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FOOD SECURITY and LIVELIHOOD
In order to mitigate the challenges of food insecurity ,hunger, poverty and under nourishment in the settlement the Centre has focused its self in promoting sustainable agriculture with emphasis on adequacy of food availability, accessibility and stability of food supply in all refugee house holds. This has been done through ;
Training 833 model refugee farmers in turn train over 2500 other farmers in best agricultural farming practices ,this brings the total number to 7,500 since 2003 when the Centre started its policy of reducing food shortage by promoting a sustainable agricultural productivity. The model farmers have a good resource in building the capacity of other farmers, especially during the times of heightened food scarcity .
The centre also supply small farming tools and equipments, improved breeds of vegetable seeds ,beans, maize, cassava cuttings, banana suckers, to farmers and families that can not afford. This has not only increased food availability, access and stability at refugee house hold levels but also has contributed to a remarkable reduction in the numbers of undernourished refugee persons in the settlement particularly children and women.
Animal rearing (cattle) is another project activity undertaken at the centre .In reference to food to food availability, access and utilisation farmers are empowered with basic animal husbandry farming methods. The animal project activity also provide milk which is regularly supplied to over 200 pregnant mothers, sick and under nourished war as well HIV/AIDS orphaned children , to improve and boost their nutritional mental and physical capabilities .
Exotic, local chicken ,ducks ,turkeys, as well as wild guinea fowls are raised together to demonstrate the philosophy of living together. On the other side of strengthening food security the Centre supplies improved cocks and eggs from its model farms to refugee farmers for cross breeding with their local poultry . However these exotic birds are not sold but given out freely to reduce food scarcity.
CREDA which stands for "Co-operative For Refugees Family Development Agency" is a co-operative system which aim at reducing poverty and helplessness at grass root levels. With this approach, members are empowered with cost effective food processing and storage technologies, entrepreneurial skills especially agro-income generating projects like grain milling ,poultry farming, and shop retailing. This has improved house hold incomes though at a slowly increasing rate of growth.
Much as St.Patrick Centre for integral Development in kyangwali settlement primarily aim at improving refugee welfare it also focuses on strengthening self help
developmental activities among the host nationals of kyangwali sub-county who are equally poor.This has been done through AB'ANNA a program designed for
women nationals groups particularly widows and single mothers in kyangwali sub-county where the refugee settlement is situated .Currently the program consists
of 200 members and through its revolving system 50 members of the group are already beneficiaries to a zero grazing heifer each. This means that the beneficiaries
are able to consume milk and sale the surplus, implying that such members are able to earn a small income on a daily basis. Thus reducing poverty and increasing
food accessibility and self-reliance at house hold levels. Though there is need for credit facilities to be extended to members as start capital to diversify
to other income generating projects.
The Centre also under takes fish farming as another alternative strategy to alleviate food insecurity and hunger. With this project fish got from the ponds are supplied to refugee nursery school going children although special consideration is given to HIV/AIDS vulnerable children .
Though the centre has fairly tried to mitigate food scarcity , hunger ,poverty and helplessness at house hold level in the settlement using contributions made by government, Friends and NGOs both local and international ,there is still great need for support in areas related to public health , sanitation and education which are still road blocks to food security programmes and self reliance .
On top of the many refugee children and pupils that the centre sponsors in the different schools and institutions in the country ,depending on the availability of
funds, we also have (SPALA) programmes which are implemented through Sr. Winnie (D.S.T). St. Patrick's Adult literacy Association in which we teach and empower
old men and women with reading and writing skills .Hence the basic knowledge and communication skills acquired by the adult illiterate refugees helps them to
articulately present and express themselves to audiences with varied interests and values. This programme benefits 180 participants every year .To the centre
this is still a very small proportion as compared to the magnitude of the problem. Thus with more support accorded to the centre the number of beneficiaries
from this programme is expected to double per annum.
ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE NURSERY REFUGEE CHILDREN (OVNRC)
Education being a perquisite for national development, the Centre runs a nursery school for refugees, war or HIV/AIDS orphaned children. Since these orphaned
children are aged below five years they are highly vulnerable because at that age ,they can hardly make an informed decision regarding their health ,daily meals
and education. To this effect the Centre meets their school bills ,medical bills scholastic materials and school furniture. And those living with HIV/AIDS, the
Centre supports them with appropriate information and care. though the Centre is trying its best to provide these necessities ,if faces a number of funding challenges.
Firstly, the numbers of needy children are increasing and yet the current facilities are inadequate. This crowd ness in class has contributed to fast spread of
infectious diseases like cough and fungal skin infections which affects their mental ,social physical and psychological capacities . More so , moderate sanitary
facilities like ventilated improved pit latrines, water tanks ,house hold materials like blankets and bed sheets and a sick bay equipped with drugs and a
paediatrician need critical attention. The nursery school is manned by catholic nuns notably Sr.Winfred (D.S.T) and three other
helpers who are refugees themselves.
Used spectacles donated to the Centre are supplied to the "helplessness" in the settlement. This has helped many to regain their lost sight back .Hence improving their lives .Thanks to friends of the refugees and St.Patrick's.
The Centre also supplies rosaries to refugee Christians in the settlement to enrich their Christian faith and hope .
These rosaries are donated to the Centre by "OUR LADY OF ROSARY MAKERS " and their associates in the USA. We believe that " OUR LADY "
is the custodian of peace which is very relevant and hopeful message to our refugee community.
The refegees lave the devotion to "OUR LADY" and we supply as many rosaries as possible.
The Centre also reaches out to the refugee youth through its specialised programmes like sports, behavioural change communication activities and entrepreneurial training skills especially to those out of school. This has helped to reduce inter tribal conflicts and hostilities that was common scenario before the formation of such youth groups.