Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
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HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Social inclusion» in Uganda

There are currently some 1.3 million refugees in Uganda, most of whom have fled from neighbouring South Sudan. This latter country’s unrelenting civil war has already produced more than 4.5 million refugees. Some 230’000 refugees from South Sudan have found shelter at Uganda's Bidibidi refugee camp, one of the largest in the world. The conditions there are cramped and hygiene is extremely precarious. Besides, thousands more are crossing the border every month, for the most part women and children. They have very limited access to food and drinking water.

Since May 2017 HEKS/EPER and its partner organisation «ACORD» have been providing emergency aid for the people in the Bidibidi refugee camp and for locals in the environs of the camp. The priorities are to secure supplies of clean drinking water, build latrines as well as provide training in hygiene measures. Besides, HEKS/EPER also collaborates with the partner organisation «CEFORD», whose projects are designed to promote peaceful coexistence of refugees and locals and to boost their household incomes.

HEKS/EPER in Uganda

Facts

The Bidibidi camp is home to some 230’000 refugees fleeing South Sudan's civil strife. In 2019 HEKS/EPER assisted 65’300 people by providing drinking water, latrines as well as training in water quality control and hygiene. In December 2019 HEKS/EPER launched a project in western Uganda to enhance food security. It was designed to bring refugees from the Congo and local people together in peace.

Ever more people are being excluded because of their social background, ethnicity, age, gender or religion. Integrating people with a migration background can be compounded, for example, by the lack of the requisite language proficiency, ignorance of Switzerland's cultural specificities or by disadvantages on the job market. HEKS/EPER works actively to ensure that the affected people have access to education, work, government programmes and services. But integration is incumbent on society as a whole, which calls for openness as well as regulatory structures that ensure the right of social participation for all. This implies that everyone has the same rights and opportunities and that features such as gender, age, social background, nationality or religion do not give rise to discrimination.