The second phase of the multisector assessment took place in three locations in Ikwoto County from 1st – 4th September 2016 and revealed needs among both displaced and host communities, all of which derive from the compound pressures of conflict on existing food insecurity. The current caseload provided by the RRC indicates that over 1,000 homes across the two payams assessed in Ikwotos county were looted and some 237 burnt during the July insecurity, leaving huge needs in terms of shelter, NFIs, seeds and livestock. There is a great number of IDPs in rural villages but their number is unknown. UNHCR reports that around 175,7781 people have crossed into Uganda, mainly from Central and Eastern Equatoria, since July 2016 and although exact figures of those coming from Ikwoto County remain unclear, discussions with communities found many families had crossed nearby border points.
Data collection was predominantly qualitative, undertaken using a combination of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), Key Informant Interviews and Household Interviews and direct observations across three villages encompassing urban and rural communities respectively within Ikwoto county (Ifune, Lotuhoyah and Momoria).
The assessment focused on looted and burnt villages and was conducted over four days by teams from CARE South Sudan, AVSI and Caritas Switzerland covering Food Security and Livelihoods, NFIs, Protection, Education, Gender Based Violence (GBV), Health, Nutrition and WASH. The team was accompanied by the Ikwoto County Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) County coordinator, and the County Deputy Executive Director. The assessment team members were the first humanitarian actors to assess these locations since the July crisis.
Agriculture must be trained to the youth as a vocation if food security is to be enhanced across the country. “If Uganda is to cement food security, youth must be given a reason to engage in agriculture,” Hans Peter van der Woude, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
He was launching a dormitory that will house youth being trained in agriculture at Agromax recently. He pointed out that if young people are trained into embracing agriculture as a business, then the future of agriculture will be bright.
The dormitory was constructed in conjunction with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, AVSI and the SKY programme. According to Samuele Otim Rizzo, Chief of Party, SKY, the programme identifies gaps in agribusiness entities and then builds their capacity to deliver marketable skills to the youth.
Uganda needs to empower the youth to fully participate in the coffee value chain to increase productivity and meet the 20 million bag target by 2020, a stakeholder has said.
Joseph Nkandu, the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (Nucafe) executive director, said while the Government seeks to boost coffee exports from three million to 20 million bags annually by 2020, this will not be possible without empowering the youth to tap into the coffee sub-sector.
“We need to exploit the energies and innovativeness of the youth to boost coffee production to the 20 million bag target by 2020. Producing 20 million bags of coffee means that you have created over 10 million jobs for other unemployed youth,” Nkandu said on the sidelines of the Gayaza High School farm camp recently.
There is a new coffee Bill in offing that seeks to preserve the quality and boost coffee production from three million bags, where it has stagnated for about 20 years.
Currently, coffee buying and selling is governed under the Coffee Regulation 1994 and Coffee Development Authority (CDA) statute 1991.
Uganda exported 3.56 million bags of coffee, worth sh1.17 trillion ($352m) in the 2015/16 financial year running from July 2015 to June 2016, according to data from CDA, down from 3.44million bags the previous year, estimated at sh1.36 trillion ($409m).
Nkandu added that there is also need to change the negative attitude the youth have towards agriculture and encourage them to pursue it as a profession.
The farm camp was organised by Gayaza High School in partnership with Nucafe, Food and Agricultural Organisation and AVSI, a non-governmental organisation, to skill students from 35 schools across the country in how to run sustainable agribusiness enterprises.
Organised under the theme: “Skilling the youth for agribusiness and selfreliance”, the camp sought to change the mindset of the youth in schools about agriculture through exposure to agribusiness and training them in scientific approaches to agribusiness.
By Peter Lokale Nakimangole, GURTONG.NET South Sudan
TORIT, 21 August [Gurtong] – According to officials, the just commenced joint initiative seeks to establish humanitarian needs of vulnerable civilians caused by the ongoing instability across the country. After the current rapid program intervention response is completed with its fact-findings researched, a joint intervention humanitarian response shall then follow, by the very agencies presently involved in the ongoing exercise.
Currently, CARE International is closely working in collaboration with Save the Children, Handicap International, War Child, AVSI, ZOA, among other organisations and in conjunction with the Relief & Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), the government and Civil Society organizations (CSOs).
Among the key involved CSOs are the South Sudan Development Agency (SSDA), Any Step With Blessing, Generation in Actions and Rural Development Initiative (RDI). The ongoing initiative primarily seeks to find imminent adequate appropriate interventions and this includes protection from gender based violence (GBV), health & nutrition, child protection food security/livelihoods, education and water, sanitation and hygiene.
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation together with its partners on Monday joined the rest of the world to commemorate the world breast feeding week at the St Anthony Hall Syke Street in Freetown. August 1st to the 7th is scheduled every year to observe and reflect on breast feeding. This year’s theme is “breast feeding a key to sustainable development.”
