Forests and Innovation; New Solutions for a Better World (The theme for International Forests Day 2024)

GRIโ€™s environmental kids club members planting trees

At GRI we recognize the critical role forests play in sustaining life on our planet and as such through our environment program in schools in Kiryandongo refugee settlement and host communities, we advocate for a peaceful co-existence between man and his environment. We do this through classroom teachings & reading, tree planting, recycling plastics and other materials, taking nature walks among others.

We engage our environment kids club members in tree planting and maintaining and also support and encourage them to keep planting trees in their homes and as well educate their parents/guardians about the importance of trees, emphasizing that trees/ Forests, known as Earth’s lungs, are vital for a balanced environment, they filter harmful carbon dioxide from the air and are essential for life, they provide food, water and shelter for both humans and animals, and that by cutting down these trees we risk losing these irreplaceable ecosystems around the world.

Together lets plant more trees in Kiryandongo refugee settlement and host communities. Click here to support the cause. Happy International Forest Day 2024


๐…๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐‹๐ž๐š๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ ๐š๐ญ ๐š ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐  ๐€๐ ๐ž

Last week, Our School held its much-anticipated school elections, where pupils showcased their leadership potential and competed for various positions of responsibility ranging from head boy and head girl to class prefects within the school community and later the successful candidates swore in. The event not only highlighted the democratic process within the school but also underscored the significance of nurturing leadership skills among children from a tender age.

At Ubuntu Model Primary School, the emphasis on leadership goes beyond just holding positions of authority; it is about cultivating qualities such as empathy, integrity, and resilience among others.

โ€œProviding opportunities for pupils to take on leadership roles, the school empowers them to become confident, responsible, and empathetic individuals who are capable of making meaningful contributions to society.โ€ Agnes Nambooze, Ubuntu Model Primary School Head Teacher.

GRI officials graced the swearing-in ceremony and with much pleasure congratulated, welcomed and encouraged the new and pioneer prefectural body to work closely with school administration for a better Ubuntu Model P/S


Happy International Women’s Day!

Today, we celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions of women around the world. Lets continue to work towards a more gender-equal society, where every woman and girl has the opportunity to thrive and fulfil their potential.


Empowering Water Governance as a Sustainable Solution for Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement

In Kiryandongo settlement, water scarcity poses a significant challenge, especially for production facilities. However, through collaborative efforts, we have seen a positive change.

Field visit to understand some of the water challenges affecting the refugee communities

Global Refugee Initiatives is proud to support 7 Village Savings and Loans Association VSLA farmer groups comprising 120+ members in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. With assistance from Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Self-Help Africa, we have installed a shallow well and a solar pump, ensuring access to water for production even during the dry season.

Guiding farmer group members on formation/drafting of water user committee constitution

But our commitment doesn’t stop there. We have established a Water User Committee, with 50% female representation, to ensure effective governance of this precious resource. Their responsibilities include setting up by-laws to guide usage, collecting maintenance contributions from the facility users, and managing a maintenance fund for long-term sustainability.

Farmer groups gathered to vote their group representatives on the water user committee.

Join us in overcoming water challenges in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. Together, we can make a difference.


New school year in Uganda!

Streets bustling with children heading to Ubuntu Model Primary School, part of GRI’s education project in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. Our team ensures inclusive, quality education for refugee, IDP, and host community kids.

Excitement fills the air as children reunite with friends after two months. With dedicated staff and engaging activities, learning is in full swing! Afternoons are packed with games, sports, and drama to boost intellectual and social skills.

We’re proud to collaborate with parents, teachers, and partners to nurture these young minds. Our recent PTA meeting saw over 80% participation-a testament to our strong community bond. Together, we’re shaping a brighter future for these children.

Please join us in supporting the cause by making a donation through the link


Voices from Uganda – Urgent Plea for Sudanese Refugees

Due to the ongoing conflict in Sudan since April 2023, nearly 6.2 million people have been displaced inside and outside Sudan, which currently makes it the largest protection crisis in the region. As the conflict parties violated various ceasefires and are not willing to enter peace agreements, more Sudanese are expected to flee out of the country this year. Given that Sudan is a refugee hosting country itself it is most likely that the ongoing conflict will also lead to the secondary displacement of refugees in Sudan.

The displacement of such large numbers of people has major implications on Sudan’s five neighbouring countries, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, as they receive most of those seeking safety. However, some of these countries struggle with internal conflicts themselves and the resources for the humanitarian assistance of the ones in need are limited.

Nevertheless, to ensure life-saving assistance and the access to basic services and protection, UN-OCHA and UNHCR launched the Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP) on the 7th of February 2024. With its four strategic objectives, the 2024 RRP guides all involved stakeholders in the provision of assistance – find out more here.

