Australia for UNHCR National Director and her team of Leading women that included; the Media Officer, Event Manager, a Journalist, 02 Board members and 02 of their donors visited the Refugee Crafts Women’s Group (RCWG). The ‘leading women’ are mainly corporate women whose aim is to help raise funds for A4UNHCR.

The guests were received at Antonio Guterres community centre on 17/09/2019 where they toured the centre and later interacted with RCWG. On 18/09/2019, the guests and some 04 members of RCWG alongside 02 IAU staff and 03 from UNHCR visited Namirembe Infants primary school and Gaddafi National mosque.

On 17/09/2019, the leading women were received by the RCWG at Antonio Guterres Community centre where they were welcomed by the Burundian traditional dancers of mirror group. The guests were then led by their hosts to tour the community centre.

Mirror group entertaining guests.

The RCWG and their guests later engaged in a leadership experience exchange meeting where they shared briefs of their life stories. In the discussion, it was found that 02 of the guests had ever been refugees while they were still young – one in Afghanistan and another in Bangladesh and both are now part of the A4UNHCR board members. They encouraged the women never to give up their life dreams. The guests in their speeches guided the group to not only rely on technical skills alone but also soft skills (having a purpose, vision, team play, developing each other and collaboration among others) and to always have a goal for whatever they do. They were also guided to have means of conflict resolution so as to move forward harmoniously. Two members of the RCWG also shared their leadership experiences in the meeting.

Leadership experience sharing of the guests and members of RCWG at the community centre

 Interaction at Namirembe Infants Primary School

The guests on 18/09/2019 with 04 members of the RCWG, 02 staff from UNHCR and 02 from IAU visited Namirembe Infants Primary school which had prior been selected for this tour. They interacted with the school head teacher and deputy who briefed them about the background of the school as;

The school is government aided and was founded in 1939 by Church of Uganda. It has a total enrolment of 998 (495/M, 503/F) learners, 89 of whom are refugee children.

The head teacher highlighted challenges faced by refugee children which included;

  • Language barrier
  • Lack of school fees
  • Aggressiveness by some children on arrival
  • Irregular attendance.

The head teacher however appreciated IAU for the continued support especially in group counseling that has helped reform some of the aggressive children.

The guest then donated items they had brought for the children which included sports balls, assorted stationary items, play toys and reading books.

School head teacher (left) receiving donations from the guests

One of the refugee children who is the school head boy shared his flight story and current situation in the country of asylum. He is in primary seven.

Guest toured the school. They went ahead to also interact with learners in 03 different classes where they briefly discussed what life in Australia is like.

Guests touring the school

The visit was concluded by creative dances entertainment by the school choir and later closing remarks from the head teacher who appreciated the guests for visiting them and all the gifts they had shared. She pledged never to forget about the guests because of their kindness.

School choir entertaining guests

The guests also thanked the head teacher and her deputy for hosting them and keeping the school clean.

The school head teacher and guests sharing farewell remarks entertainment by school choir.

Visit to the National Mosque

The guests alongside the accompanying team of IAU, UNHCR staff and the RCWG representatives’ then went to Gaddafi Mosque at Old Kampala where they toured the mosque with guidance of a tour guide.

The tour visit was concluded with a luncheon for all participants at Hotel Barbados on Rubaga Road. The RCWG chairperson thanked the guests for traveling this far to come and meet the group and wished them a safe journey back.

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