Uganda’s Kyaka II and Kyangwali refugee settlements are hosting between them over 178 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many of the incoming refugees have endured traumatic experiences and witnessed a lot of suffering. These are people who have experienced conflict first-hand, survivors of gender-based violence, and people who have had to bear the loss of family members due to separation or death, on top of the perilous journey that they had to undertake when they fled their homes.
Such horrific experiences and the feeling of helplessness can leave their toll on the refugees’ well-being. Furthermore, without proper support, there is an increased risk of marginalisation of vulnerable people in settlements, such as people with disabilities and the elderly. For this reason, mental health and psychosocial support for the refugees is a critical and urgent need. With funding from the European Union, amounting to €1.1 million, three humanitarian organisations – War Child Holland (WCH), Humanity & Inclusion (HI), and TPO Uganda – launched the SPOT project, that stands for Strengthening Psychosocial support service for Transformation, among the DR Congolese refugees in Uganda. It aims to offer comprehensive mental health and psychosocial services, with a particular focus on the survivors of gender-based violence and people with disabilities.
“The European Union is providing aid for services helping vulnerable refugees deal with their traumatic experiences. While often neglected, mental health services are indispensable for refugees’ well-being and to help them rebuild their lives. In addition, it is important that refugees with special needs are given the therapy and social assistance they need,’ says Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
The European Union’s support to SPOT will benefit over 10 000 people, including 6 000 children, from the refugee and host communities in the Kyaka II and Kyangwali settlements, over a period of fifteen months. With the help of psychologists, social workers and facilitators, the programme aims at improving the resilience, psychosocial well-being and positive coping mechanisms of refugees, persons with special needs and vulnerable host communities, through counselling, therapy and community inclusion. In order to facilitate access to these services, there will be several focal points in the community that refugees can resort to when needed.
For additional information, please contact
Anne Civel, Consortium Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
War Child Holland: https://www.warchildholland.org
Humanity & Inclusion: https://hi.org
About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid:
The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.
Through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian aid Operations department, the European Commission helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.