Youth from refugee settlements and host communities turn challenges into opportunities

As part of efforts to maintain the existing goodwill and enhance peaceful co-existence while building self-reliance among host communities and the refugees, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Adjumani district local government engaged the youth in an innovative approach that help them turn their challenges into opportunities.

Key Highlights

  • Thirty (30) youth participated in a ten-week long Design Challenge based on the Human Centred Design Approach in Adjumani District.
  • Adjumani district in West Nile Uganda borders South Sudan and is host to 200,000 refugees and 392,000 locals.
  • Adjumani Design Challenge is part of the United Nations in Uganda’s effort to implement the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (ReHoPE) Strategy with support from the Government of Japan.

Thirty (30) youth participated in a ten-week long Design Challenge, executed through a series of six workshops using the Human Centered Design approach. The purpose was to identify the challenges faced in their communities, and design innovative solutions to address them. The youth were organized in six groups which identified specific challenges in their community including health, alcoholism, early marriages, and lack of school fees as well as crop farming.

One of the selected groups, Hope Youth Group, designed a prototype of a ploughing machine with local farmers and welders. The tool is intended to address challenges of inaccessibility, unavailability and affordability of farming implements in the district.

“The tool is durable, multipurpose, and affordable,” John Chandiga, a refugee and the leader of Hope Youth Group said. The agriculture tool designed by the group will improve the productivity of agriculture, which is the main livelihood in Adjumani district, and will also create employment opportunities if it can be produced locally.

Adjumani district which shares a border with South Sudan has become a host to approximately 200,000 South Sudanese refugees since the outbreak of violence in Juba in addition to the local population of 392,000.

Adjumani Design Challenge is part of the United Nations (UN) in Uganda’s effort to implement the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (ReHoPE) Strategy. The initiative was implemented by UNDP, Adjumani District Local Government and Design without Borders, in partnership with UNHCR, and with funding from Government of Japan. UNDP together with its partners plan to continue supporting the implementation of the solution generated by the winning team through business skill training, design mentoring and coaching.