With support from Caritas International Belgium, Caritas Fort portal is implementing Livelihood and Protection project in Kyaka II refugee settlement in Kyegegwa District- Uganda.
The goal of the project is to ensure humanitarian Assistance is provided and strengthen resilience capacities for the most vulnerable people in Kyaka II settlement. Refugee and host community populations in Uganda live peaceful, dignified and resilient lives. The Objectives of the project are to ensure refugee and host households improve their income and resilience mechanisms.
Entrepreneurial refugees get access to capital through their local VSLA groups
Caritas Fort portal in collaboration with Caritas Belgium International have supported 90 VSLA groups with capacity building through trainings in VSLA principles, financial Literacy, household budgeting and small business management. A total of 2,700 direct beneficiaries have been benefited from the latter.
In addition, Caritas Fort portal has supported a total of 50 VSLA groups to develop their respective business plans in an effort to enable them access VSLA capital grants from Caritas.
VSLA session in Byabakora 06 by one of the field officers
Mode of implementation
Caritas Fort portal identified and selected Community Extension Workers (CEWs). The selection criteria involved an interview panel consisting of Refugee Welfare Council, Office of the prime minister and Caritas. This provided the necessary transparency and led to a wide acceptance of the community extension workers. In Kyaka II the 12 community extension workers comprise of 10 refugees and 2 from the host community.
The primary role of CEWs is community mobilization, sensitization, monitoring and reporting on project progress at household level. The CEWs have an average of 15 community meetings making a total of 180 in the last 9 months. The awareness meetings have resulted into several communities walk inns to office, seeking further information. Also, there is improved understanding of the project as seen from increased community participation and the support rendered in identifying project beneficiaries by community members. Furthermore, 12 bicycles were distributed to the community workers to facilitate their movements within their respective communities.
Competency based training for CEWs was conducted in May 2021. The trainings covered topics such as VSLA methodologies and group formations, financial literacy, household budgeting, record keeping and business management at both individual and group level.
One of the community extension workers training a VSLA on record keeping.
Refugees attend skills courses
Caritas Fort portal through a competitive bidding process contracted African Youth Gender and Environment (AfricYEG), a skills training community based organisation registered in Kyegewa District. This CBO has successfully trainings for 200 youth and young women in Basic professional courses and 320 youth and young women in Rudimentary skills training respectively. These courses are geared to skilling beneficiaries with our 5 zones of operation with an aim of improving their household incomes. Caritas Fort Portal is currently finalizing the bid award for the DIT training that is meant to skill 75 beneficiaries
A group women trained with basket weaving skills
Candidates for Basic professional Courses receiving start up materials and certificates of completion.
Refugee associations establish vegetables / tree nurseries & coaching for nurseries
Caritas Fort portal through a competitive bidding process contracted EQAUGREEN consult LTD, an agronomic firm fully registered in Kabarole District to train 65 farmer groups Kyaka II. The trainings were practical trainings that involved traveling to the field and doing hands on planting and seed bed preparations. A total of 130 beneficiaries were trained in seed be preparation, spacing and beating up, soil and water conservation and post planting supervision and technical back stopping. This activity was jointly conducted with District Agricultural Officer Kyegegwa District as well as the District Forest Officer Kyegegwa District.
In addition to the above, 130 farmers benefited from the seed kit distribution. The seed kits included Nakati, Eggplants, Green papers Carrots, Onions, Beet fruit, Gravaria trees, Jackfruit, Mangoes, Pesticides, Fungicides, farmyard manure and super green products.
Caritas Fort portal also supported the 130 farmers with farming tool kits such as hoes, spray pumps, spades, pangas, wheel barrows, bum boots, ropes, axes, files, jericans and watering cans .
Visiting one of the agronomy groups.
One of the agronomy groups receiving nursery bed toolkit from one of the CEWs.
Protection of vulnerable refugee
Caritas fort portal in partnership with KYAKA II FARMERS SACCO has so far supported 112 unaccompanied minors (UAM’s) for the last nine months. 82 foster parents have received the unconditional cash grants on behalf of their respective UAM’s. This grants is meant to supplement the WFP monthly cash for food assistance. The Cash assistance is expected to run for 16 months.
One of the foster parents bought a goat for the unaccompanied minor (UAM) out of the cash grant.
Chicken for single female headed households
600 single female headed households have been identified and profiled from 16 villages in the 5 zones of our operations. Caritas Fort portal through a competitive bidding process has contracted Toro Poultry and Animal Stores Limited to procure and deliver 2400 kroiler birds to 600 single female headed families. These birds are meant to boost and improve their respective household incomes.
One of the single female headed households receiving birds for their improved livelihoods.
Collaboration with other partners.
Caritas Fort Portal hosting UNHCR/OPM in one of the VSLA groups
Caritas Fort Portal participates in coordination meeting with other operating and implementing partners for smooth running of the project.
Caritas Fort Portal Kyaka II staff with the Caritas International Belgium at the commissioning of collective bread baking oven.
Caritas Fort Portal Kyaka II recognises international days. Caritas does not only financial contribution but also ensures participation and moral support.
Caritas Fort Portal and UNHCR supporting the sick on the World Refugee Day
Training a group of women with basket weaving.
Training households in briquette making as a way to environment protection and conservation.
- It is important to build up indigenous institutional and economic capacity in returnee areas. Prolonged dependence on external organisations and financial support is neither cost-effective nor sustainable. An example from Kyaka has shown how the right support to local organisations can pay dividends.
- As far as trainings are concerned, participants expressed that the training content was relevant to their context and businesses especially for the VSLA, Financial Literacy, House hold budgeting and small business management. A high level of content retention was observed during the pre-tests and post-test evaluations. Encouragingly, most participants said they would recommend the training to their friends, and affirmed that training on business skills is not common.
- It is critical to promote refugees’ self-reliance and to enable refugees who are able to work to earn income and meet their and their family’s basic needs. These are necessary for creating a future where the forcibly displaced are less reliant on humanitarian assistance. Yet many countries continue to restrict refugees’ freedom of movement, free choice of residence and the right to work.
The ability of refugees to become self-reliant in countries of asylum is closely related to whether they are in an environment that enables their economic inclusion in the host communities. Access to the labour market and access to productive assets are essential ingredients for refugees’ livelihood opportunities and self-reliance. In Uganda however and Kyaka in particular, this is the opposite, some refugees have taken advantage of the socio-economic gaps and empowered themselves socially and financially. This is however is for a handful of them. A lot more needs to be done to lift administrative burdens that restrict or prevent refugees’ access to the labour market and invest in supporting longer term strategies for livelihoods in Kyaka II settlement.