Although Uganda is not an immediate neighbor to Sudan, it offered its support by accommodating Sudanese refugees. In December 2023, Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, where GRI implements its programs, received approximately 1500 new arrivals from Sudan. More were on the journey. Our Board Member, Mary Akugizibwe was there and met some of the newly welcomed families. Today, she shares her insights with us:

โ€œI visited Kiryandongo refugee settlement in Uganda 2 days after Christmas and met incredible Sudanese families facing unimaginable challenges. New-borns with no proper clothing, mothers going hungry, a severe lack of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, kids eager to go back to school in 2024 but there arenโ€™t enough schools, the few available health facilities are congested – the struggle is real.

While celebrations filled the air elsewhere during the Christmas season, for the Sudanese refugees, it was a time marked by misery and hardship

I spoke with Amina, a new mom of twins, living in a makeshift tent offered by UNHCR with her husband Samir, she had given birth 3 months before while at the Reception Centre at the border with Uganda and South Sudan. She was worried whether her newly born twins would survive these hard conditions.

There is an urgent need for humanitarian aid.

The challenges faced by these Sudanese refugees in Uganda are immense, and local NGOs like Global Refugee Initiatives (GRI) play a critical role in meeting such immediate needs.โ€

We call upon everyone to support GRI as one of the implementing partners addressing this crisis.


Gameplay to Enhance Classroom Learning

This week we officially launched our game-based learning activities at Ubuntu Model Primary School. During school holidays as well as during regular lessons, our learners get the opportunity to enhance their learning experience by playing games such as the 5-STAZ developed by My Home Stars, Scrabble and others.

Why use games to teach? The instructive and fun board game activities complement the national curriculum and facilitate learning for children who struggle with conventional teaching methods. Research shows that using games in teaching can help increase student participation and foster social and emotional learning. The positive social encounters strengthen the children’s self-confidence and improve their psycho-social well-being. Moreover, the playing sessions serve as a platform to create bonds of friendship, build trust and solidarity amongst each other.

During your education, did you get the chance to learn through games? What is your experience with game-based learning? Share your comments with us.

Also, if you wish to support our education program please visit our donation page or reach out to us via:


A Memorable Team Building Experience at Murchison Falls National Park

In a refreshing departure from the routine, the dedicated staff of GRI embarked on an exhilarating team-building trip to Murchison Falls National Park.

Team-building exercises ranged from problem-solving challenges to trust-building activities, all carefully designed to promote communication, cooperation, and a sense of unity.

Upon arrival, the team was greeted by the majestic Murchison Falls, where the Nile River plunges through a narrow gorge, creating a breathtaking moment. The roar of rushing water served as a natural soundtrack to the collaborative spirit that enveloped the group.

As the day unfolded, the team had the chance to explore the parkโ€™s wildlife. Safaris through the savannah revealed the rich biodiversity that Murchison Falls is known for, with encounters with elephants, giraffes, and other species. The shared excitement of spotting wildlife added an extra layer of bonding to the team.

The Murchison Falls team-building trip served as a reminder that fostering a strong team dynamic goes beyond the confines of the workplace. The natural beauty of the park, combined with purposeful activities, created an environment where colleagues became friends, and professional relationships deepened.

GRI arranges team-building activities periodically, including lunch-and-learn sessions, workshops, and tours.


Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement is Welcoming New Arrivals from Sudan

As the war in Sudan continues, thousands of people have been displaced within the country and beyond. With the aim of protecting the most affected, UNHCR has started to resettle Sudanese families to other countries. Uganda acknowledges the shared responsibility of providing war-affected populations a safe space and is thus amongst the resettlement countries.

In December 2023, Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement welcomed 1500 new arrivals straight from Sudan. After two days at the reception center, the families were provided with starting kits, including essential household items, and were located in different Clusters within the settlement. 

Just as many other organisations, Global Refugee Initiatives was involved in the reception process. To provide guidance to the new arrivals, organisations got the opportunity to welcome them and present their services. The refugee leaders, many of whom have lived in the settlement for years, spoke encouraging words to their new neighbours, sharing their stories and reassuring them.

Whilst every beginning is hard, we are willing to support the new arrivals to our best and facilitate their settling in.


A Happy New Year to All of You

The Board of Directors at Global Refugee Initiatives (GRI) extends heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for your unwavering support throughout 2023. Your commitment has played a crucial role in achieving significant milestones that have positively impacted the lives of those we serve. As we enter into a new year, we anticipate the possibilities of 2024 and look forward to your continued support and loyalty.