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.


On this World Teachers Day, let’s remember and appreciate those who have shaped us into who we are today.


Many thanks to our teachers at Ubuntu Model Primary School. Today, we are celebrating you !


GRI at the National Agricultural Show

Fostering resilient agricultural value chains to drive agro-industrialization

Global Refugee Initiatives (GRI) was represented at the 29th National Agricultural Show in Uganda, one of the leading agricultural exhibitions in East Africa. This event provides an excellent platform for individuals and organizations involved in agriculture to come together, exchange knowledge, and showcase their products and services.

The theme of the event, “Fostering resilient agricultural value chains to drive agro-industrialization,” underscores the importance of adopting new technologies and knowledge to overcome challenges in agricultural value chains and promote sustainable productivity. This aligns well with GRI’s mission of promoting sustainability and responsible business practices.

As Brian Gonzaga, the Livelihoods Officer from GRI, mentioned, agriculture plays a crucial role in Uganda’s economy. It contributes significantly to the country’s GDP and provides employment opportunities for a substantial portion of the population. Moreover, agriculture is essential for food security, nutrition, and income generation in the communities we operate.

Participating in events like the National Agricultural Show allows organizations like GRI to engage with farmers, cooperatives, and agro-based dealers, fostering collaboration and learning opportunities. This, in turn, can contribute to the development of more sustainable and resilient agricultural practices in Uganda and the broader East African region.


Building our Capacities on Mental Health

In order to improve our services provided to the refugee communities in Kiryandongo, we strongly support all initiatives building the capacities of our staff. Last week our GRI team, including the teachers of Ubuntu Model Primary School, completed a three-day training on mental health. The course covered a broad spectrum of issues such as trauma and trauma healing, gender-based violence, suicidality, hygiene education and life skills. Our team members acquired practical skills in counseling and psycho-social support.

We very much appreciate and thank Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) for carrying out this training and sharing their grand expertise with GRI. The training had a great impact on our team and inspired all of us to work harder for the well-being of our learners at Ubuntu Model Primary School as well as of the surrounding refugee communities.

Hear more about how the training has impacted our team members:

“As a head teacher, I have learnt skills to handle individual differences of learners. I have to bear with children after learning that their behavior is usually a result of their experience. The course has made a significant contribution to my intellectual development.”

Head Teacher
Ubuntu Model Primary School

“The training was very incredible and opened up to me certain things I had not known. Depression, anxiety, trauma, all these are cases we have and I am now empowered on how to identify them and handle appropriately. Today’s narrative approach was powerful and I loved it!”

Teacher Fred
Ubuntu Model Primary School

“This workshop will help me to understand my childrens feelings, mental health and also their acts. I also learnt ways to support the prevention of suicide.”

Teacher Immaculate
Ubuntu Model Primary School

“Working with refugees is quite interesting since it exposes me to a diversity of cultures and traditions in the settlement which serves as a learning opportunity for me. But it also comes with a number of challenges. Am grateful to WPDI for supporting us with this training in trauma healing and adolescent health. The training has enabled me to acquire skills in handling trauma, depression and anxiety conditions and to learn how to assess the people of concern based on their presenting signs and symptoms. As GRI livelihoods officer, the skills acquired are going to impact a lot the services we give to the people of concern since we shall be assisting them to improve their mental health, social well-being, environment and economic empowerment.”

GRI Livelihoods Officer

Discover the Secrets of Nature through a Partner Sensory Walk

The Partner Sensory Walk is an outdoor learning approach in which young learners use their senses to analyse, perceive and develop a positive relationship with the environment around them.

Our Environment Officer, Angera Nduhukire, conducted a partner sensory walk with the members of the Environmental Kids Club at our school in the settlement. Today, she is sharing her experience.

Angera, tell us more about the exercises the partner sensory walk contains? How do you engage the kids?

