ECHO – Emergency intervention project for South Sudanese Refugees and Host Communities in West Nile (2017-2018)

WIU in partnership with European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) started the Emergency intervention project for South Sudanese refugees and host communities in West Nile, during the 2018 influx of refugees from South Sudan in Uganda.
The projects main objective was to address the immediate basic needs and increase the resilience of refugees and host communities. The action was conducted in three settlements of Adjumani, Palorinya (Obongi) and Rhino Camp. A total of 74,921(35,044 F, 39,877M) boys and girls between the age of 6-13 years were reached in providing access to safe quality primary education. This was over and above the target of 69,750 at a percentage of 107% achievement level as per the indicator. Through go back to school campaigns children of the right school age were mobilized to enroll in school, WIU was able to recruit and deploy the right teachers with the right professional skills and competences.

Teachers were equipped with psychosocial skills through training conducted across the 63 schools were the action was implemented. Through skills acquired the teachers were able to build resilience among learners. It is important to note that provision of psychosocial support to the learners especially of refugee status with trauma from conflict background cannot be over emphasized. Failure to provide it negatively affects learning outcomes among learners because the learners are usually withdrawn, do not freely socialize with their peers and in many occasions violent and therefore there was need to address displacement-related psychosocial issues in children aimed at improving retention in school. A total of 627(270F, 357M) teachers were trained in this area.

To further enhance learning outcomes, teachers were trained on provision of life skills. This was premised on the need for teachers to have skills and competences in order for them to provide quality education. A 5 day trainings conducted by Social workers from district level was conducted at school level mainly to equip the teachers with skills and approaches on how to teach children in emergency with a view to stress learner centred approaches for better learning outcomes. In order to promote participatory approach in school management and also strengthening management systems at school and community level, all the 260 SMC and with about 693 and 819 memberships respectively were trained. The committee members were trained on their roles and responsibilities in school development and management, budgeting among other aspects. This was aimed at strengthening supervision by the committee members and involving the parents and community in direct management of schools to enhance the sustainability of the intervention.

Education advocacy campaigns were conducted in the 63 schools of Rhino Camp, Adjumani and Palorinya Settlement. 54 wall murals with education advocacy messages were put in place as part of education advocacy campaigns. 15 mini billboards with education advocacy messages were procurement with 9 of which installed in 9 schools without permanent classrooms during wall painting. The rest where installed at strategic locations in the community. These supported dissemination of information on education advocacy.
1,360 (651F, 709M) vulnerable refugee children in 63 school received school bags procured by WIU. The bags helped in proper storage of exercise books, pens, pencils and other scholastic materials of the beneficiaries on the way to and from school.

School uniforms were procured and distributed to 2,244(1024F, 1220M) most vulnerable pupils in the 63 schools. Uniforms promote identification of the learners with school and encourage good discipline among learners. In addition, 63 community awareness meetings on education were conducted in all the schools in the three settlements. The meetings promoted awareness of stakeholders on education and encouraged school retention.

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