Wishing you a joyful and festive season!


Joint Monitoring and Farmer Field Exhibition Day: An Opportunity to Share Experiences and Learn From Each Other

End of November, our GRI farmer groups participated in a joint monitoring and farmer field exhibition day in Kiryandongo refugee settlement. The event, sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organisation Uganda (FAO), bought together a number of livelihoods partners to showcase their programs, share experiences and learn from best practices.

GRI Farmer Groups Showcase their Products

The technology showcasing and farmer field exhibition included diverse income-generating activities such as: Poultry keeping, craft making, tailoring, vegetable kitchen gardens, rain water harvesting systems and block farming and many more. Our farmer groups also got the chance to demonstrate their gardens, harvest samples as well as processed products, e.g. sweet potato fries. Our Livelihoods Officer shares his insights:

“We are grateful to FAO for bringing us together as a sector and enabling us to learn from each other through this joint monitoring exercise. Our farmers have also gained exposure by participating in the farmer field day exhibition show. This has been a platform for them to do market linkages and sell some of their products.”

Brian Gonzaga
GRI Livelihoods Officer   
Kitchen Tower Vegetables Garden

Joint monitoring and learning exercises aim at providing organisations with the knowledge and network to improve their programs to further empower refugees to achieve self-reliance and economic independence.


Empowering Futures: My Home Stars Partners with Global Refugees Initiatives

Recently, My Home Stars and Global Refugee Initiatives launched a strategic partnership. The motivation behind this partnership stems from the mutual commitment we share to provide accessible education to children impacted by conflicts in refugee camps and other educationally deprived regions. Subsequently, a pilot program introducing the 5 STAZ educational games at GRI’s School, Ubuntu Model Primary School in Bweyale was executed. The games are intricately designed to captivate and engage children in the Ugandan Educational Curriculum, particularly targeting Primary 4, 5, 6, and 7. They encompass the four key modules (Mathematics, English, Science, and Social Studies) taught at the primary school level in Uganda, aligning with the syllabus and updated on a termly basis.

Fun and instructive: The learners of Ubuntu Model Primary School testing the game.

Spending almost a week working with GRI to implement the game-based learning program using the 5 Staz games, was a very memorable achievement for us. From interacting with teachers at Ubuntu Model Primary School, it is very clear that the teachers are committed to ensuring that the children can access quality education in order to reach their career goal and achieve their life potential. Teachers from Ubuntu and the entire GRI staff acknowledge the fact that children inherently love to play and learn in a child friendly space which is also visible from the different activities integrated into their learning programs. While at Ubuntu Model Primary schoool, I got to learn a lot about their Environmental Kids Club, Music Dance and Drama and Awareness Clubs which makes me excited about this collaboration and getting to add the 5 Staz as a resource for teachers and students.

– Erick Ziponi, Program Manager My Home Stars –
The teachers also get to try: Training the teachers on how to integrate the game into their lessons.

It was an amazing experience for the first time learning to use the 5 Staz games. These educational board games are simplified and suitable for our learners. I am very sure that these games will greatly impact our children’s performance as they move forward. Both learners and teachers enjoyed the games. I thank GRI and My Home Stars for bringing the board games to Ubuntu Model Primary School.”

– Fred Omuno Ronald, Ubuntu Model Primary School Head Teacher –

Beyond the academic set-up, GRI has established a vibrant culture among all the Staff member, and brought on board teachers who are passionate, and great team players which really made my work of running the pilot much easier. Needless to say, the commitment of the organization to enhance the financial status and livelihood of parents and children in the community through the livelihood enhancement program and the sustainability program is humbling.”

— Erick Ziponi added
The Environmental Clubs shows off some of the vegetables they have grown in the school premises

For the beginning, these educational games will be utilized for two weeks at the onset of the upcoming term, specifically for Primary Three students. The aim is to offer supplementary lessons that will bolster their comprehension of class subjects as they progress to Primary Four.

Long term, this partnership is going to focus on five key objectives including;

  1. Increased outreach and education access to underprivileged children through increasing awareness of educational opportunities for refugee children with limited access to quality education.
  2. Improve our program synergy and complementarity through identifying areas of expertise in each of our organizations and leverage them for a more comprehensive educational offering and develop joint programs that complement each other, providing a more holistic educational experience.
  3. Capacity building and resource sharing by sharing new educational materials like the 5 Staz, learning approaches, and best practices that will make teachers more effective facilitators.
  4. Improve and enhance community engagement in areas where our partner schools are located through the design and implementation of our various educational programs.
  5. Joint fundraising strategies for long-term educational planning to adapt to changing needs and contexts.

We are so excited and as this partnership unfolds, we not only hope to enhance educational access but also to contribute to the holistic development of children in underprivileged communities that we both serve.

My Home Stars Website:


The Fruit of Passion and Hard Work

An Update

In August, we reported about our newly launched passion fruit project. In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Global Refugee Initiatives provided farmer groups in Kiryandongo refugee settlement with seedlings, land and training for passion fruit growing. Four months later, we are wondering: How are our gardens? What are our farmers up to?

An update from our Livelihoods Officer:

“Now, our passion fruit gardens have reached the flowering stage. This is the most critical stage for all farmers to assist the plants in giving more flowers which eventually turn into more fruits. At this stage, we recommend fertilizer application, rich in potassium, nitrogen and calcium, to strengthen our fruit quality and avoid flower abortion. Also, management of pests and diseases like fungal attacks is very key at this stage, preparing for the bumper harvest.”

Brian Gonzaga, GRI Livelihoods Officer

Harvest time is approaching!

Follow us and get the latest news!


