Just like this year’s International Women’s Day theme highlights, Refugees and other Persons of Concern stood out boldly and expressed themselves during the celebrations held on March 10th 2017 at the Antonio Guttress Community Centre in Kabusu. “One of the main reasons for organising this event is to advocate for Refugees’ access to services at the same level as nationals,” mentioned an official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who, alongside InterAid Uganda and the Office of the Prime Minister, organised the one week’s successful activities for Women’s day focuing on Refugee Women.
Over 320 women Refugees and other persons of concern participated in the celebrations under the theme “Women’s Empowerment in the Changing World of Work.” The participants donated different items collected by women to the Missionary of the poor, in Kisenyi on the 8th March 2017, held a Bazaar and heath camp on the 10th March 2017 during the celebrations organised by UNHCR with InterAid. Items such as; Clothes,loaves of bread,Kilogram of sugar,bars of soap among other house hold necessities were donated by the women who also shared a meal with the vulnerable children. The Bazaar, which climaxed the event with Refugee women and other persons of concern showcasing different items ranging from; crafts, African fabrics, jewelry, artificial flowers,basket,food stuffs and others. Women groups such as; Nzago,Burundian,South Sudanese and Somalis entertained the guests in different songs,sports and dance.
Health education talks and screening were also held by other participating organisations like:Uganda Non Communicable Diseases and Uganda Cancer Institute. This year’s celebrations of Women’s Dy has given Refugee women a platform to earn more through different opportunities and exposure.This has further strengthened the awareness of the host and refugee population on women’s roles and participation in sustainable development and promoted peaceful co-existence.
The event was well attended by the refugee community and planned activities were achieved although there is still need to continuously sensitize and encourage the nationals from the host community to participate in activities organised by Refugees.