UR Uganda Team at our RLO+NGO Networking Event
On behalf of the Urban Refugees team, we are thrilled to share that our programs in East Africa are growing. In this brief, we have exciting updates that cover: 1. Urban Refugees Incubation Program (URIP) Updates, 2. Our new advocacy training in Nairobi, and 3. Update on refugee-led efforts as part of our COVID-19 rapid response plan.
Urban Refugees Incubation Program (URIP): Year 2
Following a successful launch in August 2020, UR conducted the audit phase with the latest Refugee-Led Organizations (RLOs) additions to to URIP, the Refugee-Led Organizations Network (RELON) and the Somali Community Association of Uganda (SCAU). After completing the needs assessment audit which involved a series of participatory workshops with key organization leaders, focus group discussions with RLO beneficiaries, and interviews with RLO partners, both RLOs emerged with tailored training priorities to serve their organizational and community needs.
Training priorities for both RLOs were identified and cover: Project Management, Fundraising and Resource Mobilization, Advocacy, Partnerships, Income Generation Activities, and Governance.
With training needs identified, both RELON and SCAU welcomed the New Year with the start of their Project Management training modules.
New RLO Advocacy Training Program Launches in Nairobi, Kenya
We are excited to announce that our latest training program, aimed at equipping regional refugee leadership with advocacy training, launches this February! Our vision for this program is to train RLOs so they feel confident and equipped with the tools to voice their own concerns and needs at the national, regional, and international level. Leading and designing this training program is our very own advocacy lead, Julia Zahreddine.
Key training topics include: Analyzing the context and defining specific advocacy goals, identifying targets and alliances, identifying key moments and opportunities, understanding tactics and articulating modes of action, and monitoring and evaluating an advocacy strategy.
Upwards of 50 Refugee leaders from three impactful refugee-led coalitions in the region were selected. In addition to RELON, joining the training will be refugee leaders from Global Refugee Led Network (GRN) and the East African Refugee Led Organizations Network (EARLO). Together, these coalitions represent 50 RLOs, and serve over 10,500 refugee beneficiaries.
This programming was made possible through the collaborative efforts of our partners at Amnesty International, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), Mercy Corps, Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID), and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
COVID-19 Crisis Response Team Grows and RLOs Shine
Our partnered RLOs, the Sudanese Women For Peace and Development Association (SWPDA), The United South Sudanese Urban Refugees Community (USSURC), SCAU, and RELON have been hard at work to deliver necessary relief packages, referrals, and services to their communities.
In addition, the Refugee Entrepreneurship Association Limited (REAL) has joined the COVID-19 response plan as our 5th RLO partner. Founded in 2017, REAL strives to promote refugee skills and economic empowerment for most vulnerable slum communities, supporting over 600 beneficiaries including members of the host community.
During this period, RLOs referred 599 cases to humanitarian organizations for essential services such as food distribution, medical assistance, and legal counsel. RLOs also provided over 3,442 community beneficiaries with access to translated COVID-19 preventive measures via RLO-made posters, SMS text blasts, and social media (WhatsApp and Facebook). Highlights include:
- USSURC’s (URIP Year 1 Alum) successful distribution of food to 500 beneficiaries, including host community members, to support vulnerable households prioritize their income on other critical needs such as rent,
- REAL’s support of 25 women-owned businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis with business grants, and
- SWPDA’s (URIP Year 1 Alum) support to 200 beneficiaries with food including the host community.
Looking ahead, each RLO is poised to launch their Income Generating Activities (IGAs) to improve the financial sustainability of their organization. IGAs being launched include: From SWPDA, a community retail shop, USSURC plans to open a hair and beauty salon, RELON will launch a restaurant business, REAL members will start a clothing line business, and SCAU will pursue garment and handcraft production.
Now more than ever, RLOs are demonstrating their substantial impact on their communities, and at UR we are working with refugee leaders to amplify that impact. None of this work could have been done without your support. By continuing to support UR, you help us expand and refine our RLO partnering efforts in new contexts. On a larger scale, you ensure the advancement of a global movement to empower refugees through their access to replicable skill-development models.
The Urban Refugees Team
REAL members showcase IGA efforts
USSURC staff generating income from IGA products
REAL member displays handmade bags