Community Mobilization and Women and Youth Empowerment
▪ Elections for the new Refugee Welfare Council (RWC) in Adjumani concluded in July, achieving. 50.6% female representation in the RWC leadership. OPM jointly with UNHCR and partners organized a 2-day induction training for 744 (377F/367M) elected representatives drawn from 19 settlements across Adjumani. The training focused on the role of RWCs in community engagement initiatives, good leadership practices, basics of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms (ADR), referral pathways for persons with specific needs (PSN), code of conduct, PSEA, and basic principles of the criminal justice system in Uganda. Subsequently, the leaders were sworn in in a ceremony hosted by OPM.
▪ The RWC conducted a general meeting in Rhino Camp chaired by the RWCIII chairperson and attended by 27 leaders (01F/26M), OPM and UNHCR, to discuss gaps and challenges and consolidate their inputs for presentation during the Settlement coordination meeting. Among the key gaps raised were the poor roads due to heavy rains, low staffing at health centres, insufficient operation of outreach health posts, poor temporary structures for certain health outreach posts, inadequate livelihood opportunities, and inadequate PSN shelter support coupled with inability to renovate poor PSN shelters.
▪ An executive meeting for all RWCs in cluster 1, zone 1 of Bidibidi was conducted by OPM,
CTEN, UNHCR and IRC, and attended by over 40 RWCs. The meeting was called due to increase in theft of goats, chicken and household items in the cluster. UNHCR and OPM encouraged leaders to hold village meetings, coordinate with neighbourhood watch teams as well as police for quick response. Leaders blamed theft on lack of activities engaging youth and alcohol consumption. Leaders also recommended for gap filling for inactive local leaders.
▪ In Bidibidi, IRC conducted a oneday training on leadership skills, attended by 51 women. The training aimed at preparing women for upcoming RWC elections, focusing on communication skills and public speaking, building selfesteem, record keeping and effective leadership among others.
▪ In Imvepi settlement, the need for fresh election of refugee leaders remains a contentious issue among the community and leaders. The delay has resulted into poor mobilisation of some communities whose leaders are not willing to continue serving given that their tenure of 2 years has expired. OPM has indicated lack of funds to implement the elections in accordance with the revised guidelines adopted in 2018.
▪ OPM, UNHCR, and Partners jointly conducted a one day training for the newly elected RWC III and II leadership structures in Kyangwali. The training aimed to furnish the RWC with the basics of the roles in the community, what each partner does within the settlement, and the basics of community-based protection as a cornerstone for the leaders’ activities. HIJRA also conducted a training on the legal framework and systems for 142 (95M/47F) RWC members.
▪ In Kyaka II, UNHCR conducted a general rapid assessment of the RWCs structure to determine vacant positions especially for women leaders. Currently there are 54 female RWC members compared to 173 male members. In Oruchinga, a joint quarterly feedback meetings with RWC members was conducted, attended by 111(30F/81M) RWCs.
▪ UNHCR/OPM conducted a meeting with 12 Community Based Organizations operating in Rhino camp settlement, including, CEPAD, YWAM, CDC, RWYA, YSAT, ERA, EYE, and Platform Africa, aimed at empowering and enhancing coordination while delivering services. Majority of the CBOs are refugee led and working for the welfare of their communities (poverty mitigation and to address urgent needs), strengthening their Community Links for peace building and promoting community social cohesion. Among the key gaps raised where limited funding, lack of stationary, computers and transportation among. There is need to support the CBO in proposal writing and marketing of their projects.
▪ In Rhino Camp, 1,425 children / adolescents (501F/924M / 1,176 refugees and 247 nationals) aged 3-18 years attended Edutainment at the Refugee Information Centre (RIC) established by CTEN in Eden zone. Edutainment are video lessons conducted on Saturdays or holidays for children/adolescents to acquire life skill knowledge for self-protection and development. 1,026 (79F/949M / 990 refugees and 36 nationals), persons had access to free wireless internet services at the RIC, aimed at improving communication and access to information by the refugees and the host community.
▪ In Imvepi, 58 (15F/43M) refuge leaders participated in 3 meetings aimed at strategizing on prevention and response to witchcraft allegations. Leaders welcomed the initiative which draws on their experiences and developed the action plan for community awareness campaign. The strategy brings together refugee leaders, community religious and opinion leaders to devise ways of addressing such concerns.
▪ Youth leaders 58 (2F/56M) in Imvepi participated in a consultative meeting on youth tournaments.
Key issues raised included formation of football management committees in each Zone, need for stationary, football nets, appreciation for best players and to train referees.