In light of the on going 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in June and July, It would be remise not to mention Nakivale refugee settlement’s budding future female world cup hopefuls . For some reason, the sight of pre-teen to teenage girls, chasing a worn ball across a dusty field, in the scotching sun, is the norm around Nakivale. Yes, they were aware of other female friendly games, and no, they are not interested. Why? I probed , they shrug their shoulders saying football is just what they know and understood. To a Ugandan mind set this is both shocking and intriguing all at once. Sure, Ugandan women who enjoy football and follow both local and international leagues do exist, but even these don’t actively play the sport.

From humble beginnings come great things. This has turned out to be true, in HIJRA Uganda’s case. HIJRA Uganda opened operation in Kyagwali in mid February of 2018, with a handpicked team of staff headed by then, head of protection Lydia Bakumpe, they hit the ground running, while operating in a humble 14x9 feet, blue painted rectangular office, in the heart of the humanitarian crisis at the south-western border of Uganda and Congo.

Kabazana Reception Centre is the first point of contact for new asylum seekers in Nakivale Refugee Settlement. The centre that is managed by HIJRA continues to receive new arrivals daily from different countries from the East and Horn of Africa with different vulnerabilities and needs. Among the needs include; clothes, sanitary materials, soap, beddings, scholastic and play materials for children like toys and balls among others.  The needs are expressed by the Persons of Concern (new arrivals, Asylum seekers, and Refugees) at the Reception Centre during routine individual interviews, Focused Group Discussion (FGD), Meetings and Awareness Sessions conducted by HIJRA teams at the Centre. Most often, needs are provided by UNHCR, HIJRA other implementing partners as well as well-wishers but these are limited. During engagements with various refugee communities in the settlement, HIJRA inspires refugees who are coping well to extend a helping hand to new asylum seekers and vulnerable ones given the limited resources to meet all Persons of concern needs

Oliver a Congolese refugee was married for 17 years. Hers was not a rosy marriage as within a few years, she had seven children and suffering physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her husband. As is the case with many survivors of Gender Based Violence, Oliver feared to report her partner of many years and suffered several beatings in silence which at times left her hospitalized but with few options upon discharge and without a livelihood, she returned to her marital home and continued abuse.

Being in prison can be challenging for not only the inmate but their family as well.  For some imprisonment earns them a label “outcast” and even after release in some cases, re-establishing one’s true identity in society without being judged is a struggle. Besides, while in prison, their socio-economic status takes a blow as many are unwilling to employ former prisoners, making their lives more miserable.

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