“I LEFT MY WHOLE LIFE BACK HOME. I WANT TOSTART OVER, SMILE WITH MY CHILDREN AND MAKE SURE THEY HAVE A GOOD EDUCATION.”
It’s a night Mwamini will never forget. Her husband had recently died, but there was no time for grief. It was time to take her children, all under 18, from the devastated village of Rutskuru, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and leave for Uganda. The goal: pursue safety with the hope of finding peace. While walking through a thick forest, she lost contact with six of her eight children. They were nowhere to be found. And may never be.
“I would never know how to explain what happened. It was dark, and I have not seen my children since,” recalls Mwamini with tears.
Living in Uganda since 2012, Mwamini’s is one of 6,600 households supported by the USAID-funded Graduating to Resilience Activity in Kamwenge District. Led by AVSI Foundation, in a consortium with Trickle Up and IMPAQ International, the project’s goal is to graduate extremely poor refugee households who fled from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and vulnerable Ugandan households from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to self-reliance and resilience. Cash transfer is a fundamental part of the Activity because it ensures basic needs including food security are met so that households can experience the stabilization needed to engage in other activities.
A refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) living in Rwanwanja Settlement, Kamwenge District, Uganda, Bugenimana Kamara describes with one word the experience she had last week (May 14-16) during the #MyVillageMyMarket event: incredible.
"I learned about the different seeds, how to plant them and when, and how to protect my crops from pests,” says Bugenimana. “I am also happy that now I know how to treat my animals using the medicines I have seen in the stalls, they will no longer just die.”
Bugenimana is one of the participants of the Graduating to Resilience Activity, funded by the Office of Food for Peace, USAID and led by AVSI Foundation in a consortium with Trickle Up and IMPAQ International. The goal is to graduate extremely poor refugee households who fled from DRC and Ugandan vulnerable households from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to self-reliance and resilience.
Six years ago, Ndabagyimana Tuyambaze, 36 years old, fled her home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, running away from violence and starvation. Since then, she has been living with her five children, all under five years old, her husband and two older children that she fosters in the Base Camp of Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Uganda’s western district of Kamwenge. Life in the camp is not easy. Tuyambaze’s household lives in dire poverty: their primary source of income is a $55 handout they receive every month from the World Food Program. But their situation is about to change. Ndabagyimana is among the beneficiaries of Graduating to Resilience, a project implemented by AVSI Foundation and funded by the Office of Food for Peace, USAID.
“I am excited to be among the selected beneficiaries of this program,” celebrates Ndabagyimana, who is the sole wage earner of the household, since most of the time she is uncertain of her husband’s whereabouts.
AVSI, leading a consortium including Trickle Up and IMPAQ International, is implementing the Graduating to Resilience project in the Kamwenge District, in Western Uganda. The goal of the project is to graduate impoverished refugee households and vulnerable Ugandan households from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to self-reliance and resilience.
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