Caritas Uganda Empowers over 100 South Sudanese Refugees with Livelihood Skills
AMECEA Online News || By Jacinta W. Odongo, Uganda Episcopal Conference || 14 July 2017
Caritas Uganda’s acknowledgement of South Sudanese refugees’ socio-economic challenges deepens as it continues to commit itself to empower the refugees and their host communities by focusing on food security and livelihood skills, health, nutrition, hygiene and environmental awareness.
In a bid to equip the refugees and the host communities with requisite skills in food production and non-agricultural income generating, Caritas Uganda has trained about 124 young persons from the refugee and host communities living in Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in Yumbe District.
According to Caritas Uganda Project Coordinator for the Refugee Emergency Response in Bidi Bidi, Godfrey Onentho, they have been empowering refugee farmers to grow crops to supplement the food that they usually receive from the World Food Programme.
“As an agency, our main functions are in areas of social services, development and advocacy with the main goal of providing emergency relief and rehabilitation, poverty eradication and improving community livelihood among others. Hence, we are providing basic training in agronomic practices such as dry planting, seed management, paste and disease management and seed multiplication to farmers in both the refugee and host communities,” he said adding that it is the policy of the Uganda Government that whatever support is given to the refugees 25 percent of it must go to the host communities.
Onentho also said that they are offering different vocational skills such as carpentry, building and construction, tailoring, mechanics and metal fabrication to the youth from both the refugee and host communities.
He revealed that they have also been providing women and girls in both communities with reusable sanitary pads, mosquito nets, basins, tree seedlings for fruit and timber as well as seedlings and tools for growing cash crops.
“We have so far provided seeds and tools to about 5500 households and they have all done tremendous job in farming. They have grown vegetables which they consume in their homes to supplement their diet and nutrition while others sell as a source of income.” He said
Caritas Uganda, which is a department of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, rolled out these livelihoods training program in October 2016 for a one-year period in Bidi Bidi as one of the practical solutions to help them become self-reliant in the long run. This was after receiving donor aid from its confederation members and other partners towards the project in the refugee camps. They committed to assist 3000 newly arrived South Sudanese refugees and the host community that they are living in and around Bidi Bidi.
Source: AMECEA Online News…