March 4, 2020

USAID’s Haley Adams visits Kamwenge for the second time and interacts with participants

“I was delighted to see how much progress has been made in the last months”.

The Graduating to Resilience Activity was delighted to host Ms. Haley Adams, Food for Peace Officer at USAID Uganda, in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement for a second time. Ms. Adams visited the settlement for the first time back in December.

The Food for Peace-funded program is assisting thousands of refugees and host communities in Uganda’s South Western district of Kamwenge with a set of livelihoods and nutrition interventions. The beneficiaries are guaranteed daily nutritious meals, and are able to meet their basic family needs as they transition to self-reliance and resilience.

The main purpose of the visit was to acquaint Ms. Adams with the Activity implementation and enable her to understand the contribution of the Activity towards improving the lives of refugees. She was able to see that the experience of desperately poor families struggling to make ends meet is one that is gradually diminishing among participants in the Graduating to Resilience Activity.

Ms. Adams was able to get an insight into the lives of some of the participants, after attending meal-planning coaching sessions and savings and post-harvest handling training in Mabaale village. These sessions and trainings are run by coaches who are assigned to each household in their homes and groups. As part of the curriculum, coaches offer trainings in savings, business, nutrition, and self-efficacy in their locally spoken languages.

In its first cohort, the Activity is delivering tested graduation interventions to 6,629 participants and 37,585 members for 30 months. The Activity will implement another 30 months intervention to a similar number in a second cohort starting July 2021 and ending in 2023.

“I was delighted to see how much progress has been made in the last months. I met families enrolled in one of the treatment arms who did not receive a cash - asset transfer but have managed to pool some savings to start their own businesses."

Ms. Joventa Nabasinga, a beneficiary, is struck by the progress she is making and thankful to her coach Hellena for the continuous guidance provided to her household which has been helping her improve the family hygiene. Since Jovanta enrolled in the coaching meetings, she has built a latrine and a kitchen on her compound.

Participants like Joventa receive regular coaching on nutrition, business development, hygiene and sanitation, and attend regular savings meetings to improve their financial management. Both refugee and host community households are gradually becoming more resilient with improved economic status.

In the Tupiganishe group savings meeting, the 22 members, mostly women, shared their business plans and strategies to continue saving the profits from their businesses. Ms. Adams, who was accompanied by Ms. Rita Larok, the Activity’s Chief of Party and Mr. Mucunguzi Hannington, the Area Team Leader, also learned that participants are making steady changes including building houses, acquiring additional assets and more importantly being able to take care of their families’ nutritional, health, and educational needs.