• Microprojets

Youth Sports Centered Approach as a Tool to Promote Sustainable Development in the Refugee Camps and Host Communities

The historical and the current conflicts in the Great Lakes Region and other African countries have resulted into Uganda hosting a large number of refugees (1,230,114 million refugees). In isngiro District where this project will be implemented, the district alone hosts 117,219 refugees where 56,746 are adolescents and youth (Uganda-Refugee Statistics Report, April 2019). Countries with conflicts such as Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, DRC Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Southern Sudan among others have presented populations with different nationalities, cultures, religious identities and political ideologies in Uganda which has continued to present discrimination, hatred and hostility hence creating activities of radicalization resulting into violent extremism among the refugees themselves and even among the refugees and the host community populations. It is also noted that Isingiro is a highly populated (with 3,458,900 people, IDLG, 2019), rural vulnerable and transitory district to other countries like Tanzania and Rwanda. The district is located in the dry cattle corridor with high levels of food insecurity where majority of the families eat one meal a day and yet averagely most of the families have 6-8 children per family, low education rates among adolescents and youth leading to high teenage pregnancy and early marriages among girls, high levels of poverty where majority of the population spend less than half dollar per day and high HIV prevalence rate (28%). The high HIV prevalence rates have also led to many women being widowed and many families being headed by adolescents and youth. Therefore, the above increasing vulnerabilities in the district have greatly exposed the adolescents and youth in Nakivale Refugee settlement and surrounding rural host communities in Isingoro District to violence (Gender Based violence among young girls), exploitation, lack of access to education, sports, employment opportunities, promoted child labour, depression hence causing many of the adolescents and youth to get mental illnesses. This project is therefore focusing on using sports as a tool to support 2000 vulnerable adolescents and youth (15-25 years) in Nakivale Refugee settlement and surrounding rural host communities to fully get engaged in achieving sustainable development through getting access to health especially physical and mental health, information on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), education, get marketable and employable vocational skills to increase their current and future employment opportunities and as well as personal development, promote gender quality through encouraging and empowering young girls in sports programing, promote intercultural and interreligious dialogues among the adolescents and youth from the refugee camp and surrounding host communities in order to create social inclusion and harmonious living. The project through using sports will also work with individual youths and youth led groups/organizations in Nakivale Refugee Settlement and surrounding host communities to help enhance the ability of young people and their organizations/groups to foster mutual respect, understanding and long-term positive relationships between peoples of different nationalities, cultures, religions and political affiliations and focus on inclusive sustainable development. It will also work with other grassroots and regional youth-led groups, sports associations and federations, the Government of Uganda through the office of the Prime Minister (office responsible for refugees), UNHCR among other partners to expand, enhance and intensify the role and the capacity of youth and their organizations/groups to use sports a tool and as a platform to promote sustainable development. Eventually, these contributions from youth will help make a real and lasting difference for adolescents and youth facing different vulnerabilities in Uganda and other African countries as well as help to work towards a more peaceful, more socially inclusive world, by building mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities and highlighting the will of the world’s majority to reject extremism and embrace diversity.

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