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Voices From the Field

HIJRA Provides nutrition treatment in Afgooye district and its surrounding areas

Published on 21 March 2018

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Afgooye district is ideal place for farming as it contains fertile agricultural land. However, the effect of drought, as well as crop and livestock diseases poses a serious threat to the livelihood in the vicinity.

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HIJRA ensuring safety of refugees living with Albinism in Uganda

Published on 13 March 2018

 

Seated outside his house as he unfolds the sleeves on his shirt, Gideon Bonkisi (not real name) is watched intently by his children as he raises each arm. He reaches down to pick up the youngest and settles him on his lap as he begins to narrate his traumatic tale of raising children who are different.

Bonkisi, 45, his wife and children are among the hundreds of families that flee from their home country of Democratic Republic of Congo due to the horrendous crimes towards albino children in their communities. Even after seeking asylum in church, they still weren’t protected enough from the attackers and it was then that Bonkisi knew he had to permanently leave his home and move to Uganda.

“The rejection from my own family still haunts me till this day,” narrates Bonkisi. “When my wife and I produced our first albino child, they accused my wife of adultery and completely disowned them. The situation worsened when we had two more children being the same. I was banished from the family home and I relocated to a nearby town.”

“Even after we changed town in DRC, we were constantly attacked by people because of our children. I knew I had to leave when some members of my family advised me to sell off the albino children and get money. To them, I was seated on a gold mine but letting it go to waste.”

In Uganda, while fleeing from the attacks on his albino children, he sought refuge in Nakivale Settlement where he now depends on laying bricks to provide for his family and the wife bringing in extra credit with her tailoring business. Life is still not perfect as the children still face some segregation in school and the community keeps asking him ignorant questions.

In order to improve conditions for such vulnerable families, HIJRA Uganda under the child protection sub - sector carries out sensitizations and awareness campaigns in communities as a way of advocating for the rights and safety of Albinos.

We strive to make sure everyone in the community knows that albinos despite being different are humans like every other member of society,” says Jackie Nyakaisiki, Child Protection Officer. “If the community is included more in activities that involve albino awareness, there will be less prejudice and discrimination against them thus their safety guaranteed.”

As HIJRA continues to fight Albino stigma in Nakivale, it is in the meantime providing protective gear like sunhats, sun glasses and shea butter to the families with vulnerable children to help them guard against skin conditions associated with Albinism.

Maryama and her children access clean drinking wate

Published on 26 February 2018

Maryama 

“Old habits die hard, but I always tell my children that we have to use the latrine and about how important it is for us to wash our hands afterwards. We now know that using latrines keeps us healthy and keeps our community clean” says Maryama, a mother of five who lives in Jaamacadda IDP settlements in Mogadishu.

“Before the onset of water platforms in our IDP camps we used to fetch water from a shallow well very far away from here every morning - a chore before we go to Bakara market for casual works. Every mother in the neighbourhood had to do so" Maryama says.

Maryan has been assisted by HJRA projects in water and sanitation related activities including the provision of clean drinking water, latrines dislodging, and provision of hygiene kits and also garbage collection activities in the IDP camps at Jaamacaddaha area of Hodan district in Mogadishu.

Maryama and her children can now access clean drinking water from the tap stands nearby and they don’t have to take the long dangerous path to the far away shallow well every day in order to fetch contaminated water.

Maryama and her children also access a latrine close to their shelter and do not have to go to the bushes in order to relieve themselves when Mother Nature calls.

Without this assistance, Maryama and her children would have been relieving themselves in the bushes nearby and the risk of abuse would have been so high especially during the night time. Moreover “open defecation free” IDP settlement can save lives on the ground.

Old habits die hard

Published on 05 March 2018

Maryama“Old habits die hard, but I always tell my children that we have to use the latrine and about how important it is for us to wash our hands afterwards. We now know that using latrines keeps us healthy and keeps our community clean”says Maryama, a mother of five who lives in Jaamacadda IDP settlements in Mogadishu.

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Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime

Published on 22 February 2018

 

 

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This Chinese proverb sheds light on the philosophy of charity to prevent poverty. It teaches us that teaching a man a trade is a better way of providing help because he learns to earn an honest living instead of depending on charity.

This philosophy was put into practice by HIJRA that supported a formerly Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA), a group of 55 (F=38,M=17) refugees and nationals through supporting start fish farming which has seen them get a livelihood. The group was supported with a start up training in fish farming and stocked fish cages to improve on their their livelihoods.

The fish farming project is under the UNDP livelihoods program run by HIJRA where 5 fish cages were installed in Lake Rwamurunga, Oruchinga. HIJRA supported the communities with training sessions on fish cages management, provided fish feeds and recently facilitated a visit to Kajjansi National Fisheries Research Centre in November. To boost their skills and availing the farmers with more information on better methods of fish farming like fish transfers, fingerling feeding, proper care and identification for sick fish and fish harvesting technologies as a way of enabling them better their trade.

“I have learnt a lot since I joined the group when we were still a VSLA. That is when I knew saving was a good practice. Now, I can proudly say I am a fish farmer because of all the training I have received from HIJRA, “Mzeeyi Micheal, a group member said. “Since we started fishing in January, we have harvested 1,389 fish earning 3,320,300shs which we have been able to benefit from enabling me meet my family financial obligations such as educate my children and I have made new friends in the process” he added.

Another member who is a Rwandan refugee stated, “With all these new skills I have learnt, I’m confident that I can recreate something similar when I return home in the future and I also start earning money.”

As a group, they plan on supporting other VSLA groups on fish farming and any other activities as a way of countering poverty from the grass root level within the camp. They also plan on building their own fish cages.

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rapid needs assessment report
Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement Report