Refugees In Imvempi camp embrace Productive activities

West Nile– Following the recent food prioritization by World food program where the most vulnerable refugees are the only one considered when giving out food, majority of the refugees in Invempi Camp have started engaging in several productive activities in order to sustain themselves.

Refugees of the T44 Bakery group in IMVEPI refugee settlement

Angella Adale, a south Sudanese refugee living in Invempi camp said that ever since they came into the settlement in 2017, only fewer refugees have benefited from free food which forced them to look out for other means of survival.

Under the food Prioritization, the most vulnerable who includes the elderly and sickly refugees who receive 8kg of food per month well as those that are able bodied are left out

“Level one can at least get 8kg per person per-month, level two they get 3 kg per person and then level three they don’t get anything.’’ She stated.

Angella also pointed out that the prioritization has left many of them out hence they resorted to acquiring life skills which have enabled them to improve their livelihoods. These skills are Soap Making, Agro- ecology, Bakery, Piggery among others.

She added that in 2022, they obtained the leadership and life-skills through trainings organized by Community Transformation Agenda-COTA in partnership with Action Aid Uganda International-AAIU.

‘’It has been a very wonderful moment since I started engaging in their activities that is in the year of 2022. By then I did not know anything about being a leader. So, the first thing Cota did with Action Aid was to train us in the leadership skills’’.

She further added that she has been able to utilize leadership skills acquired to mentor other women in her village and neighborhood.

Angella Adare (refugee from South Sudan) now a women representative in her village , leading other women in the irrigation exercise.

Betty Juana, a members of Budget makers group, said that they managed to get some members around 14, who came and registered their names. ‘’ we are going to struggle such that at least every member buys a pig, either a pair or one so we start to raise them and when they multiply then we shall see in the community, and we bring more people in our group’’. She remarked

‘’We have also come up with another idea of having a saving box, and we are still waiting for the number of members to reach up 30 and we have another plan that in case the pigs multiply we’ll open up a business to support our members”, she added.

The same group has also ventured into rearing Guinea pigs (Big Rats), which are delicacy among south Sudanese nationals.

‘’ When these Big Rats multiply, we can sale to community members because they like them a lot, they say they are medicinal and when they eat them it increases on blood in their bodies’’. She spoke.

Another group of young people in the same refugee settlement is engaged in Bakery, the make cakes, Doughnuts, among other snacks which they sale in the community. According to James Malish the head of T.44 group has enabled dozens of youths to earn a living.

Some of the Pigs being rared by some of the refugees

Solomon Okiror, monitoring and evaluation assistant at Community transformation a gender (COTA) explains that they introduced these skilling programs to solve the social challenges within the refugee settlement such as Gender Based Violence (GBV).

He revealed that they have trained a number of youths about 60 in soap making, Bakery ontop of establishing two bakery groups as part of their package of offering start up kits.

‘’We also realized that one of the greatest things that escalate GBV in families is economic stress, when we did an assessment in the community majority of married women reported that violence normally resulted from asking local basic needs in the family, so we took it as a recommendation to train the young people to be in position to make own soap not only for sale but also for domestic consumption’’. He added.

On her part, Mercy Mundulu, Programs and fundraising manager at Action Aid Uganda noted that most times communities need to be supported to be more resilient but also promoting their livelihoods.

“We ensure that we streamline our actions with some of the government agencies in humanitarian related activities to avoid duplicity , at the same time build capacity of the district in responding to specific areas of GBV and also ensure that they have a layered approach to manage issues between the refugee host communities and the settlements.”




















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