Delivering the keynote address, Director of Food and Nutrition at the ministry of health and sanitation Mrs Aminata Koroma in her opening statement noted that “this week is for us as a nation to come together, support and promote breast feeding”.
Stephanian Mell country representative AVSI in partnership with family homes movement noted that, their work is on the educational aspect and child protection issue. She noted that they work directly with Ebola survivors. She advised suckling mothers to take good care of their children and promote breastfeeding at all levels.
The numbers are truly staggering: since 2000, a 41% increase in the number of refugees, with some 244 million migrants, refugees, and displaced persons on the move. Prompted by these numbers and the continuing crisis in Syria, the United Nations will convene in September a General Assembly High-level Meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. In preparation for that meeting, the UN recently invited Rana Najib, Education Coordinator for AVSI’s $10 million operation Lebanon, to participate in a panel discussion and to share her experience. Before leaving New York and returning to Lebanon, Rana kindly sat down and spoke with Traces.
What are the main projects that AVSI is involved with in Lebanon? We focus on education and the protection of children. We have been greatly aided in this by the Lebanese Ministry of Education, which has greatly facilitated the enrollment of Syrian children in Lebanese schools, and provided special programs for them.
How many Syrian children go to school? Unfortunately, not many. Somewhere between 20 and 30 percent. According to our friends at UNICEF, approximately 377,000 Syrian children do not attend school at all. Plus there are other challenges. Around the age of 13 or 14, many children drop out of school to go work. We try to meet with the parents to emphasize the importance of education for their children; but poverty is very much an issue, and many parents prefer to have their children leave school and work to bring home some money. Another challenge is cultural: around the age of 13 or 14, some of the girls get married, at which time they leave school and their education ends.
Rana Najib was living in Damascus, Syria with her family when the civil war started in 2012. She was working with a program connected to the European Union at that time, but two months into the war the program fell through because the EU pulled funding when Western nations sanctioned the Syrian government. She went to Germany to continue her studies, but decided to go back to Damascus to help her family during the war. Luckily, the part of Damascus where she and her family resided was not under attack and leaving the country was actually an option for her. She started to look for work in Syria, but job offers were limited because of the war so she went job-searching in Lebanon, Syria’s neighbor. By chance, Associazione Volontari per il Servizio Internationale (AVSI), an Italian international not-for-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), was launching an emergency intervention operation in Lebanon. She pursued an interview with the NGO and was eventually given a job.
La Voce sat down at the UN Headquarters in New York, to talk with Ms. Najib, who is now the Education Coordinator of AVSI’s present $10 million operation in Lebanon, and Maria Laura Conte, AVSI’s Communications Director, to discuss how they are handling the Syrian refugee crisis. Lebanon now hosts approximately 1.1 million Syrian refugees, nearly one fourth of its population, trailing only Turkey, which hosts 2.5 million. Human Rights Watch released a report on July 19 showing that 250,000 of the approximately 500,000 school-age Syrians in Lebanon are out of school. This epidemic is in spite of the nation’s generous allowance of Syrian children to go to public school for free, regardless of their legal residency. Ms. Najib confirmed for us, however, that according to her UNICEFcolleagues the figure is much higher: “Now in Lebanon there are more than 377,000 children currently excluded from formal and non-formal education programs.” This is due to limited educational resources, refugees’ inability to pay for travel fees and school supplies, and Lebanon’s residency regulations which effectively bar most Syrians from renewing their residency permits. READ MORE
by GIULIA RINDI What if cash transfer could help families heal after suffering from displacement? Decades of armed conflict, violence and human rights violations have displaced millions of people in the Eastern region of DRC. Given this state of protracted emergency, UNICEF and its partners have developed a different context-specific approach, ARCC (Alternative Responses for Communities in Crisis). Ms. Hannah Ring and Dr .Mitchell Morey from the American Institutes for Research, have worked on a learning paper using a quasi-experimental research design to understand the cash transfer impact on different indicators. They have given us jointly with Gabriele Erba our UNICEF’s Monitoring Specialist, an insider view of ARCC II and its humanitarian output results.
The Kellogg Institute for International Studies has named Evelyn Bauman and Rebecca Wornhoff of the Notre Dame Class of 2016 as recipients of the Institute’s International Development Fellowships (IDF) for the coming year. Two long-time Kellogg partner organizations, the Association of Volunteers in International Service (AVSI)andPartners In Health, will serve as hosts for the postgraduate fellowships. “We are proud to be sending these fantastic graduates out to new, important experiences in the field of international development,” said Kellogg Director Paolo Carozza in making the announcement.
It was theatre time at the Alliance Francaise in Nairobi on Tuesday evening as an Olivier Malcor written play was presented. The new show, Play for Change, tells stories of injustices and hope especially in educational centres. It was not a classic theatre performance as the audience was allowed to intervene, offer solutions and propose new policies on human rights promotion in the country. In attendance were Switzerland ambassador Ralf Heckner, who was accompanied by with his wife Ilaria, and Avsi Foundation regional manager Burundi Andrea Bianchessi.