“As introduction exercise, the learners were organized in a circle, and instructed to move only their necks, heads and eyes but not their bodies. I gave them 30 seconds to find something they thought was beautiful or interesting. After the 30 seconds, they were asked to turn their heads and face inside the circle. Each learner was given the opportunity to tell the group the one thing that they had seen and felt was beautiful. Based on the different interests there were a range of mentioned items including trees, grasses, crops buildings, soil and other. They learnt that different people have different and divers interests. In a second part, they were asked to form pairs of two amongst themselves. One person from each of the pairs was blind folded, leaving the other partner seeing and leading. The leading partners were tasked to take the blind folded ones on a walk to share their different interests. The blinded folded kids were invited to see the world around them through the seeing partners’ guidance and to use their five senses (smell, touch, hear see and taste) to explore their environment. The pairs were given time to walk around their school garden while smelling leaves and grass, listening to the surroundings, touching trees and grass.”

Angera Nduhukire

Thanks for the detailed explanations. Now, what were the participants’ reactions to the partner sensory walk?

“At the end of the activity, we converged in a classroom together with the learners and they each gave examples of what they had seen, heard, felt, smelt and tasted. All kids participated by sharing their answer. Hence the activity helped the pupils to learn to focus their attention and take details of things around them.

The learners found it exciting to run around with their blind folded partners, feeling the texture of trees and their leaves, grass, and other. Whilst in our daily lives we mostly focus on seeing, this exercise enabled the children to experience the importance of all senses. The pupils learnt that just as human beings, animals likewise depend on all their senses. Further, I encouraged them to value and protect nature, for instance in case they find animals and birds in an area where they are not supposed to be, like in crop fields, they should not stone them to death but instead guide them to the right place.”

Angera Nduhukire

Angera Nduhukire

GRI Environment Officer


Look at the Future !

Today, we are talking to Teacher Fred about the introduction of school uniforms at Ubuntu Model Primary School in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.

Teacher Fred

Primary 3 at Ubuntu Model Primary School

How did you experience the school environment after pupils received their school uniforms?

“The kids were excited about their new look. It fostered a sense of belonging and equality amongst the pupils. Ultimately, this will promote a positive learning environment.”


How did the children react to the introduction of the school uniforms?

“The reactions differed greatly between those who received their uniforms and those who have not yet managed to pay and get their uniforms. Whilst the first were full of joy, the latter were upset and felt left out.”


Did you face any challenges with regards to the uniforms?

“Some parents, I can personally think of a few, lack the financial means to afford the uniform cost. This has a negative impact on their kids as they now feel disadvantaged due to their financial circumstances.”


GRI is fundraising to finance the uniforms for the most vulnerable in order to ensure an inclusive and supportive learning environment. You want to support our initiative? Visit our donation site or contact us:


Exploring the Benefits of Block Farming to our Refugee Groups

Part 2

A few weeks back you met Elisabeth in our video series “Exploring the Benefits of Block Farming to our Refugee Groups“. Today, meet Siama Juma and learn how the farming activities with GRI impact her life:

According to UNHCR and the OPM, the level of food insecurity amongst the refugee population in Uganda is increasingly high. In all settlements across the country food security, the stable and continuous availability of diversified and nutritious food, is limited due to a number of reasons such as extreme poverty, limited knowledge in agricultural production and inadequate livelihood alternatives. The cuts in food rations in the past three years provided by the WFP further exacerbate the economic pressure and risk of malnourishment amongst refugees.

Among all settlements in Uganda, Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement has the highest percentage of acute malnutrition. As 60% of the settlement population are children, they are the ones mostly affected by the lack in food provision which in the long-term can have a drastic impact on child development and general health.

To address the acute issue of food insecurity and malnourishment and to empower refugees economically, GRI developed a block farming program. Currently, we support five farmer groups within the settlement by providing access to land and by giving out seeds and other agro-inputs. Moreover, our livelihoods officer offers trainings on organic farming and climate smart agriculture as well as continuous guidance throughout the year.