Centre Elite à Nakivale

I. Context


As a relatively stable country in a volatile region, Uganda has opened its borders to become one of the countries hosting the most refugees in the world. Civil war in neighbouring South Sudan, insecurity in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and political unrest in Burundi have contributed to the most recent waves of refugee influxes in the past few years, bringing the total number of refugees in Uganda to an estimated 1.1 million people.

Due to the high numbers of refugees in Uganda, the range of origins, and the varying lengths of displacement, humanitarian needs among these groups are significant and diverse varying by population group and location.


II. Nakivale Elite Center: Aim of the Project


To overcome these challenges and improve the living conditions of refugees, but above all, after the unexpected social impact of the Mahama "Elite Center", Friends of Humanity aims to replicate the same model in other refugee camps in the world, such as Nakivale refugee settlements in Uganda.


This Center would focus on offering not only vocational training (in painting, culinary arts, sewing, soap making), but also would have a library and an e-learning centre (to study online language courses, university studies and self-improvement courses on leadership, entrepreneurship or mindfulness). Moreover, psychosocial support, meditation and theatre workshops would take place, as well as weekly documentaries and film screening and music performances, among other activities.


Inauguration of the Elite Center at Mahama refugee camp last June 2018


Watch the testimony video on how the Mahama "Elite Center" in Rwanda has positively impacted the life of hundreds of burundian refugees living in the camp here: https://youtu.be/gPEAp7GNlYQ



III Areas of Intervention

A. Vocational Training and sustainable development

A.1) Vocational training programs on:

  • Culinary arts
  • Soap Making
  • Permaculture
  • Sewing skills


    A.2) Specific monthly training workshops from partners:

    A.3) Courses on Entrepreneurship

    A.4) FOH Restaurant, FOH sewing workshop, FOH small soap factory and permaculture


    B. Cultural promotion

    - Painting

    - Dance

    - Poetry

    - Music

    - Theatre

    - Film Screening Cinema


    C. Women Empowerment

    - Vocational training (soap making and others)

    - Group meetings

    - Women Meditation group

    - Empowerment workshop

    - Workshops against gender violence

    - Project on Production Sanitary towels

    - Workshops, debates and discussion groups to promote empowerment of women/girls


    D. Education for peace

    D.1) Developing English Proficiency for refugees

    D.2) E-Learning Center: Enhancing access to language courses and post-secondary education through online courses

    D.3) Education on Leadership, Peace Promotion and Reconciliation

    D.4) Library


    E. Psychosocial support and Meditation



    IV. A Holistic and transformative approach


    By opening these Centres, Friends of Humanity seeks to promote a holistic transformative approach in education, inclusive development, culture promotion and leadership. Education is the most powerful tool for empowerment. It is only with a good education that the young generation can make informed decisions, and attain the self-confidence they need to seize the opportunities for a brighter future for themselves, their community and their (host and/or home) country.


    Our belief is that through a value-centered education, we can transform people’s mind-sets, attitudes and behaviors, unlock tremendous leadership potential in young refugees.


    We undertake to focus on capacity building for young refugees to transform them into competent economic development actors. Skill development is a fundamental prerequisite for vulnerable community members to become economically active. Our technical and vocational skills training programs will focus on addressing the scarce and critical skills needed in the most marketable and profitable fields of the region. Developing the capacity of refugees will improve their likelihood of employability, entrepreneurship and innovation. Ultimately, they will gain the power and freedom to end the intergenerational cycles of violence, economic dependence and extreme poverty.


    The Center will be a key and focal point of reference for all refugees in the camp, where refugees all of ages, gender and interests will find a space to disconnect from their difficult living conditions, a space with an extraordinary positive energy of solidarity, community, entertainment and joy, a place to meet, discuss and share ideas and experiences, a place to learn and work, a place to create activities and organize events.


    Moreover, this approach even takes into consideration the fact that refugees do not have to be a burden for the host community. While working to sustain themselves, they can contribute to the development of the host community at the same time. We want to empower refugees in their camps to help them become active participants to the development of the host community.


    Last but not least, the main aim is not to educate and offer tools to refugees to improve their present living conditions in the camp and in the host country, but also, we seek to prepare them to be skilful key actors of change in case one day they come back to their home country. In that case, the Center would support and benefit to those in need in the host community.



    > en savoir plus