Urcs Improving Livelihoods and Fostering Peace Amongst Refugees In Imvepi Refugee Settlement

Wednesday, 19 July 2023 10:43
Moses Wani a vegetable farmer in village 9, zone 2 Imvepi refugee settlement, happily displays eggplants harvested from his garden.

With funding from the Austrian Development Agency, the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) launched the "Strengthening Conflict and Gender-Sensitive Community Resilience" project in Imvepi refugee settlement, aimed at improving livelihoods and fostering peace amongst refugees.

The initiative spans villages 1 to 16 in zone 2 of the settlement, where various community-based projects are making a significant impact on the lives of refugees from Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo who have sought refuge in Uganda.

To bolster the livelihoods of refugees, URCS has established ten (10) kitchen gardening groups and Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA) groups, each comprising 30 members, of which 20 are women and 10 are men.

Participants in this project received comprehensive training on modern farming techniques and were provided with essential garden tools and seedlings. “Individual members are given seeds, which they then put together in a central nursery bed before sharing the seedlings,” said Jimmy Asea the Project Manager, URCS.

Moses Wani, a prominent vegetable farmer and group lead for village 9 cluster in zone 2, expressed his gratitude for the support received from the Uganda Red Cross Society. Wani and his family can now enjoy a balanced diet with fresh vegetables from their kitchen garden.


"Working as a group, I envision a well-nourished and financially independent community," Wani stated. The collective efforts allow them to harvest as a group, consume what is needed for their families, and sell the surplus produced to augment their income.

Ismail Murikiriza, the Assistant Protection Officer at the Office of the Prime Minister in Imvepi refugee settlement, commended URCS for elevating the lives of refugees through improved livelihoods and peace-promoting activities. He urged URCS to further support the refugees rent land from host communities and also facilitate the adoption of modernized and commercialized agricultural practices..

In pursuit of peace and conflict management, URCS formed 16 groups, with one belonging to each village within in the settlement. These groups play a pivotal role in disseminating messages of peace and co-existence within the settlement and host communities.


One of the kitchen gardening groups in village 9, zone 2 Bidibidi refugee settlement harvesting some of their vegetables.

Through engaging activities such as drama and football matches held every Wednesday and the last day of the week, the project aims to foster a harmonious environment.

About VSLA

The recurrent uprisings in East and Central Africa continue to displace thousands of people every day. The said insurgences have seen 35,002 residents of Sudan and DRC turn into refugees as they seek safety in Uganda since January 2023 to date. Uganda's open-door policy towards refugees has led to the resettlement of over 1.5 million individuals across 31 settlements in 12 districts. However, with resettlement comes the need to address fundamental requirements and services within the camps, and URCS's commendable efforts in Imvepi are proving to be a vital step in transforming the lives of displaced individuals.

The village saving and loans association group in village 9, zone 2 Imvepi refugee settlement, during one of the sittings.

The Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLA) groups in all 16 villages of zone 2 play a crucial role in improving the livelihoods of the refugee community.

Comprising 30 members each, with 20 women and 10 men, these groups hold weekly meetings, saving One thousand shillings (1,000 UGX) which is approximately 0.27 USD per sitting. This savings’ privilege enables members to borrow funds at an interest rate of 10% per month.

Additionally, members contribute five hundred shillings (500 UGX) which is approximately 0.13USD towards a social fund to support during emergencies. The social fund provides interest-free loans of up to Twenty thousand shillings (20,000 UGX), payable within two weeks.

Read 155 times Last modified on Monday, 24 July 2023 08:05

URCS Contacts

Plot 551/555 Rubaga Road.
P.O. Box 494, Kampala Uganda.
Tel:     (256) 414 258701
Tel:     (256) 414 258702
Email: sgurcs@redcrossug.org


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