The women and young refugees in the Nakivale Refugee Camp need your help now.
Life before COVID was already hard for refugees in the Nakivale settlement, the 8th largest refugee camp in the world hosting over 120,000 people. Starting life over, learning a new language, finding new sources of income, and grieving their loved ones who have stayed back in their country of origin are a few of the many challenges that refugees have to face as they arrive in Nakivale. But since the global pandemic started, their long list of adversities became even longer. Now, they are dealing with an even more significant lack of income opportunities, increasing food shortages, hunger and malnutrition, due to drastic cuts in food rations from the World Food Program.
More than ever before, these refugees need hope. They need to know that there is a way out of their current situation. They need to know that education is the way out.
Paulinho Josaphat knows that better than anyone else. He is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo living in Nakivale. He has been experiencing the power of education and is doing something remarkable. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Paulinho reached out to Nora Bateson, from the International Bateson Institute, and experienced first hand the impact of education and community-building across borders. After receiving a scholarship to become a certified host of Warm Data Labs - a social technology that aims to create strong communities by "building relationships that build relationships" - Paulinho started noticing that his own way of relating to others was changing. He started receiving feedback about it; people were noticing a different level of openness and warmth as they interacted with him. This gave him hope and strength to make education accessible to others in the settlement.
To help create opportunities and hope for fellow refugees, Paulinho created UNIDOS Social Center, a social innovation lab to help improve living conditions by educating and empowering women and at-risk youth. Despite all of the challenges and lack of access to basic resources - food, health and education - Paulinho found the strength to help others as he is also rebuilding his own life.
Through Paulinho's courage and determination, Nakivale became the first initiative of the 10,000 Communities project that the Bateson Institute is now driving. This led to the creation of a Permaculture training, with the help of crowdfunding by the Warm Data community and the coordination of Morag Gamble, a WD host and award-winning Permaculture activist from Australia (more about Morag's work and her support to the Nakivale refugee settlement in her interview at the Jim Rutt’s podcast ). The purpose of the Permaculture education is to create a regenerative and robust food system of abundance that helps people in the community to become more self-sufficient. Combined with the relationship-building approach of the Warm Data Labs, these trainings address many of their current challenges, by generating nourishing food, reducing paddles that attract mosquitoes and spread diseases, creating cooler and more tolerable living conditions and promoting projects that foster community and social glue.
How You Can Help:
The Permaculture and Warm Data trainings were an amazing achievement, along with the other educational activities offered to the refugees by Unidos Social Center. But it has also made evident the need for an adequate space where people can gather and learn together, with a minimum level of structure and appropriate social distancing.
UNIDOS needs $9,800 to build a basic training hall (labour and materials), with chairs, desks and basic equipment, buy seeds and sponsor another group of refugees through the permaculture training. The photos of the new building and the training will be posted here and will also be shared on the Facebook page of Unidos.
What Will Your Donations Pay For:
- Tools, seeds, materials and instructors for the Permaculture training ($3,900)
- Cooperative revolving loan fund to help the youth start Permaculture enterprises ($2,000)
- Labour, materials and equipments to build the training hall ($3,900), including
Iron sheets (45 units)
Cement (25 bags)
Stones (5 trips)
Sand (5 trips)
Timber (50 units)
Doors (3 units)
Windows (7 units)
Workforce (6 people)
Chairs (20 units)
Tables (5 units)
White board (1 unit)
Camera (1 unit)
Laptop (2 units)
Donations will be made through the Ethos Foundation in Australia, the charitable organisation created by Morag to support initiatives like this. 100% of your donations will go to this project.
We want to thank you in advance for your support. Your donations will make a huge difference to the lives of people who are taking the biggest hit with the global pandemic. Helping them access education also means giving refugees the opportunity of a new beginning, increasing their chances to transform their lives and the lives of their families.
Help Us Further:
Please consider sharing this fundraising campaign with your family, friends and acquaintances. This will make a huge difference to the people of Nakivale who will be able to benefit from your generosity. You can share this link to your Facebook timeline or in any way you like.