NETHERLANDS GOVT/ILO GIFT RHINO CAMP REFUGEES AND HOST COMMUNITIES WITH MODERN RECREATION FACILITY
Rhino camp refugees and host community will soon benefit from a modern recreation facility. The facility to be constructed in Rhino Camp , OFUA three refugee settlement with be a modern multi-purpose youth educational center. The multibillion facility to be undertaken by the international labour organization (ILO) with funding from the Netherlands government aims at addressing the mental and psycho-social needs and economic empowerment of refugees and the host communities.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the commencement of construction of the center, Netherlands Ambassador to Uganda her Excellency Karin Boven affirmed the commitment by the Netherlands government to make refugee settlements and the host communities places of good livelihoods with a lot of social protection.
“ we want to see that the host communities and the refugees are co-existing through development, we wan to build a sustainable livelihood, even during hard times, youth and girls should be protected and supported to have a brighter future as they await to return home” said Karin Boven.
Ambassador Boven further confirmed her government’s support towards the provision of mental health support as key on the agenda of the Netherlands.
The Modern Multipurpose youth center will include a multipurpose hall, conference hall, restaurants, ICT labs, football, netball, and basketball pitches, mini library, counseling rooms, and offices among others.
Ambassador Karin Boven stressed the need to boost entrepreneurial skills among the refugees and host communities youth as well as mental support in order to promote the well-being of the youth.
Apollo Agandu LC1 chair of Amuru Village in orema subcounty who is also one of the landlords donating the land for the youth center, castigated the implementing partners to avoid sidelining host community youth during the implementation of the project.
“We want this center to employ people from our communities, we anticipate that this will help on hands-on skilling of youth in our communities.” Said Apollo.
Terego district Local Council Five chairperson Mr Wilfred Saaka, decried that rhino camp refugees’ settlements in the country was the least developed which he attributes to boarder conflicts between the various districts.
“ This center is a blessing to our district, its painful to see that development has for long been affected by boarder conflicts between the districts, we have now solved these and it’s time to call on partners to develop these camps but also support the host district.” Said Osaka.
The International Labour organization Chief technical advisor Mr Stephen Opio assured the Netherlands Ambassador and the community that ILO was committed to ensuring the center was up and running for the community without delay. He said construction work for the modern youth community recreation center is set to be complete within two years and ten local constructors are yet to be identified to commence with construction work,
“ILO believes in equal opportunities and also holistic human development, we want to see that communities benefit, we shall ask the contractors to engage youth who are of age to participate on project work and be employed as well as be skilled on the job” says Opio
Ms Josephine Sunday a P7 dropout and a youth leader in OFUA 3 rejoiced that the center will go a long way in redeeming the youth against social evils like pregnancy and early marriages. Resulting from Idleness.
This is very good for us as a youth, we are grateful and hopeful, there will be a lot to learn and we believe this gift shall transform many youth into responsible citizens to their governments when they return home. adds Josphine
Grace Obalin, the health mental social psycho support advisor at the transcultural psychosocial organization (TPO) said the groundbreaking of the multipurpose youth center was a great achievement and will help in strengthening their program.
Meanwhile Marie loius Cabri Baleto head of the UNCHR Arua office confirms that the multipurpose youth center will help in psychosocial well-being, skills and livelihoods of the youth as well as enhancing social cohesion of peaceful co-existence between the refugees and host communities.
Uganda is currently home to over 1.5 million refugees, mostly from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi. Since the launch of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in 2017, the Government of Uganda has included refugees in the national development plans and endorsed sector plans to improve the delivery of social services in refugee-hosting districts. The PROSPECTS Partnership is working to the government and partners to deliver Education, Jobs, and Protection to the refugee population and host communities.
By Grace Musimami