On the 20th of June 2023, Uganda Red Cross Society joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Government of Uganda and other partners at Palabek Refugee settlement – Lamwo District to commemorate the World Refugee day. This year’s celebrations themed; Hope Away from Home – A world where refugees are included which emphasized the collective proactive role partners need to play in supporting refugees rebuild their lives, become self-reliant, and be included with in their host communities.
Refugee inclusion plays a significant role in providing access to essential services, employment opportunities, and freedom of movement.
The event was graced by the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hon. Hillary Onek who was the Chief Guest together with several partners, officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, members of parliament and local leaders.
Volunteers and staff of the Uganda Red Cross Society led by the Restoration of Family Links Manager, Abel Nuwamanya represented the National Society at celebrations which were held at Palabek refugee settlement, a home to over 79,000 refugees mostly from South Sudan.
Hon Hillary Onek while making his address noted that “Uganda is currently offering hope and a home to over 1.5 million refugees, who are included in society and enjoy similar rights as Ugandan citizens with exception of political engagements.” He further assured refugees of Uganda’s commitment to providing a safe haven to with them in accordance international obligations.
The celebrations kicked off with a procession match within the settlement that saw different partners, refugees and guests taking part. Refugees from different settlements entertained the guests with various performances such as songs and cultural dances.
Uganda Red Cross society supported with first aid services, and also exhibited its Restoration Family Links (RFL) services, a program that supports refugee communities in areas of social protection such as restoration of family links and social support to unaccompanied and separated children during crises.