#TFChapters – Meet Yusuf, Benjamin and Tony who are launching Techfugees in Uganda! 🇺🇬
👉🏿 Could you please introduce yourself and your team to the Techfugees community?
Yusuf: My name is Yusuf Mutamba. I Co-Lead the Techfugees Chapter, Uganda together with Tony Okwera and Benjamin Abunuasi.
Benjamin: In 2017, due to natural deserters and political insecurities in my country Rd-congo, I fled to Uganda where my life became worse than ever before. I looked for a job in the camp but would not find it. My mind focused on getting the resettlement which didn’t happen. I was frustrated and stressed. I resorted to drugs as a way to release my mind. I overdosed on 10 occasions. I later discovered that many young refugees live in the same situation. I wanted to find a solution to support fellow refugees and founded the Youth innovation hub-YINNOH aiming to empower marginalized youth and young refugees of 16-30 years to become social entrepreneurs/job creators in Uganda and especially in Rwamwanja settlement.With the passion for empowering refugees. I committed to being a Uganda Techfugees chapter lead with a mission to empower refugees to have access to connectivity, e-learning and design digital solutions that create jobs opportunities for them.
Tony: My background is Social Sciences, with over 9 years of cross-cutting experience in different consultancy and other employment fields, including experiences with Save the Children and Red Cross Uganda. I wish to be a key player help Techfugees to empower refugees in Uganda whilst supporting tech innovations designed by, with and for them
👉🏿 How did you hear about Techfugees?
Yusuf: I first heard about Techfugees while i was Coordinating the EU-Africa online hackathon with Garage48 in December 2020. I reached out to Raj Burman, CEO Techfugees Foundation, requesting Techfugees to join as a Community Partner, to create extensive awareness, reach, and credibility for the hackathon. Techfugees Kenya took part in the event and I then joined the movement from Kampala, Uganda.
Benjamin: I heard about Techfugees when organizing our first hackathon with YINNOH in Rwamwanga camp on how to build digital technologies that would improve the daily lives in the settlements. Later on, I reached out to the Techfugees Global team to collaborate with them. I got introduced to their local GFS partner Outbox hub.
👉🏿 Which are the displaced people’s main needs in your country?
Tony: Uganda has progressive policies to support the integration of refugees and asylum seekers like the 2006 Refugees Act ensures the freedom of movement for refugees within Uganda and ensures access to social services including health care and education for both refugees and members of their families. Refugees have the right to self-employment under the same conditions as nationals, and upon registration, a piece of land is given to each refugee family for settlement and agricultural use. However still many challenges are prevalent for refugees in Uganda.
Benjamin: Uganda is one of the largest refugee-hosting nations in the world, with over 1,400,000 refugees and asylumseekers, according to the UNHCR (Feb 2020). Rwamwanja camp, where part of the TF Uganda team is living, is hosting more than 75,000 refugees. Uganda has 83% of youth unemployment. 3 out of 4 refugees are unemployed due to language barriers, lack of employable skills and lack of skills to develop their talents.
👉🏿 What are your projects for the next days, weeks and months?
All: Our project for the next few months is tied to equipping 30 refugee youths in Rwamwanja Settlement Camp with ICT skills needed to find a job, set up a business or engage in productive work.
👉🏿 With which kind of organization (tech, NGOs, universities, officials,…) do you plan to partner with?
All: we are currently working, alongside Techfugees Kenya, with Buffalo Grid, a hardware company bringing offline streaming and digital services for the unconnected.
Currently we are bringing together a pool of educational content partners to provide access to information related to primary / secondary education, ICT, entrepreneurship and health.
👉🏿 How can the Techfugees community help you? What are you looking for now?
We are looking for strategic partners to support us in:
- Improving access to available, affordable and usable internet connectivity by refugee youths in Rwamwanja Settlement Camp
- Equipping 30 refugee youths in Rwamwanja Settlement Camp with ICT skills
If you are working in this field, please get in touch at email@example.com !