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OneYouth OneHeart

Bridging the gap for refugee youth and host community youth to peacefully co-exist and co-create solutions to community disasters/challenges

Photo of Liz Mukasa

Written by


Approximately 75% of Uganda's population is youth and the highest urban refugee population in Uganda resides in slums.
However there is a gap between Refugees and host community youth that needs to be bridged in order to peacefully co-exist.There is need for them to come together as one to solve community problems like; luck of clean water supply and proper sanitation habits ,since they are all affected by these challenges.
We will bridge the gap by creating a space or a platform open for community members from diverse background and cultures to come together, share ideas,brainstorm on the different challenges affecting them and co-create solutions to these challenges.
We will offer support by; co-creating solutions with community youth,Provide necessary information to build on ideas,creating partnerships for them to implement there solutions.
We will utilize community based organisations to serve as meeting space.
By co-creating solutions the community will own the solutions and the implementation will be more effective.


Community members; Refugee youth and host community youth.
They will co-create solutions and effectively implement the solutions.
We will be able to create partnerships which can help them implement these solutions.


The government is advocating for "youth civic engagement" which was the country's international youth day theme.The government wants youth to be responsible for there communities.It is also providing grants to youth groups that have viable community projects.
Our idea will enable youth to have creative confidence and co-create viable solutions/ projects to community challenges.
We will utilize community organisations as meeting space and will learn to create frugal solutions-Leveraging resources around them.


  • Yes, for one year or less


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for less than one year


  • Yes


OneYouth OneHeart is an initiative that aims at bridging the gap between refugee youth and host community youth.We focus on co-creating platform with youth to dream, inspire and change their lives and communities.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Shane Zhao

Thanks for the contribution Liz! It's great to hear that OneYouth OneHeart has been bringing refugee youths together to co-create solutions around the scarcity of clean water supply and proper sanitation habits. What were some of the ideas that came out of the brainstorms and next steps that might be taken to test these ideas in the local community?

Photo of Liz Mukasa

Thanks Shane,
We came up with a community cleaning activity as our international day celebration where the OneYouthOneHeart refugee youth and Nationals participated in a community cleaning of a city slum,portraying that if the two parties came together and worked together they would be able to collectively solve community challenges- Strengthening youth civic engagement.
We also came up with an idea of using art to recycle rubbish which we are yet to further brainstorm and realize its implementation.
Youth from a certain community came up with a water filtration model to fit there community and is more sustainable ,we are having brainstorming community meetings and we are currently working together to co-create this filter,the youth have shared ideas and presented possible partnerships to implement.

Photo of Destin rohn

Through a local CBO, all English for Adults students ( places where refugees learn the basic of English for communication and social integration) are being taught about better practices of washing hands and encouraged to use them so that in case of any disease people should avoid contaminate them selves.

Photo of Lukendo Mbokani Jerry

Ceramic Bio-sand Water filter is one of the ideas that came while brainstorming, a natural simple way of purifying water. One of the cheapest methods that filters and cools down water due to its container's built material. The simple technology will help desperate and vulnerable people, middle and higher class people to get access to safe and clean water to drink. This technology shall reduce the number of waterborne diseases children in slum areas and in the country at large.

Photo of Sarah Basemera

Hi Team, for now we are working to bridge the gap between the refugee and host community youth how about we include the fresh immigrants, how do we find them and support them to attain their refugee status and access the services,

Photo of Destin rohn

Hello Sarah,
thanks for the question: personally I think the first step to take is taking through the information sharing session so that they get to understand better the whole refugee status determination process, where it starts from and apparently where it ends, different refugee service providers and packages offered by each of them and of course addresses and contacts, get them to understand their responsibilities as human being most especially for urban areas how refugees are supposed to be likely self reliant . they should also understand who is a refugee according to the international humanitarian law and the Uganda 2006 refugee act.
get them also to understand the advantages and disadvantages for them to stay in a refugee settlement or staying in town.
We should help them to write their appeal's letters once the Refugee eligibility committee(REC) rejects their cases By providing them with legal advices to well address their issues. but also for their integration they have quickly to learn either English or Luganda the language of commerce in Kampala and most spoken in Uganda. giving them also skills which will help in improving their livelihood, ...

