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Kampala, 23 October 2017 – In Uganda’s capital around 75,000 displaced persons live as urban refugees – a life that is fraught with uncertainty and doubt. For the most part, asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Kampala are in a destitute condition: many are challenged by language barriers, and lacking means of earning a livelihood, sellable skills, and start-up capital for entrepreneurial opportunities.
Maban, 21 April 2017 - We are devastated by the recent turn of events here in South Sudan.
After five long decades of war with the north, South Sudan became independent in 2011. Soon after that, in December 2013, the current conflict, a full scale civil war this is threatening the very existence of the youngest nation in the world.
15 December 2016
As a young girl, Agnes fled a notorious Ugandan rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army, but through educational opportunities she was able to pursue her passion for fashion. She now gives back to refugees as the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) fashion and design teacher in Kampala – where they work to be self-reliant.
Here, she shares about her experiences traversing life from displacement to fashion expert.
Question: Can you tell me a little bit about your background?
At the end of 2013, a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and vice-President Riek Machar, following months of escalating tensions, reached boiling point. Gun battles in the capital Juba quickly escalated to massacres and continued fighting elsewhere in the country, particularly in the eastern states of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile.
Joint inter-agency assessment mission (EiE) 20 to 24 January 2014
Including; Arua, Adjumani, Koboko and Kiryandongo.
The assessment team;
The Ministry MoES, UNICEF, WTU, ADRA, FENU, JRS, and UNHCR, . At the field; District Local Government Officials and the Office of the Prime Minister Representatives as well as
African Development Corps (ADC) in Kiryandongo, Save the Children International (SCI) and World Vision (WV) in Adjumani.
Maban, 14 February 2014 – As schools re-opened at the beginning of the month, an uneasy calm prevails in Maban, Upper Nile State of South Sudan. Staff from NGOs, both local and international, have started trickling back to the county, located in the northeastern part of Upper Nile State in South Sudan.
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an estimated 863,000 people have been displaced by recent conflict which broke out in mid-December 2013. The majority of displaced remain inside South Sudan while 123,000 have fled to nearby countries.
Nimule, 20 September 2012 – The curtains finally came down on the Jesuit Refugee Service involvement in the education and peace building project in the border town of Nimule when the community joined together to ensure a fitting end to the project last month. The closing ceremony marked an important milestone in the history of JRS Eastern Africa, handing over full responsibility to the South Sudanese authorities and the local community.
Nimule, 18 January 2012 – The last group of teachers officially graduated from their training programme in December as the Jesuit Refugee Service prepares to wind down activities in South Sudan.
Initially, JRS supported teachers to study in Adjumani, however, following the signing of the peace agreement it was moved to Nimule in 2007. Since then, hundreds of students studying to become teachers have received financial, material and other support from JRS.
Kampala, 21 October 2011 – In late September what at first glance seemed like a routine trip to the zoo, went a long way to bringing normality and as such important psychosocial benefits to refugee students in the JRS English class in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
Kampala, 21 October 2011 – Refugees from Burundi are concerned for their safety, citing the effects of increasing violence and corruption at home and a challenging asylum process in Uganda as the main sources of insecurity in their lives.
Although newly-arrived asylum seekers of all nationalities face a variety of issues in Kampala, the Burundian community feels especially vulnerable in light of recent violence in their home nation.
Kampala, 13 June 2011 – Forty refugees and asylum seekers had the opportunity to learn more about environmental protection during an information session organised by JRS on the occasion of UN Environmental Day, celebrated on June 5.
"Since the effects of climate change are becoming more and more noticeable, particularly in Africa, we came up with an interactive session on environmental issues", explained Stephen Kuteesa, JRS Urban Programme Director in Kampala.
Nairobi, 20 June 2011 – Despite the 'temporary nature' of international protection envisaged by the refugee convention, 60 years after its formal adoption, the refugee problem not only still exists, if anything it has worsened. In fact, over the years the forms of and actors responsible for persecution have changed, exacerbated by political, social and economic injustices, by both state and non-state actors worldwide.
"As refugees we require training in skills that can be utilised in the situation we are in. To learn how to produce arts and crafts is one kind of training from which we can benefit because the materials used are easily accessible and the products are marketable", one refugee said during the assessment.
Kampala, 14 April 2011 – As part of a new initiative to help urban refugees become more self-reliant, JRS has started a new course training refugees in the production of arts and handicrafts in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
Kampala, 30 March 2011 - This academic year, JRS-sponsored student, Landry Kalembo, fulfilled a promise to himself by receiving the highest grade in the school.
The ambitious 12-year old attends St Peter's Primary School in Nsambya, southeast Kampala.
Arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008 with his parents and eight siblings, the Landry's settled in Kirombe, a suburb of Kampala.
Nairobi, 8 March 2011 - Women contribute greatly towards the recovery of countries emerging from conflict and war. However, these countries could recover faster if women were given more support.
On International Women's Day, 8 March, Jesuit Refugee Service Eastern Africa urges the Ugandan and Southern Sudanese governments to enforce laws protecting women's economic, social and political rights, such as the right to property or the right to participation in governance and public affairs.
"Women play key roles in rebuilding communities after a crisis," says JRS …
While 90 percent of internally displaced persons have returned home, approximately 140,000, comprising the most vulnerable populations, remain in transit sites and camps, Kitgum, northern Uganda (Angela Hellmuth/JRS)
Now that Northern Uganda is in the transition process from humanitarian assistance to recovery and development, the returnee population needs to have access to basic services.
Kitgum, 25 February 2011 - More than two million northerners, majority of whom are formerly internally displaced persons (IDPs), have voted in the presidential and parliamentary elections. However, …
Of the previously 1.7 million IDPs into camps, only 140,000 still live in transit sites and camps.
Kitgum, 21 February 2011 - Fifty formerly displaced persons were able to return home to their villages after JRS built small houses for them.
All 50 were in particular need of support. They are persons with disabilities, households headed by children, and older people from four different districts in Kitgum.
People began moving back to their home villages in 2006 when the peace process began in northern Uganda.
REFUGEE NEWS BRIEFINGS
1. Uganda: more than 1,700 sent back to Rwanda
New York, 17 July 2010 - Ugandan police have forcibly returned more than 1,700 Rwandans, including recognised refugees, according to the NGO Human Rights Watch..
Ugandan officials reportedly deceived the Rwandans into gathering around trucks by announcing a food distribution, as well as information on the outcome of asylum appeals. Police and camp commanders then forced the Rwandans onto the trucks at gunpoint.
Twice monthly news bulletin from the Jesuit Refugee Service International Office
SOME ITEMS IN THIS ISSUE
REFUGEE NEWS BRIEFINGS
1. Sudan: education sector not ready for emergencies
2. Burundi: unrest continues in the capital
3. South Africa: Bishops Conference calls for renewed vigour in the face of xenophobia
4. South Africa: World Cup shines a spotlight on refugees and migrants
5. Australia: asylum focus should be on protection, not punishment
6. Italy: human rights organisations call for end the policy of forced returns