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Access to Social Economic Development through empowering refugee livelihoods

The idea is about setting up a Refugee SACCO for providing direct funding to businesses and innovations run by refugees themselves.

Photo of Caesar Bishovu
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

For refugees in Uganda, being engaged in economic and income generating activities is the common way of earning funds for covering their routine and basic needs such as shelter, food, education, health services and many others. To all in general and particularly to refugees, especially when they are in critical financial situation, their social economic situation is very low, a condition which makes them to be more vulnerable or disadvantaged towards formal private sector on one hand. On the other hand, mainly refugees, who informally operate in private sector, are much interested in doing different short trainings such as Information, Communication and Technology (ICT); Music, Dance and Drama; as well as other vocational trainings including art and craft; tailoring; carpentry; plumbing; mechanical works; catering etc. But having access to the above mention trainings and getting direct funding to their innovations or existing business activities still is also a challenging issue for refugees. Therefore with the provision of financial services including credit and saving, refugees will be facilitated to adopt innovative techniques in their business activities, earn high incomes and improve their livelihoods. And this can only be achieved through offering different loan packages, other social economic opportunities to refugees and empowering their existing business activities which will financially allow them or their family members having access to social economic development, friendly environment and improve on their living conditions. So basing on experience, there is strong evidence that investments in refugee livelihoods through loans such as financial capital loans, etc with living condition improvement purpose while considering main factors in refugee livelihoods can reverse this dire picture, and lead to both broad and long term positive changes for refugees themselves, their children’s future, their communities, countries and the global community.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Beneficiaries of this idea will be mainly refugees in Uganda; children, young girls, boys and adults (men and women) believed to be depending on their own self-reliance. Refugee Children, as a result of these appropriate financial services, will be able to start and development their business projects, innovations to solve main challenges and issues in their lives in order to get access to social economic development at their community, national and international levels.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

The idea builds the bridge between people on the move and neighbors by integrating socially and economically people on the move in this case refugees in the hosting community in Uganda. The idea (refugee SACCO) will help people on the move and neighbors to work together for common interest and goals and the idea will serve mainly refugees in percentage at 75% who are disadvantaged and other 25% of beneficiaries will be Ugandan nationals who are vulnerable too.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

The human needs my idea is solving is the financial humanitarian assistance for refugees and hosting vulnerable groups of people as well as balancing their social economic opportunities to avoid conflict interests between people on the move (refugees) and the hosting community. Mostly what refugees need is financial and technical support in order to facilitate them and assist them start up and develop their business projects and be able live with dignity and participate in the social economic development in Uganda and globally. The idea will give space to innovators to come up with creativity and innovative projects such as developed schemes and other modern tontines, ICT, on line businesses and other innovative platforms designed to find solutions to major challenges and issues within our communities and societies.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

The different we want to make with the community is to focus on engaging members or beneficiaries in bringing in their contribution for social economic development of Uganda as the hosting country and encourage them to be responsible citizen who are really self-reliant and pay taxes. This will increase the incomes and reduces sufferings among refugees whom the majority is unemployed in Uganda by fighting poverty among vulnerable groups of people and their communities. We have to set target and objectives to achieve. This will help us to evaluate our work; and see if we are creating positive change or meeting our target and at which rate and which time over the course of our proposed project. For example we have to set a number of beneficiaries we are intending to help moving to the next levels socially and mostly economically.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

The inspiration behind my idea is to assist disadvantaged people to realize their dreams by giving them the seeds to start up their projects or boost their small businesses and change their lives positively. I want to help many refugees and other disadvantaged people in Uganda for pilot project, and next step, I am planning to take this financial revolution to next level after one year of implementation of the project and third year we emphasize on sustainability of the project. We have to be smart and work hard in order to succeed in our project. I want to assist many people realizing their dreams and be able to live an amazing life and ensure their future, and the future of their children which is the world of tomorrow.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

In Uganda, especially in Kampala, refugee community is very dynamic; refugees are engaged in economic and income generating activities, since the refugee policies in Uganda provide freedom of association and movements for refugees, which is a motivation for our community where the project has to be implemented.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

Already refugees in Uganda are engaged in income generating activities; my idea is to build the bridge between refugees and hosting community and give them capacity and access to participate in markets at local, national and international levels.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

We need partners, who are ready to work with us technically or professionally directly or indirectly in partnership with us in order to succeed. And we have to sign memorandum of understanding or agreement where necessary.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Being on the move, crossing borders, and/or temporarily settled

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Group or Organization Name

World Youth Organization Ltd

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

The organization was created by refugees themselves and initially incorporated on the 23rd September 2009 as a Company Limited by guarantee without share capital. Since its incorporation, the organization has carried its activities in Kampala. With its headquarters in Rubaga Division of Kampala City, the organization has supported Refugee Youth, Women and Persons with Disability. The thematic areas of intervention include support and improvement of education; livelihoods; social welfare; health conditions; gender and culture; promotion of human rights within vulnerable communities and environment protection as well as development.

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State

Mutundwe, Rubaga Division, 27801 Kampala.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ahmed El Ibrahim

Hello Caesar, good approach! We have a lot common, you may take a look to our idea 4City Fund to Support Cities through Micro-finance Platform and give us your feedback.

Photo of Caesar Bishovu

Hi Ibrahim! I am happy to be in touch with you and as we share almost the common goals, I think we need to build a partnership between our organizations so that we can be able to exchange our experience and improve on our work. Thanks.