Photo of Lukendo Mbokani Jerry
Team Logo: "Access to safe water supplies throughout Uganda is 65%. Although the number of people with access to safe water and sanitation has improved over the past 10 years, there are still many communities (both rural and urban) that rely on contaminated water sources such as streams and open wells. More than half of all residents in Uganda do not have access to improved sanitation, sharing overcrowded pit latrines or practicing open defecation.

In unplanned urban settlements near Kampala, residents pay up to three times more for safe tap water than residents living in planned urban communities. As a result, residents collect water from alternate contaminated sources. This causes frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery."

Ceramic Bio-sand Water filter is a natural way of filtering water. One of the cheapest methods that filters and cools down water for desperate and vulnerable people safe and clean to drink, and to low and higher class people to get access to safe and clean water for drinking that is out of chemicals. This technology filters water using the natural methods and reduces the chance of people getting cancer. But also it lowers the number of waterborne diseases children in slum areas and in the country at large. I thank GOD oneyouth oneheart welcomed and brainstormed the idea, and now aiming to distribute as many filters as possible in these affected ubrn areas in Kampala.

Photo of Ikong James

guys we shall a meeting next week on Tuesday and the venue is yet to be confirmed.

Photo of Lennon

Nice idea really eye catching.Great..Oneyouth oneheart together as one we can make this world a better place..

Photo of Sarah Basemera

One of the things that are holding communities back, are the differences between community members, let it be religion, ethnic background, cultural beliefs and practices, if we can comet other and forget our difference, the community challenges will be overcome, am glad initiatives like Oneyouth Oneheart have come up to participate in solving this especially among the youth who are the majority population especially in developing countries.

Photo of Ikong James

now just a feedback about lack of cohesion between the two. unfortunately there are some gang wars between the two parties that we often don't mention. some refugee youth who for some reasons among which include poor hygiene, food scarcity and unemployment to mention but a few were forced to move to the city and they find them selves struggling in the urban slum areas to survive. because of this they gang up and form groups and gangs on the streets to look after those of their kind and they wonder about in their plight for survival. in doing so they clash with similar gangs formed of host community youth who on the other hand may have been forced to the streets coz of domestic issues like child abuse, labour, mistreatment among other factors that they find them selves on the streets and vulnerable easily lured into these gangs that provide them a safe heaven on the streets and boy their age going through the same situations they can relate too. because of these clashes each gang kinda goes all out to attack their rivals and in the process the commuity is the one that is affected with increased number of crime and death among other disastrous effects for example the ecrie sheik refugee gang group in kisenyi a slum in kampala. so oneyouth oneheart is looking at bringing these kinda gangs to team up into one for a greater and better social impact a good use of young an resilient youth potential to prevent communal disaster provide necessary solutions together as one.

Photo of Ambi Mistry

Hi Liz,
Sounds like a very interesting idea. I just wanted to know a little bit more context and detail about the types of challenges that face the integration of host youths and refugee youths? Have you got any case studies or examples that typify the relationship (or lack of).
Thanks and best of luck!

Photo of Liz Mukasa

Hi Ambi,
The host community does not comprehend that; Refugee youth are simply youth trying to get through life despite of being away from their home countries.
The poverty in the urban slums is for all the residents, both local and refugees are living in poverty but the local youth feel like the refugees are a threat, coming to take the little resources they have so Instead of uniting for increase, they contend.
Looking at limited water supply;
There is competition for water in the slums and the refugees are affected greatly.
When it comes to pricing the available water, the prices for refugees are doubled yet they are also merely trying to get water for their basic needs with the little money they have.

Photo of Lukendo Mbokani Jerry

I love the idea and looking forward seeing oneyouth oneheart bringing significant change between refugees and the host communities

Photo of Ikong James

oneyouth oneheart is such a briliant idea i love it