South Sudan Phase 2 - Consolidation of the Provision of Education and Protection services to South Sudanese refugees in Imvepi Settlement Arua District, Uganda

Project location: Uganda, Arua District
Project start date: May 2019 - Project end date: April 2022
Project number: 2019-018
Beneficiary: A-Z Children Ltd T/A Nurture Africa (NA)

Uganda’s open door/progressive policy for refugees has made the Country the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with official figures of 1,239,912 refugees as of 31st March 2019 (UNHCR, 2019) . Of the 1,239,912 refugees in Uganda, majority 808,554 (65.2%) originate from South Sudan, 332,506 (26.8%) from DR Congo, 38,526 (3.1%) from Burundi, 27,899 (2.3%) from Somalia, 15,170 (1.2%) from Rwanda, 11,247 (0.9%) from Eritrea, 2,738 (0.2%) from Sudan, 2,545 (0.2%) from Ethiopia and 727 (0.1%) from other countries.
South Sudanese refugees mainly occupy Northern Uganda (West Nile districts) including Yumbe (224,750 refugees), Adjumani (203,671 refugees), Arua (160,040 refugees), Moyo (119,333 refugees), Lamwo (41,168 refugees) and Koboko (5,219 refugees). The most recent UNHCR February 2019 statistics indicate that Imvepi settlement comprises of 57,382 South Sudanese refugees. Imvepi settlement represents 5% of the total number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. South Sudanese refugees continue to come into Uganda and an estimated 162 refugees are registered on a daily basis. This number is likely to increase as the peace process for the warring parties back in South Sudan is still elusive/unpredictable. This is because President Salva Kiir, rebel leader Riek Machar and a handful of other rebel groups have not yet agreed on the formation of a unity government due to security matters yet to be resolved. 

This project, which received a grant from the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation, will focus on South Sudanese refugees in Imvepi refugee Settlement. Refugees in this settlement still experience education and protection challenges. Schools are critically lacking teachers and educational materials leaving 39% of South Sudan’s refugee children out of school in Imvepi refugee settlement. The teacher to pupil ratio remains poor with one teacher to 119 pupils compared to the Uganda’s national standard of 1:53. Many refugee children are unable to join school due to lack of uniforms and other scholastic materials like books, pencils, pens and reams of papers. Many female adolescents miss 17% of school due to lack of sanity pads (School of Oriental and African Studies 2015) School drop- out is common with over 57% of adolescents (15-24-year old’s) idle within the settlement. This idleness can lead to crime, rape and teenage pregnancy (World Vision 2017). Currently no vocational training center exists in Imvepi Settlement though a couple of organizations are providing some training (OPM Office 2019).  Sexual and gender-based violence and child protection activities remain primary concerns as reported by 83% of refugee women and children (UNHCR March 2019 report). Although there is no systematic disaggregation of data by sex and age to provide meaningful gender analysis, young girls are usually the most vulnerable. They are most likely to be subjected to sexual and gender-based violence, often through early marriage and abuse. Between January 2018 to October 2018 rape was reported at 21%, physical assault at 35%, psychological/emotional abuse at 22%, early marriages at 6%, denial of resources at 11%, and sexual assault at 5% (UNHCR October 2018 Monthly Update). This project intends to implement several interventions to address these challenges.

NURTURE AFRICA A-Z Children Ltd Trading (NA) works in Wakiso, Mubende and Arua districts where it is mandated to run both development and humanitarian (refugee support) projects in health, literacy, education, child protection, sexual reproductive health and sustainable livelihood with the focus on the physical and emotional wellbeing of vulnerable children and families.  
NA completed a two-year NaEP Foundation grant whose goal was ‘to improve access to and provision of quality education for South Sudanese refugee children and youth and to contribute to early  recovery  and  reduced  impact  of  the  refugee  crisis  among  the  Refugees  and  host communities in Imvepi and Palabek refugee settlements’ (see 2017-045).  

With the involvement of different refugee stakeholders including the Office of The Prime Minister (OPM), UNHCR, Partner Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in refugee settlements, parents, children, police and child protection committees, several education and child protection interventions have been proposed to achieve with specific project objectives including:  
- improving the quality education for refugee children through teacher training and motivation, access to sanitary pads for adolescent girls, access to school uniforms and scholastic materials for exam going school children;  
- improving the protection environment of refugee women and children from violence, exploitation and abuse;  
- promoting post-primary alternative and life-skills education for out of school children and youth through vocational skills training and internship opportunities. 
Direct beneficiaries will be 30,200 people (400 young children, 19,500 primary school children, 200 teachers and 100 out of school youths will directly benefit, 5,000 guardians, 5,000 children) 
Indirect beneficiaries will be 30.000 people (15,400 family members of guardians of school going children, 800 family members of teachers, 500 family members of out of school youth, 10,000 community members in zone 3). 

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