Empowering Refugee Wise Women Health Volunteers in Refugee Communities in Uganda
This idea will help refugee women to play an effective role at the community level and address the challenges they face, immediately.
This picture is for one among refugee women here in Kampala who was HIV AIDs Positive but because of the myths surrounding HIV AIDS among refugees she could not even go for testing and she could not also use drags. She died in August last month 2017
What specific problem(s) are you trying to address?
While women have specific needs especially issues connected to SRHR, Humanitarian Aid Relief have not yet included women issues as part of humanitarian response and that has exposed women to many challenges. The approach is that of equality and yet it should have applied with equity because of refugee women,
1. Reduce ignorance among refugees about Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and HIV AIDs,
2. Provide alternative options to access SRHR and HIV Aids for refugees,
3. Reduce the challenge of the language barrier affecting refugees at health centers and in other places,
4. Reduce early marriages and early pregnancies among refugees in their communities,
5. Shape refugee women for community leadership roles,
UN Women Field Officer during a meeting with Refugee Leaders in Kampala hosted by Foundation PPDHR on refugee women in leadership and how they can play a positive role in their communities.
What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address?
Deaths among refugee women and especially young girls is high, we do not have a specific research which can provide us with statistics but in most cases the high number is connected to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
Since May up to August 2017 here in Kampala we have registered 27 refugee women who died and the majority were refugee from DRC and Burundi, and 87% of them were below 40 years and died with SRHR related complications, among them 8 were caused by unsafe abortions.
Explain Your Idea
Refugee women who are most victims, understand better their situation and there is no one else who knows the solutions to their problems than themselves. This idea intends to build the capacities in order to make them change makers. Refugee women within the communities have to be knowledgeable on SRHR issues, in leadership and strong involvement in communities affairs. But the first priority is to get some women who are highly respected and consulted in the communities to make them agents of change and intervene urgently on cases of their fellow refugee women, and link them to available services or other opportunities. When we talk with the populace at the community, they have solutions.
On top this ideas intends to provide a variety of information to refugees in their communities which will help them to challenge the only religious and cultural practices towards SRHR among refugees.
The idea aims at ensuring that refugee women can read and write and can be able to Communicate in English and in local language here in Kampala and in other refugee settings, so this idea will provide learning centers for women,
But also this idea aims at advocating for women in various community issues through women representation and women issues on the agenda during various community meetings.
But also link refugee women issues to other local and national interventions towards women at various levels.
In short women drivers of change and development at the community level.
Community Information session on Sexual and Reproductive Health among refugees in Kampala. This was in Commemorating the World Refugee Day. That women is explaining the problems she faced which at Health center where aborted from.
Name the three most important ways that your idea will address your identified problem(s).
1. We shall identify some key cases which shocked the community and then carry out a survey with the idea of provoking the debate among refugee Communities,
2. Training and networking in order to fight against discrimination,
3. Dialogue, and information sessions and learning opportunities in order to wider their knowledge and expose them to various opportunities,
How is your idea unique?
This idea is unique because it being done by refugees and for refugees and within the refugee community settings here in Kampala. They are refugees themselves who have come up with appropriate responses towards their problems basing on what refugee say in their communities,
This idea is unique because it is among those looking at SRHR among refugees here in Uganda and see how to link SRHR to the urgent humanitarian relief to refugees as they come. But also it unique because it has not yet come up clearly, because Humanitarian Aid Agencies talk about Sexual and Gender Based Violence alone and do leave out SRHR.
This idea in unique because it will be the first attempt initiated to introduce SRHR issues within refugee communities here in Uganda.
This idea is unique because it is a refugee demand driven idea,
What are some outstanding concerns or questions that you have regarding your idea?
While in a long term this idea will save the lives of so many refugee women, our concerns about the strong leadership roles that can be played by refugees because this needs strong leadership.
But also those who have funding do not look at refugees as priorities and do not consider their priorities, refugees in Uganda have remained an isolated entity and we do not see the links from both local and international organizations, or clear support by donors to refugees directly.
Who are your end users?
In accordance to the Uganda - UNHCR ReHop Strategy, 70% of the direct beneficiaries will be refugees from Kampala, Nakivale Settlement in Isingiro District, Kyaka II Settlement in Kyenjojo District and Bidi Bidi Settlement in Aruwa District in Uganda. The majority will be women aged from 15 - 45 years, community leaders, religious and cultural leaders and men at a lower percentage.
The 30% of Ugandans from the Refugee Host Communities mainly local leaders, religious and cultural leaders, government officials, CSOs, and Relief Aid Agencies and then key focal people within the host communities mostly women. Still in this women will be highly the majority.
Refugee Women and men during the Information Session on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. Some are still shy to speak about sex and sexuality as you can see in this picture, while others are surprised that someone can speak about sex openly in the public like that.
Where will your idea be implemented?
What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?
Community at risk of disaster
Tell us more about the emergency setting that you intend to implement in
Uganda has already number of interesting legal frameworks on refugees but also on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights much as some are restrictive and are highly ignored. The big challenge is that SRHR are controversial and Relief Aid Agencies may be reserved to get involved, the lack of political will which is highly positioning on religious and cultural tendencies, and the issue about refugee leadership to push for these issues in their communities. Above funding is key to dictate the trend.
What is your organization's name?
Foundation People for Peace and Defense of Human Rights
Tell us more about you.
Our team is composed of 80% of refugee volunteers and 20% of Ugandan also volunteers among them 30% have been trained in SRHR issues by Women Global Network for Reproductive health Rights and are now strong activists on SRHR issues. They are the people from the communities and know everything from the communities, they hear what people say and what they propose, they have been affected by these challenges and they have at the same time proposed ideas to address them.
They are the hidden experts on these issues and that alone makes them the best.
Our team of volunteers carrying a box of Condoms which were distributed to refugees during the information session on SRHR in Kampala.
Displaced person / refugee-led organization
What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?
Community - 1+ communities within 1 country
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
Expertise in Sector
Yes, for more than a year.
Third Floor, Karabwa House
Nkrumah Road Kampala Uganda
What is your organizational status?
Not registered but plan to in the future.
What is the maturity of your innovation?
Existing Prototype or Pilot: Tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.
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