Refugee girl becomes self-reliant through business

“I don’t know how I would live without business during this period of humanitarian support reduction from the World Food Programme caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”, says Ms Rachael Musanganya.

She is a Congolese refugee living in Kyangwali Settlement in Kukuube District.

The young girl interacted with Kazi-njema News reporter on the streets of Hoima city as she was preparing to return to Kyangwali after acquiring her merchandise.

“I even make business trips in order to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic-induced challenges. I also go to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to get goods at favourably low prices to avoid losses”, she added.

However, she says the rising transport costs and restriction like COVID-19 tests and demand for vaccination along the way are disturbing.

Ms Musanganya also told our reporter that the food and cash rations reduction by the World Food Programme (WFP) has left many refugees leading a hard life.

“We were receiving 31,000 per month before COVID-19 outbreak but it was reduced to 19,000 and now 12,000 shillings. This is very little money to move someone throughout the month”, she said.

Ms Musanganya requests the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to support refugee youths to start up business ventures and also boost with cash those that already have small businesses.

According to her, it would help them to manoeuvre through the COVID-19 lockdown.

Kyangwali Refugee Settlement is home to about 200,000 people with Congolese and South Sudanese nationals being the majority while Uganda is home to more than 1.5m refugees.

Uganda’s hospitality to host the refugees has earned it credit from the United Nations as one of the countries with the most refugee-friendly policies in the world.

In some most countries, refugees are only expected to live in settlements and have to pass through various steps in order to be permitted to live and work inside host communities.


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