Oeindrila and I spent our first few days in Uganda meeting with a diversity of international and local organizations, who are working in the refugee camps. We learned about the structure of the refugee camps within Uganda, which is very unique and is contrast to what we are experiencing in the Western world.
When the refugees are received within the camp, they are processed and given a plot of land within the "settlement," a year of food assistance, materials to build a home, and other essential needs. Once given refugee status, the refugee is free to move within Uganda and apply for work, receive education, and live where they choose.
Since July there has been an influx of South Sudanese refugees due to an increase of fighting. According the the UNHCR, over 37,000 people have sought asylum since the beginning of the year. The organizations we spoke to highlighted the need for psychosocial support due, to the refugees experiencing high amounts of trauma including abuse, grief, witnessing death of family members, rape, and having their lives and integrity threatened.
Within the camps, our contacts told us, there is a gap of psychosocial care. The organizations told us about the work they have done to provide psychosocial care, which is admirable and impressive, but with all the other needs that need to be filled there is still a large gap. This gap is where we hope to come in.
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