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Using a Community Philanthropy Approach to achieve SDGs in Adjumani refugee settlements

Our effort will be in pooling and organizing diverse community assets in ways that transform beneficiaries into co-investors in development.

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

In the last two years, Adjumani district has experienced an influx of refugees from neighboring South Sudan. This is because of the unending conflict in that country. Support for the refugees has primarily relied on humanitarian AID agencies that bring in the resources to fund all refugee operations. However, of recent, there has been reduced funding for the refugees and hence the emergency of unfunded priorities and yet they’re critical to the realization of high quality of lives of these persons. This mismatch in funding has created a dare situation of need and survival among refugees and has resulted in acts of criminality in their quest for survival. There have been increased cases of inter-community violence (rape, assaults, defilements, arson attacks) and burglary, farm-field destructions, land conflict, animal killings, and many other crimes. This has resulted in increased animosity by the host communities towards refugees. The underlying reason for this is the system of delivering humanitarian AID that mainly cultivates over-dependency on development assistance and is less cognizant of the opportunities of philanthropy that exist within host communities. Host communities aren’t prepared to contribute to the plight of immigrants. With this disconnect, both communities miss an opportunity to learn from one another, connect as people with a shared vision. In the long run complicates any possibility of integration, increases isolates, exacerbates conflict and animosity and hinders the prosperity of all those involved. Our belief is that a more participatory community philanthropic approach offers better by building commonwealth, social bridges, people cohesion, better integration, and sustainability of programs.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

The intervention will target the refugee-hosting District of Ajumani in northern Uganda. This area has since in the recent past influx of close to 300,000 refugees. There is dwindling support and funding from the humanitarian AID agencies and yet participation by refugees themselves and the host communities in taking up the mantle is not available.

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 brings a sense of connection between the refugee and local communities by collectively owning their destinies and finding the most appropriate home-grown solutions to address the problems. The idea also reduces tensions among host communities and the refugees since there is a creation of a platform for joint and collective working together to overcome similar challenges. Equally, integration is feasible especially if refugees choose to get integrated into their host communities

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

The idea looks at building peace, security, and co-existence among host and refugee populations through organizing and availing joint resources, opportunities, and goodwill to collectively provide solutions to address the plight of both communities which they see fit not as defined by outsiders. This may involve direct service delivery and programming initiative like incubating social enterprises, managing activities, designing pro-people projects by aligning actors through creating collaborations, coordinating funding and activities and facilitating learning networks. Community planning aspects may include; initiating community-led development plans, responses to disasters and proactive long term participation. Engaging the community for instance; facilitating civic participation and volunteerism, providing platforms for community input and ideas to make a firm connection, resource mobilizing around issues and also strengthening social networks among residents.

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

The key difference is that people are not merely spectators but rather active participants who are engaged and willing the provide solutions to the pressing issues from those affected either refugees or their host population. Secondly, the concern of the absence of sustainability which has been one of the most challenging issues for both refugees and their host communities will be address simply because local participation and action will be strong. We will know that we're creating positive change if all the activities in the settlements are either fully or partially supported by local communities and outsiders are either funders or complementing the efforts of the local efforts. Another area of impact both for the hosting and refugees is living in peace and harmony and most engaged in running all efforts meant to address their issues like say managing all the nonprofits or for-profit enterprises that are working within both communities rather than merely spectators.

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

I have seen the refugee crisis in my home country Uganda, often in the first two years, there is so much interest and inflow of funds from the developed world. Commitments and promises by both AID agencies and governments are made in international media. This follows an influx of expatriate support from all places. Celebrities sign up as ambassadors for different causes, etc. After sometime burnout sets in everyone especially governments and AID agencies slowly pull out unannounced and leave the refugees together with the host communities to fend for themselves. Often with no capacity built whatsoever. Eventually causing more conflict amongst the people and eventually perpetual wars and strifes. I see this within communities of refugees from DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan where funding is at its lowest and yet people are still stuck in camps, host communities are it with refugees for using their land, water, grazing animals, etc

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

Adjumani is one of the poorest districts in northern Uganda with the 45,000 host population outnumbered by the over 340,000 refugees from all over South Sudan. In the recent past, traditional leaders have expressed their concerns about the fact that refugees are well-cared for in regards to social amenities say schools, clinics, livelihoods, etc. Yet the locals see nothing coming to them and yet the refugees are grazing on their land, some of their animals have destroyed farms of the host communities. Worse enough, refugees are kept in isolated camps away from meaningful interactions with their host communities for fear of a lot that may happen. All interventions for the refugees are implemented by foreigners or persons outside those communities. The locals feel left out with no voice and yet they're the biggest contributors of their resources that are keeping the refugees

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

This idea rides on the old African philosophy of 'Ubuntu' which refers to a collective connectedness of all people and a shared destiny of humanity. These communities are not new to having to share all resources. For instance, in these areas land is owned communally and hence tilled as a community. Crop harvests are collected and shared out as a community. Family protection is done as a community. There is a strong clear understanding and appreciation of a community and also the role every member has to play to maintain that community. "I am because we're" is a common metaphor in most languages in the region, a testament to the understanding of the connectedness of this metaphor. Exploiting this so critical is cementing cohesion and hence shared prosperity which I believe the project can exploit to have better integration of the migrant populations.

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

The project will work with existing Humanitarian Aid agencies who're currently working with the settlements, local leaders especially cultural leaders who are the custodians of the land, local community-based organizations working in the areas, elders and chiefs in the refugee settlements, and all community leaders, politicians, and religious leaders and the common people.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

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

  • Systems design: Solutions that target changing larger system

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

Group or Organization Name

Innovations for Development (I4DEV)

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

I4DEV is a Nongovernmental, not for profit organization whose vision is "A Healthy, Educated and Economically Empowered people living in a safer & clean environment". For the last 3 years, I4DEV has been championing transformative innovations that give direct power and agency to the communities so that they're active owners of innovation and development. In Adjumani district I4DEV is running a reproductive health program that serves to address the reproductive health needs of both refugees and host communities. I4DEV runs community Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) initiative that helps refugee communities deal with violence, post-conflict trauma, and psychosocial issues. This approach of building using community Philanthropic endeavors to address community challenges fits very well with our mission of promoting the community-owned solutions to helping address some of the core challenges but also building a conscious community of development innovators working for a common good.

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Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

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Organization Headquarters: City / State


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