Creating a Safe Learning Environment

To promote a safe learning atmosphere and
 encourage the development of social skills and practical competencies at our school, we offer different 
extra-curricular activities to our learners. Every afternoon our pupils at Ubuntu Model Primary School are involved in Club activities, such as the Environmental Kids Club or the Music Dance and Drama Club.

The Debate Club is discussing: “A teacher is better than a doctor”.

The instructive and fun Club activities complement the national curriculum and facilitate learning for children who struggle with conventional teaching methods. The positive social encounters strengthen the children’s self-confidence and improve their psycho-social well-being. Moreover, the Clubs serve as a platform to create bonds of friendship, build trust and solidarity amongst each other and thereby contribute to a peaceful co-existence within the settlement. But hear for yourself what our learners have got to say:

If you wish to support our learners, please visit our sponsorship program page. Every contribution matters!


Exploring the Benefits of Block Farming to our Refugee Groups

Part 3

Welcome to our newest episode of Exploring the Benefits of Block Farming to our Refugee Groups.  Today, get to understand how the farming activities with GRI empower refugees economically. But also, hear about the challenges due to water scarcity during the dry season and the solutions GRI provides to the farmer groups.

Up to today, access to water for agricultural production has been one of the major challenges for our refugee farmer groups. In order to provide a sustainable solution to this challenge, GRI, with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), is currently digging a deep well and installing a solar-powered irrigation system. The watering system will enable farmers to cultivate throughout the dry season, thereby increasing food security and generating additional income.

Zakayo, one of our refugee farmers, is looking forward to the facilitated access to water for the gardens:

We used to fetch water from the tank to the crop field which is a very long distance. It’s a real blessing to get the deep well which we will depend on.


Listen to his full statement in Kiswahili:

Deep well under construction


Your Contribution Matters!

Wani Robert

My name is Wani Robert and I am 12 years old. I am in Primary 2 at Ubuntu Model Primary School. I am an orphan. My parents died. I live with my aunt but we are poor. Some days we only have one meal or even no food. I have lived here for 7 years.

At my school, I like the teaching and my favorite subject is Maths.

I drew myself with a sad face.

Education is key for a healthy development of a child. Education is the first step in escaping the cycle of poverty. Education is an investment into a brighter future.

Unfortunetly, in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda many children cannot access education. Especially children who stay in the settlement without their parents or with elderly or sick caretakers struggle to cover school costs, such as fees, uniform and school material expenses.

Global Refugee Initiatives is committed to provide quality education to refugee children in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, no matter their socio-economic background. To secure the continuous education of the most vulnerable, we introduced a sponsporship program at our Ubuntu Model Primary School.


Become a Sponsor Today!

We appreciate your support !


Health as a Fundamental Human Right

We partnered with Whitaker Peace and Development Initiatives to organize two health awareness sessions at Ubuntu Model Primary School in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. These sessions took an age-friendly and participatory approach, focusing on important health topics, including adolescent growth, personal hygiene, and mental health.

We are immensely proud of our learners, who not only paid close attention but also actively engaged in the lessons.

At GRI, our vision is a world where access to health is unequivocally recognized as a fundamental human right.


Refugee Welfare Committee – Ensuring Refugee Community Participation in Programs and Decision Making

“Relative to many other countries across the globe, not least economically richer parts of the world, Uganda’s willingness to host hundreds of thousands of refugees stands out as a positive example. While Europe and the US try ever more creative ways to create barriers to refugees reaching their territories, Uganda’s open borders approach puts many other states to shame.” (IRRI)

As stated by IRRI, Uganda has a unique refugee response. Yet, we cannot neglect the living conditions of many refugees in Uganda. The majority of refugees in rural settlements across the country face severe economic vulnerabilities. Besides financial hardships, many suffer from mental distress, injuries or diseases, and struggle to access education and public services. Whilst the list of challenges is endless, today we want to focus on the bright side of Uganda’s refugee response, showcasing the Refugee Welfare Committee as a best-practice example.

In Uganda, every refugee settlement has a Refugee Welfare Committee, a refugee-led leadership structure. Every neighbourhood, also referred to as a cluster, within the settlement has its own Committee, which consists of a number of positions such as a Secretary of Women Affairs or Secretary for Persons with Specific Needs. All adult refugees residing in a cluster have the right to participate in the elections and to elect leaders to represent their interests or as the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) states:

“The effective and efficient management of the rural settlements can only be achieved through setting up of administrative structures including refugee leadership for the purpose of mobilizing refugees, ensuring refugee community participation in programs and decision making on matters that affect them.” OPM further states that the locally rooted leadership structure facilitates communication between the host and refugee communities as well as the authorities and supports the promotion of peaceful co-existence.

In Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement elections took place last week. Together with other humanitarian workers, our field staff was part of the election process at different polling stations. We got the chance to interview Leon David Duku, newly elected chairperson of Cluster C. Hear from him:

  • how the Refugee Welfare Committee operates in Kiryandongo,
  • about the benefits of including refugees into leadership structures,
  • about his personal motivations
  • and why these elections were all about female power !

Meet the GRI Founders – Part 3

Christopher Kiiza

“I am a professional teacher with over three decades to service in Uganda’s government aided primary and secondary education institutions, where I served in various leadership positions. As a board member of Global Refugee Initiatives, my responsibility is to oversee the operations of our education program and to ensure the proper management of our school(s). Our goal at GRI is to contribute to the well-being of refugees and host communities, enabling them to lead fulfilling lives away from home.”

Christopher Kiiza, GRI Board Member

Want to know more about the GRI Board of Directors? Here the full profiles.