CONTEXT AND JUSTIFICATION

Uganda is currently hosting more than 1.2 million refugees whose 60% are children (World Bank, 2017). An average of 2,000 people arrives daily since July 2016 – as the pressure on the public services and local resources is immense – with the authority and the locals visibly struggling to keep up. As such, part of the social problems facing by the these already marginalized children, young adults and women include luck of access to basic education, vocational skills, economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health and rights...

Refugee children, youth and women are the most vulnerable to child exploitation and sexual violence resulting in a lack of education and economic empowerment opportunities due to their status as refugees. Only able to attend local school until the age of 12, they leave with limited job prospects, and consequently, many are tempted away from their community to seek low paid jobs. In addition, the lack of access to learn certain 21 first century skills that will contribute in their career and human development are part of the social exclusion problems facing these already marginalized youths.

According to results of our latest survey about serious issues affecting urban refugee youths in Kampala, ninety-nine percent (99%) of 120 interviewed persons reported that xenophobia was the main driver of their adversity, unhappiness and suffering. They said: “We are already facing multiple and tremendous difficulties including bullying, harassment, family disapproval, social isolation, sexual violence and unwanted pregnancies. These threats cause poor self-esteem and feelings of shame and lead us to more emotional distress, suicide attempts, substance use, and risky sexual behavior”. “We do not know who we are and what we are. We are only waiting for death and maybe we are already dead!” they added. Other facts showed that adolescent girls aged 14 – 16 years accounted for 40% of new unwanted pregnancies and sexual infections among all 120 persons interviewed. Data suggest this number is large enough to warrant special attention and targeted programming, such as the computer science for refugee children’s fun and economic empowerment intervention.

OUR RESPONSE

The generous support from this action partner will be exclusively used to evolve the proposed computer science for children’s fun and economic empowerment intervention through equipping these already marginalized youth with the training and support they need to become innovative social entrepreneurs of the future and blossom into confident young adults.

In keeping with these objectives, we intend to empower, by the end of year 2019, at least 300 children (60% girls vs. 40% boys) aged 7 – 18 to learn how to use computer science to create fun and interactive stories, video games, apps mobile, drawings, cartoons, websites and more digital products themed on various topics including gender-based violence, children and climate change, peace and conflict resolution, sexual and reproductive health and rights and so many other life issues.

Our methodology and products are real educational and stimulate conversations on these sensitive life issues. We find it crucial that the most marginalized children and adolescent girls have proper access to correct information and learn to communicate about the respect and non-violation of their human rights, and the sexuality (even before they become sexual active themselves). As such, the computer science for refugee children’s fun and economic empowerment intervention contributes towards the social inclusion of the children as it will lay a promising professional foundation for the most marginalized children and adolescent girls as well as the youth to become professional in the focus computer science skills areas.

Directly, the proposed intervention supports the Sustainable Development Goals – SDG Goal 4: To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; SDGs Goal 5: To Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (as the project will empower more girls – 60% of the total target) and Goal 10: To reduce inequality within and among countries.

IMPACT AND PARTNERSHIPS

Expected long-term impact

Education empowers communities; for the younger generations, it offers opportunities into higher education, as well as giving them the confidence and skills to enter the workforce. For the community elders, many of whom are illiterate, it offers hope that new generations of the community are destined for a future of options and consequential prosperity. For the community as a whole, it provides morale and a sense of direction towards positive change.

Partnerships and collaborations

Partnerships and collaborations form the core of our organization and all its programs, including the computer science for refugee children’s fun and economic empowerment intervention and will be vital to its success. We are open and interested to partner and collaborate with interested a variety of volunteer individuals, grassroots refugee and youth led-organizations, non-profit international organizations, civil society, private sector, government and UN agencies... to ensure the refugee children are well-equipped and given essential skills to be used not only in their community settings, but also beyond their expectations. Building these partnerships will further extend our work, and the common ground created by the Refugee Friends Care Organization Uganda will provide an enabling environment to develop, nurture and manage these partnerships effectively.

©2018 All rights reserved. Refugee Friends Care Organization

Organization InformationRefugee Friends Care Organization is a refugee-led organization dedicated to promote the respect and non-violation of the fundamental human rights, the rights of refugees and marginalized groups in Uganda and in the region of great lakes of Africa.

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