We are building a 10,000 tree native food forest at the Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Uganda. The settlement houses over 70,000 refugees, most with little food access or employment opportunities. Our food forest will employ refugees, provide healthy food sources, and decrease soil degradation. With a 100 acre piece of land already donated, we are raising funds for income for the refugee forest workers, tools, and seedlings.
Uganda has over 1.4 million refugees, and it has the fastest growing number of refugees in the world. Refugees need opportunities for self-reliance, empowerment, and employment. Deforestation in refugee settlement areas leads to degraded soil, which causes water shortages and thus further displacement.
We are focused on improving the lives of displaced people in both our operations and our results. We are run by and for displaced persons. We train, facilitate and employ displaced persons to build and maintain food forests. Food forests provide resources and soil restoration for the camps, and focused employment for women provides a stepping stone toward a sustainable life after the camp. Employing displaced people to maintain the forests empowers the communities to act autonomously.
As the first food forest for refugees of its kind, its success will set a precedent for autonomous food forests for refugee camps around the world. This program can provide the stable infrastructure to support better livelihoods for refugees in Uganda, while preventing future displacement from soil degradation.