied in PVTI, life has greatly changed because everything required for studies is there; the trainers and all the staffs around are very social and courageous. I want to thank the sponsors and donors of this program for the great work they are doing in Uganda especially in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.  I hope they continue with that spirit of helping more of us and advance our studies in order to compete with others in the labor market.”


Aryemo is a Ugandan national IDP living in Kiryandongo, married with one child, and just about to graduate from the Tailoring and Garment cutting program at PVTI.

Martha narrates:  “I dropped out of school in senior two after I became pregnant, got married to the father of the child but life has been hard since then as I had nothing to do. I later agreed with my husband to join PVTI, applied, was accepted and during the first semester I was the best student in the class. I would like to deeply thank my sponsors for this new opportunity and look forward to opening my own business.”


Aweko is a Ugandan National living in Bweyale; she narrated:

“I dropped out of school from level four (senior four) in 2007 after the death of my father because there was no one able to pay my fees. I engaged myself in business for one year with selling papyrus mats in order to earn a living. I later settled home for one year in faith of looking after my sick mother and my younger siblings, but later my mother passed on. Life hardened even more because I had much responsibility, yet no job/business. I went to a certain woman in Bweyale with a tailoring workshop to train me at a cost of 200,000/= Uganda Shillings for only two weeks, and was told about PVTI at Kiryandongo camp for tailoring and hair dressing. I applied for tailoring, went for interviews and finally a place was secured. After the 6-month course I graduated and went for further training at a tailoring workshop at Bweyale Center and was able to find some small opportunities to earn some money.  PVTI is a model school that has enabled me to begin a new and promising life, that I can now pay school fees for my child and my siblings and am able to cater for my family’s needs.  I also plan to go for more advanced tailoring skill training in the future. Thanks to the donors/funders for changing my life and giving me this new opportunity to start my own shop.”


Akwero is a Sudanese refugee in Ranch 1, Cluster V, married with two children. Beatrice tells her story:

“I dropped out of school when in Primary Seven after I became pregnant, stayed home for five years doing village job-farming and had another child. Advertisements for PVTI about tailoring and hairdressing went throughout the settlement, and I applied and felt lucky to secure a place in the tailoring program.  I finally graduated and got a lot of skills from PVTI that inspired my husband wanting to purchase me a simple sewing machine through his sale of maize. He believed to improve and not to stagnate my skills.”

Akwero now has a home based workshop where she is able to serve a few customers. She plans to go for further tailoring skills training if the opportunity surfaces so that she can get more exposed to other garment sewing designs.  She thanks the donors/funders for helping her acquire skills in tailoring and garment cutting, and asks them to continue helping more students to reach their goals in getting vocational training and becoming self-sufficient.  She plans on purchasing a more advanced sewing machine with the new funds to expand the tailoring services she can offer and looks forward to having her own space to work.


Asienjo is a Sudanese refugee living in Ranch 1, Cluster C at Kiryandongo; she is married and has 4 children.

Asienjo narrates:  “I dropped out of school from Senior One because of financial constraints after I had lost both parents in 2003. I got married, began serious farming in order to earn a living and now have 4 children. PVTI advertised for tailoring and garment cutting vacancies through posters all over the settlement, and I was able to join for the training at no cost.  After graduating, I rented a sewing machine that I operate with at home. I got skills from PVTI (I know how to make familiar garments for customers) that in turn earn me some income to cater for my family’s needs.”

She is looking forward to the new equipment for this program and also starting other supplementary businesses through the income earned from tailoring, and receiving further, more advanced tailoring skills training.

Graduation Ceremony

For the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute’s 3rd graduating class, there was a total of 32 graduates from the Tailoring and Hairdressing programs this year,12 from tailoring and 20 from hairdressing.

The ceremony was colorfully celebrated, and attended by several guests from different destinations. The function started at 10:00am and ended at 5:00pm and had guests including OPM, RMF, DRC, AAHU, EU, KDLG, Bweyale Town Council, Church Leaders, Parents, OBs and OGs, Community Leaders (Refugee leaders), and teachers from various schools in the settlement.

The activities of the day were:

  • Speeches from distinguished guests, student representative OBs and OGs, Guest of Honor, OPM, RMF country director, RMF coordinator, refugee community leader.
  • Music/songs from PVTI Graduates.
  • Award of Certificates to PVTI Graduates by the Guest of Honor.
  • Award of gifts to the Graduates by the Guest of Honor: best performing students, well disciplined, and most punctual.
Country Page: Uganda Initiative Page: Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement Project