The looming uncertainty in South Sudan is a blessing in disguise. It provides an opportunity for better services for both refugees and nationals in Uganda. The humanitarian agencies and staff under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister and UNHCR should be hailed for the efforts and services offered.
The physical environment under which they operate is very unfriendly. The machines they use are always a target and more than 20 motorcycles were stolen from Yumbe last year alone. One staff was lynched in an unclear inferno. I wish to thank the Queen of England for her passionate Christmas message. She gratified the humanitarian staff across the world for the great sacrifice they make, looking after refugees and the homeless generally even during the festive season when their own families needed them most.
Amid the hardships, our pre-occupation as Bidibidi team is summarised in the vision: “To Produce a Future President for South Sudan”. This vision is spearheaded by the Settlement Commandant, Mr Robert Baryamwesiga. To actualise this dream, Finn Church Aid (FCA) is heavily investing in the education sector. FCA country director, Mr Wycliff Nsekka has rallied support from across the world: UNHCR, ECHO, ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and UNICEF in order to provide quality education needed to form the requisite human resource for the future South Sudan. Places that were once remote belts have greatly been upgraded in terms of infrastructure.
FCA in partnership with UNHCR is giving hope to the hopeless children in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. Visually impaired and deaf children who were languishing in the settlement have been enrolled into good Special Needs Education Unit Schools in Arua and plans are in high gear to establish one Unit School at Apo Boarding Primary School in Yumbe. A concrete foundation is being laid in the settlements as we transcend the emergency phase to transformation.
Field Education Coordinator/ Roving Education Assistant,
Finn Church Aid (FCA), Yumbe.