When refugees are forced to abandon their homes, they often lose some of their most critical assets. Humanitarian assistance provides basic needs in the beginning. However, the medium and long term needs of the refugee communities can only be met effectively if they are supported in finding ways to engage in livelihood projects.
Humane Livelihoods is committed to the United Nations SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Thankfully, Uganda through the Uganda Refugee Act (2006) has made it possible for refugees to seek gainful employment. The act allows refugees freedom of movement, the right to work, and the right to own a business and property.
Agriculture is the most common economic activity engaged in by refugees. In Uganda, every refugee household is given a piece of land to cultivate food. Some proportion of the food that is farmed is then sold. In addition, some refugees may be able to find work cultivating the gardens of host community households.
Many of the host communities where refugees reside have subsistence agriculture as their main source of livelihood. When refugees arrive in a particular area, it puts a strain on the existing infrastructure for the host communities. Increasing population in the district means that the land available for agriculture is reduced.
Humane Livelihoods seeks to extend activities aimed at improving livelihoods to include host communities. This also promotes good relations between the refugee and the host communities.
Efforts to engage refugees in agricultural activity are important in improving the food security situation in the settlements.
Humane Livelihoods provides agricultural inputs. Farmers are also provided with poultry and feeds.
Training and Monitoring Farmers
It is common for refugees to arrive from rural communities where they have had little to no basic education. This makes it unlikely for them to take on available opportunities for work where higher level skills are required.
We offer farmers much needed training in farming skills. The training aims at improving yields and productivity. In addition, training is provided in the management of their poultry businesses as well as other best agribusiness practices. The farmers are then monitored on the results of implementing these practices.
Women and Youth Empowerment
86 percent of the total number of the over 600,000 South Sudanese and Congolese refugees who have fled to Uganda are women and children.
Humane Livelihoods places particular importance on empowering women to participate in livelihood efforts. Culturally rooted inequalities lead to women’s disempowerment, and makes them vulnerable to sexual and other gender based violence.
Programmes to equip refugee youths are also supported.
Humane livelihoods supports entrepreneurship efforts and other job creation programmes. This is achieved through sourcing of micro finance and credit through our partner networks. Financing is disseminated through savings and credit groups in both refugee and host communities.
Healthy Labour force
Our health service delivery work aims at ensuring that those that are old enough are able to work. This includes treatment of trauma-related conditions brought on by the effects of war and conflict.
The opportunity to engage in livelihood activities enables refugees to be productive and live dignified lives.