Tag - Refugee Education

How Windle International is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

A message from Windle International’s Chief Executive, Marangu Njogu

As an international NGO with member offices across East Africa and Europe, we are, like so many organizations, businesses, and communities, being affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Like everyone else around the world, we are adapting to this new situation as best we can. Although it is changing almost daily in each country we work in, I want to take this opportunity to assure you that we remain committed to making sure that children and young people who have been affected by conflict and marginalization can continue to access quality education. 

The health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers are paramount. In all countries that we operate in, our staff are working from home and abiding by government rules on social distancing. The people who work for and with Windle are amazing, and their dedication to prioritizing the needs of refugees, displaced people and their host communities, and all individuals who have been affected by conflict and marginalization, particularly in these trying circumstances, continues to inspire me.

People and families living in refugee camps and settlements are some of the most at risk from this pandemic. We are working with and supporting UNHCR and other partners to make sure that they are protected and included in national COVID-19 preparedness and response activities. For example, we are part of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies Regional Working Group, and we continue to monitor and respond to the situation as it develops. 

All of our members have been proactive in raising awareness about how to prevent the spread of the virus, promoting hygiene and social distancing measures, and making sure that all our locations and workspaces have proper hand washing facilities and access to hand sanitizers.

As schools and other educational institutions around the world close, we are working closely with our partners to find ways of helping people to get a quality education.

We’ll keep you updated on our activity as the situation develops. I wish to extend my thanks to everyone who has reached out to us and supported us, and to everyone for their continued interest in supporting all people who have been affected by conflict and marginalization to access education and work towards creating a more peaceful world. I hope that everyone is doing all they can to support each other, and to keep each other safe during this difficult time. Now more than ever we must work together as a global family.

What we are doing in Uganda

Windle International Uganda (WIU) is in full support and cooperation with the Government of Uganda (GoU)’s efforts aimed at protecting the citizens of Uganda, including our staff and PoCs from the dreaded COVID-19 infections and curtailing its further spread.

In-line with government directives to restrict movements effective March 31, 2020, WIU management is providing telecommuting options to staff in an effort to minimize movements and physical interactions with partners, stakeholders, PoCs and colleagues across the country during this period. This is to ensure that there is no disruption of the organization’s operations during this period (apart from those that have been directly constrained by the directives of GoU communicated since 18th March 2020 including the closing of schools).

WIU understands that a number of activities have been shelved due to the current measures in place. Our partners and stakeholders, including UNHCR and OPM, have communicated preference for remote engagements and we support and facilitate that to the extent possible and will be reviewing this regularly.

WIU is providing all her stakeholders and especially Persons of Concern with credible updates and Information on the education sector strategies and on COVID-19 from GoU, MoH, MoES, WHO and other relevant agencies.

WIU remains committed to providing access to Quality Education for Refugees and Persons affected by conflict. While we are uncertain of how long this situation will last, WIU is working with other education partners in Uganda to devise other means of delivering learning and keeping our children engaged should the situation persist beyond the current emergency measures.

Please follow and abide by government directives and guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 Virus.

Wherever you are, stay safe.


200 Refugee and Host Community Youth Receive Business Start-up Kits

Jubliant graduates celebrating their achievement. Photo by WIU

Windle International Uganda (WIU) in partnership with Uganda Manufacture’s Association & Young Women’s Christian Association last week passed out 49 nationals (17Males, 32Females) and 151 Refugees (34Males, 117Females) Vocational Skills graduates and offered them business start-up kits. The 200 graduates are beneficiaries of the Market Oriented Skill Development for Refugees and Host Community Project in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.

Market Oriented Skills Development for Refugees and Host Communities in Kiryandongo and Adjumani is a project that was implemented by Windle International Uganda, in partnership with Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), with funding from European Union Trust Fund-Skills Development Fund (SDF) through ENABEL. The project was conducted through vocational skills training for refugees and host Community youth in Kiryandongo and Adjumani (Ayilo I, Agojo, Maaji II) refugee settlements. 

A total of 360 youth from the four settlements of operation were trained, assessed and certified by the Directorate of Industrial Training, Ministry of Education and Sports in trades including Metal Fabrication, Cookery, Bakery, Tailoring and garment cutting & Hair Dressing. The Objective of the training was to enhance the productivity and entrepreneurial competitiveness of youth, women, and girls’ in the area of vocational practice within 9 months. 

The graduates were also handed business start-up kits to start their enterprises and positively uplift their communities through job creation and economic empowerment.

Beneficiaries of the tailoring training just after receiving their start-up kits including sewing machines, fabric, and other items. Photo by WIU

Addressing the beneficiaries at the graduation ceremony, Mr. James Aryam, Executive Director at Windle International Uganda said; “We hope that you will use this opportunity to positively impact your communities and provide for your families. You should not fear the future, instead, you should shape it!

The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees – Hon. Eng. Hillary Onek, also the guest of honor at the graduation ceremony tipped the graduates on saving and bookkeeping. He said, “Embrace book-keeping, save and expand your businesses. If you make shs.20,000 daily, always get shs.5,000 and save it and a year later, you will have more money to invest.” The Minister also urged the beneficiaries to practice the skills learned and pass on the knowledge to others in the community and their countries of origin when they go back.

Refugee youth and young adults are confronted with many barriers to accessing higher education. These include lack of financial resources, differences in the language of instruction, lack of certificates and recognition of certification, mobility restrictions and long distances to higher education institutions, lack of specialized academic or individualized support, limited access to information, including about policies governing access to higher education for refugees in host countries. As a consequence, only one percent of refugees have access to higher education worldwide.[i]

  [i] UNHCR.2017. Left Behind: Refugee Education in Crisis

Refugee Education in Uganda

Uganda Launched refugee verification report 2018

Refugee Education in Uganda

The pupils of Luru Primary School in Palorinya settlement in Moyo are among the refugees to be verified.

Uganda launches major refugee verification operation

With the support of UNHCR, government officials are using biometric data to verify more than 1 million refugees in the country.



OVC under ECHO Supported project by Windle International Uganda

Africa, the Land of Beauty& Warriors: a Poem by a S2 student of Valley View SS in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement.

One of the 5 core strategic areas of Windle International Uganda is Youth Engagement where the young people are encouraged through creative arts to express themselves through Music, Dance, and Drama.