Sunday September 16, 2018
By PATIENCE AHIMBISIBWE
Ms Lucy Ayego (Right) tends to her vegetable garden in Palabek Ogili refugee camp, Lamwo District, last week. FILE PHOTO
Kampala- Hindiyo Abdulkadir, 18, and her family fled Somalia for Uganda nearly 11 years ago, following political instability back home.
Her brother had been abducted and her mother, Ms Sofia Mire Jimale, was constantly receiving death threats.
the family of eight decided in December 2007 to leave what they had
called home since birth without informing anyone.
On arrival, they did not know what to expect and for one year, Abdulkadir was out of school for fear of the unknown.
But her mother encouraged her to carry on and she later joined school even when she did not know a word in English.
left Somalia for Uganda because of terror. I could only speak Arabic
and feared going out in our new country. I stayed home for a year. My
mother insisted I needed to start taking risks. I am glad I did. Uganda
is where I have felt I can become someone. My country doesn’t recognise a
girl child. Thank you Uganda for helping us refugees pursue our
dreams,” a teary Abdulkadir said as she recollected her journey to
It is for children such as Abdulkadir that government,
together with development partners, including UN agencies and civil
society organisations on Friday launched an Education Response Plan
The plan targets refugees who left their
countries because of instability to enable them access quality education
together with the host communities.
First of its kind
is the first of its kind, presenting a policy for refugee education
globally. If funded, it will address refugee crisis in Uganda where
about 353,000 refugee children and another 171,000 host children are out
Uganda is host to 1.4 million refugees,
with more continuing to arrive daily from South Sudan, DR Congo, and
other conflict-affected countries.
The Save the
Children Fund country director, Ms Brechtje Van Lith, urged donors to
support Uganda with funds to enable them implement the plan.
the Children says more than 130,000 refugees arrived this year alone,
and of these six in every 10 of them are children under 18 years.
Mr David Lawrence Dumba, a South Sudanese refugee, who is now head
teacher at Alaba Primary School in Bidibidi settlement camp, reported
that they are overwhelmed with learners now at 4,129 with only 36
teachers. Of these pupils, 132 are Ugandans.
and Sports minister Janet Museveni said the refugee influx is stressing
already limited school resources in local communities. She appealed for
funds to enable government continue giving services to the distressed