Achieving Food, Economic & Societal Stability through WISE in Northern Uganda
Business for Better Society supports SPEAK Uganda and their work to address the growing food and economic crisis in the newly settled regions in the Adjumani districts of Northern Uganda.
In this region women struggle to access opportunities and support to secure a stable source of income and provide for their families. This has resulted in a persistent cycle of vulnerability, exacerbated by climate change and lack of funding. This year will see further strains on food security as the food rations through the World Food Program are further reduced. What started at $10 dropped to $5.40 per individual monthly, due to lack of funding, and is expected to be reduced further.
Addressing the lack of livelihood opportunities for refugee and host women is a crucial step towards creating self-sufficient, resilient and peaceful communities. SPEAK have seen through their previous project that women working together leads to social cohesion and solidarity among them.
It is against this background that SPEAK has created their comprehensive WISE (Women Inclusive Socio-Economic) program to provide access to financial services and markets, offer capacity strengthening and skills training. The focus is to generate income and employment through farming and off-farm activities including crafts making, agri processing, plus the launching of start-ups (MSME micro, small and medium enterprise).
This project’s “full circle” economic approach starts in the field and moves through the entire agri-chain to processed goods in market.
Donations received through this page will be used to scale up the pilot project that is currently underway. The photos in the gallery on this cause page are from the pilot project, which is now yielding produce.
Further Introduction to SPEAK Uganda
SPEAK is a refugee-led non-profit, humanitarian and youth oriented, peace building organization aimed at improving peaceful co-existence through innovative local engagement, livelihood, peace education, and preservation of natural resources among the refugee and host communities.
South Sudan is a home to 64 unique tribes. Most of these tribes have a long history of animosity. When the civil war broke out in December 2013 these people who have negative stereotypes against each other, were forced to live in shared refugee camps in northern Uganda. In recent years there have been deadly inter-tribe and inter-clan attacks, torching and killings, which again added another layer of conflict as the host communities were also caught in between. In 2018 there were over a dozen homes burnt down in Ayilo I and Nyumanzi Refugee Settlements in clashes that involved both refugees and host communities.
SPEAK understands that the best sustainable way to peaceful co-existence is by connecting people from different tribes clans and communities to talk and unlearn the historical negative assumptions against each other. Through their Peace Caravans they brought people together to talk. It was often the first time they had ever spoken to each other, and they have seen decreases in clashes after they ran these sessions. They further support the shared groups through livelihood activities to promote the spirit of working together to provide for their families while building trust.
As opposed to the way many peace building programs are designed, they focus on the dynamic down-up approach in which the process is co-designed with the local actors and the community. They also engage and train the youth in skills that help them reduce dependency and poverty which are some of identified factors that leads to conflicts.
As one of the factors hindering progress and of course affecting the achievement of peace in our communities, SPEAK is leading the girl empowerment by advocating and contributing to the girl-child education. Communities through the power of media, education and technology to facilitate an equitable, informed and resilient refugees societies through supporting them with tools, training opportunities (capacity building) and access to pool of knowledge and knowledge resources in a bid to battle illiteracy and mitigate poverty.
Subsequent to war, successive drought and famine in South Sudan which has led to the displacement of millions of south Sudanese, SPEAK was started with a long-term purpose of engaging sustainable interventions opportunities to support the trauma-prone and vulnerable community of South Sudanese Refugees.
Since its formation, SPEAK has been committed to building strong peace and resilience for both host community and South Sudanese Refugees by facilitating grassroots dialogues, youth activities like sports and awareness campaigns. Their activities are aimed at creating opportunities for the host and refugee communities to find a common ground on which the can share skills and innovations which encourages peaceful co-existence. They focus on interventions that are locally possible and sustainable in the context we are living.
SPEAK seeks to work with both local and international stakeholders to support grassroots solutions and innovative approaches to sustainable peace.
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Achieving Food, Economic & Societal Stability through WISE
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