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Bridging Cultures; Bridging Communities

An Edutainment approach to address language barriers faced by refugees: a means to financial security and lasting solution

Photo of Stella Akiteng
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Supply of edutainment off-line & on-line language learning tools where learners educate themselves prior to the one-week Annual Festival & Fair, a forum for facilitating learning through transfer of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits among refugees, nationals of the host country, general publics. Any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational (Wikipedia). Overcoming language barriers enhances community cohesion. The more effort put in the language learning process, the more effective the networking and participation at the Annual Festival & Fair. This idea recognises existing language learning efforts and aims to further boost and excite the process. Each meaningful contact is a learning and socio-economic empowerment opportunity. This event, expected to be an on-going annual activity targets the private sector, government, embassies, Development agencies, different general Publics. Different general Publics need to gesture value for abilities/skills possessed by refugees; so we anticipate to also raise funds through the event to support refugee business ventures initiated and implemented at group level.


Refugees in Uganda are the main direct beneficiaries; Refugees, communities outside Uganda & Uganda as a nation would also benefit. This idea is to boost/build on existent efforts by refugees plus the different Operating Agencies/Implementing Partners already serving refugees in the area of Language learning, Adult Education/Literacy mindful of Refugees' Routine Domestic & Community Services etc .


The prototype was tested in two settlements and one urban training centre in Uganda; it recognises that refugees at different levels engage in routine domestic and community service activities like language learning through private studies & self exploration, games & sports, exchange visits, inspirational talks. Operating Agencies at the settlements and urban refugee community co-facilitated the engagement of refugees for required feedback. The refugee community expressed strengths and recommendations regarding the idea also signing against their write-ups while indicating their names, nationality and age-group. On one occasion, to further inform the prototype process was sit-in at another different urban refugee gathering organised by UNHCR-Kampala office to listen and observe; it was at this session that one refugee strongly stood up emphasising “we need our voice to be heard!”, a similar need highlighted by a staff from one of the Operating Agencies at one of the prototype sessions


Refugees value the fact that the annual festival & fair provides a platform for meaningful contact towards socio-economic empowerment and promotes unity among not only refugees but also nationals. Refugees are convinced that engaging different stakeholders creates resourceful linkages & opportunities; they were also excited about the strategy of involving refugees in the direct monitoring & management of resources/funds raised as business start-up towards job creation & self reliance. Refugees were excited about access to the computer. Observation was that it is possible to be so taken up meeting set refugee programme targets and yet miss out on projecting the refugee’s voice and/or listening to the refugee’s voice. Refugees recognise they are traumatised & the usefulness of advocacy activities, friendly/ competitive activities involving Music, Dance, Drama, Sports, writing, Processions, debates, comedy, exhibitions. The idea changed from one day to one week Annual Festival & Fair.

SKILL SHARE (optional)

We need help with Marketing, Business Plans Development, Development of off-line and on-line language learning tools, Filming & documentaries. While this programme intervention can take off without the ICT programme component, having ICT incorporated is an added advantage and value.


My name is Stella Akiteng, I currently work in Uganda as a social worker passionate about Programme Development/Development Communication. For more about me please visit ; ;


  • Yes, and I am looking for a partner working with refugee communities to implement this idea.
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Team (13)

Richard's profile
Richard Zulu

Role added on team:

"In-Country Manager, Amplify Uganda; and Lead- Outbox Tech Hub"

Stella's profile
Alfred's profile
Alfred Kilama

Role added on team:

"Alfred Kilama, Technology (ICT) Specialist. Founder of Maptel Solutions . Alfred has for over five years been contracted to manage the technology programme for BOSCO-Uganda."

Les's profile
Les LaMotte

Role added on team:

"Has experience and expertise in Marketing, Business Plans Development, Development of on-line language learning tools, Filming & Documentaries and solar/batteries. <>, <>"

OpenIDEO's profile
robert's profile
robert hakiza

Role added on team:

"Co-facilitated refugee engagement inorder to get feedback regarding the idea "Bridging Cultures; Briding Communities". Mobilised the refugees, did the photography of the session, created the time and did the translation/interpretation from English to Kiswahili"

Elvis's profile
Elvis Wanume

Role added on team:

"Created time and co-facilitated refugee engagement inorder to get feedback regarding the idea "Bridging Cultures; Bridging Communities"."

Daniel's profile
Daniel Ameny

Role added on team:

"Together with Bienvenue Byamungu of "Planning for Tomorrow" spearheaded the engagement of refugees at the settlement to be able to get feedback on this idea "Bridging Cultures; Bridging Communities"

Keiko's profile
Keiko Odashiro

Role added on team:

"Keiko Odashiro, Associate Community Services Officer, UNHCR- Kampla (Uganda)"

Bob's profile
Bob Buga

Role added on team:

"Head of IT & ICT Teacher Kampala International School interested in working together under this area/idea"

Possiano's profile

Role added on team:

"Possiano Robson Teretere assisted with the prototyping and getting feedback at Kyaka II Refugee Settlement in Uganda"

Vestine's profile
Emerimana Daniel's profile


Join the conversation:

Photo of Robby

This is an interesting , viable and practical intervention that will benefit refugees and I highly recommend its funding . Robby Muhumuza

Photo of Stella Akiteng

Thank you Robby!

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