The Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania hosts more than 150,000 refugees from Burundi and Congo. More than 95% of households in all three refugee camps in Kigoma Region use firewood which is collected from the forests near the refugee camps as cooking fuel. The workload of collecting firewood is wholly on women and children who have to travel far from their homes and are exposed themselves to the risks of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). Moreover, using firewood is the cause of environmental degradation, health risks, and school dropout of girls according to UNHCR. In this sense, Good Neighbors International (GNI) acknowledges the needs of self-reliance and improvement of livelihoods of the refugees and launched a project to provide alternative source of energy.
In collaboration with UNHCR, GNI establishes a supply chain of charcoal briquettes which relieves the burden of women and children to improve their livelihoods and trains the refugees to get extra outcomes for self-reliance. Charcoal briquettes are made of char powder which can be produced by common materials such as rice husks, coffee husks and maize cobs. Thus, GNI distributed the role of making char powder to the host community and GNI buys the char powder and provide it to the refugee camp. GNI set up a sustainable production unit for charcoal briquette in Nyarugusu refugee camp. Refugee participants then manufacture charcoal briquettes out of the char powder. Through this process, host community and the refugees possibly make extra outcomes and maintain the good relationship at the same time. In August, GNI aims to produce 19,000 kg of charcoal briquettes and distribute it to the refugee community. The beneficiaries of this project are 600 Congolese and 600 Burundians including PoCs (persons of concern) including women and youth.
Good Neighbors International is an international humanitarian and development organization. It has made great strides in its mission by providing people around the world with a better quality of life since its establishment in Korea, 1991. GNI was granted General Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC in 1996 and acknowledged its contribution and granted the “MDGs Award” in 2007.