Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
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HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Intercultural interpreting and mediation» 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.

Intercultural interpreting and mediation are indispensable if people are to understand one another across language and cultural divides. Intercultural interpreting enables patients, for example, to understand their doctor. Intercultural mediators for their part conduct workshops on health promotion or parent education. HEKS/EPER provides intercultural interpreters and intermediaries in the regions of Basel Stadt/Baselland as well as Aargau/Solothurn, and runs parent education projects with intercultural intermediaries, as well as basic and advanced training courses in intercultural interpreting and mediation.