Education program leaves lasting impact on Nakivale Refugee Settlement

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Education program leaves lasting impact on Nakivale Refugee Settlement
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The Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Consortium Program has left a significant mark of empowerment in the Nakivale refugee settlement, leaders in Isingiro district report.

The program, which brought together over ten humanitarian agencies, has been pivotal in transforming the lives of refugees by ensuring that over 15,000 children are enrolled in education institutions.

Evarist Byaruhanga, the Isingiro district inspector of schools, praised the initiative for enhancing the quality of education for refugee children compared to government schools.

"Schools in the Nakivale refugee settlement are well facilitated because partners are very rich, unlike government schools," Byaruhanga said.

"Programs like the ECW consortium have changed many lives of refugee children by keeping them in schools despite it coming to an end."

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the lead agency of the ECW program, has built robust systems to support the continued education of refugees.

Dixon Odur, the NRC's media and communications relations manager, highlighted the program's achievements in language bridging and gender transformative learning opportunities.

"We have set up systems, for example, those that come to Uganda without knowing English and a common language like Kiswahili, we have had bridging lessons and community facilitators to help them catch up," Odur explained.

"We have ensured facilities are in place so that access to education becomes very comfortable."

The deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Isingiro, Rwatangabo Bonaventure, emphasized the broader societal benefits of the program.

"By educating these refugee children, you are making them literate.

When they are literate, they can either get formal employment or apply skills acquired and have no time to loiter around the settlement or district stealing people’s property," Rwatangabo noted.

Odur revealed that although the ECW Consortium Program, which began in October 2023, is concluding at the end of May, it has set up structures for ongoing support.

"Under the ECW consortium, we have supported 19 education institutions, including primary, secondary, and technical schools, benefiting over 15,000 refugee children, including child mothers," Odur said.

"Even those who would have ordinarily engaged in crime have enrolled and benefited from the ECW program, ensuring that the whole society here is empowered."

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