Nothing for refugees without refugees.
Makerere University Refugee Students' Association aims at giving back skills obtained to our fellow refugees in Nakivale refugee settlement.
The association steering members
What specific problem(s) are you trying to address?
Uganda having the best refugee policy in Africa, it attracts more refugees from the neighborhood.Approximately 2 million refugees are hosted in Uganda of which more than 60% are women and children. However much development partners have done a lot in promotion of sexual and reproductive health,less has been done in engaging young refugees especially girls in their campaigns. This has left the girls marginalized and with no say on the level of acquisition of SRH commodities.
What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address?
Many development partners have put up campaigns aiming at promotion of the SRH of the young girls in the settlements.But to a bigger extent,almost negligible involve the young girls in the championing,distribution of SRH services and information.
Secondly,even for those who try involving the young girls, the way of information and service delivery is not youth friendly.
Thirdly,the SRH services meant to be for adolescent girls end up in bad hands since there is no monitoring by consumers.
Explain Your Idea
Following up our principle,Nothing For Refugees Without Refugees,For Youth Without Youth,we use both ICT and non ICT practices to fulfill our motives. MURSA partners with likeminded SRH service providers like Ministry of Health, Reproductive Health Uganda,Uganda Health Marketing Group to deliver SRH commodities in a youth friendly way;
1. MURSA nominates likeminded youth in the refugee settlements who act as custodians for the non clinical SRH commodities like condoms.
2.The non clinical commodities obtained from our partners especially Ministry Of Health are delivered to the custodians on a fortnight basis where fellow young girls can pick them from.
3. For the clinical commodities eg HIV testing,emergency contraceptives,we hold monthly mobile SRH camps(village to village)where adolescents are given these services free of charge
4.For those who want advice, we carry out online counselling where an adolescent can send us a question in SMS form through a champion or directly to us and we answer within 24 hours.
Our user experience map.
Name the three most important ways that your idea will address your identified problem(s).
MURSA bridges the gap between SRH service providers and adolescents through ICT methods like free SMS. Through this service,female adolescents in the settlements can at any time ask questions about their reproductive health and receive helpful answers within 24 hours.
We have seen the tremendous change this idea has caused in ending unwanted pregnancies in the refugee settlements since 2015 and MURSA believes that the more it involves young girls as champions and depots for the SRH commodities,there will be increased use of these commodities like condoms and emergency contraceptives.
With the innovation of using local musicians in our village health camps,attention of the youth is called and increases the uptake of SRH commodities.
How is your idea unique?
This idea,unlike most of the ideas in Uganda engineered and implemented by old non refugee stakeholders, has been engineered,developed,piloted and soon to be tested by the young refugees who got a chance to be in Makerere University studying medicine.This makes the engineers at the center of knowledge of exactly what is stopping youth and young girls from acquiring proper SRH services and information.
Secondly,the idea is implemented by almost graduates who have acquired almost all the required skill in human medicine and health.
What are some outstanding concerns or questions that you have regarding your idea?
Being refugees and young,we tend to find challenge in convincing the so called elders.
Secondly,some of the family members have consistently thought that their young girls being custodians of these commodities is morally spoiling them.
Who are your end users?
Approximately 20,000 Female adolescents(10-19 years) in Nakivale Refugee settlement are our direct beneficiaries.They will be more actively involved in SRH service delivery as champions and also as consumers of the SRH commodities like condoms and emergency contraceptives.The indirect beneficiaries are the parents in these settlements who are more than 15,000.The parents will benefit from the fact that their daughters will not get pregnant or acquire sexually transmitted infections.
Where will your idea be implemented?
What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?
Tell us more about the emergency setting that you intend to implement in
Nakivale Refugee Settlement is a home of various types of refugees but mostly constitutes refugees from Rwanda who came during the genocide,refugees from Congo who came due the Ntaganda war,refugees from Burundi who came during the post election violence among others.It is the biggest refugee settlement with the biggest number of refugees with mixed nationalities and mixed cause of insurgency.
What is your organization's name?
Makerere University Refugee Students' Association (MURSA).
Tell us more about you.
Makerere University Refugee Students' Association is an organisation started by a group of young girls aged between 18 and 22 from refugee settlements who came up after facing alot of barriers while still in the settlement and decided to give back to our fellow young girls in various settlements on the medical skills gotten through Makerere University.
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.
Makerere University ,College of Health Sciences, School of Medicine. Kampala Uganda
What is your organizational status?
Not formally registered but are a formal initiative through a school / university.
What is the maturity of your innovation?
Existing Prototype or Pilot: Tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.