World Humanitarian Day: PRESS RELEASE

TPO Uganda recommits to supporting humanitarian and frontline workerS

Kampala, Uganda, August 19th 2021 – The Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Uganda, a humanitarian Non-Governmental organization working to transform lives and restore hope for the vulnerable populations across 45 districts in Uganda has expressed recommitment towards supporting humanitarian and frontline workers. The recommitment is in line with the commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) 2021 alongside other partners globally.

While commending the over 200 humanitarian workers under the auspices of TPO Uganda, who have continued to risk their lives to provide lifesaving support and assistance to those in need and distress, the Country Director, Patrick Sambaga said, “This year, WHD comes at a difficult time when the world is battling the different stages of COVID-19 which has not only escalated tension but induced hardship, representing the single current biggest challenge to humanitarian and frontline workers”.

TPO Uganda has over the years complied with the obligations under the International Humanitarian Law to ensure safety and security of humanitarian personnel. In 2018 for instance, TPO Uganda signed up for the verification exercise against the Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS), an initiative that helps organizations to understand the extent to which they have applied the CHS and identify opportunities for improvement. Most recently, last year, TPO Uganda received a stamp for confirmation of progress to receiving accreditation by CHS. TPO Uganda Deputy Country Director, Rehema Kajungu was in 2019 elected to the Board of the CHS a position that she still holds to date. This is in addition to the provision of the necessary care and life-saving assistance in the form of safety gear and equipment as well as the construction of temporary shelters for all humanitarian workers in refugee settlements such as Imvepi refugee settlement camp in Terego district.

The WHD therefore presents an opportunity for TPO Uganda to celebrate the dedication, perseverance and self-sacrifice of the hundreds of humanitarian workers under TPO Uganda representing the best of humanity especially in these current difficult times.

These humanitarian workers are spread across 45 districts in more than five regions of Uganda to aid the restoration of hope and transformation of lives among the vulnerable communities and individuals.

For TPO Uganda, the commemoration of WHD is an initiative in the right direction for such first-time responders in most crises.

“We recognize the tireless commitment of these individuals who put the lives of others before their own and persist in their life-saving work despite the growing risks to their own health and safety especially with the COVID-19 pandemic,” noted Sambaga.

On June 18th this year, Uganda imposed a 42-day lockdown to manage the surging infections of COVID-19 and one of the key implications of the move was a restriction on transport and inter- district movements. However, this didn’t deter humanitarian workers from supporting the most vulnerable individuals and communities. In view of the above, the organization took center stage at ensuring that all humanitarian workers were granted transport means and the necessary inter-district movement permits to traverse the respective fields and deliver care, treatment and psychosocial services.

Other TPO Uganda projects have also incorporated initiatives that support frontline workers. For instance, the frontline workers under the USAID’s Keeping Children Healthy and Safe (KCHS) activity in Southwestern Uganda employed Tele-case management through the use of mobile phone-based technology to deliver the much needed psychosocial support and counselling to ensure children, youths and Female Sex Workers (FSW) infected and affected by HIV/AIDS continue adhering to treatment schedules without fail.

Humanitarian workers like Milly Nancy Lagu, a South Sudanese National based in Kiryandongo refugee settlement camp, Kiryandongo district speak of the motivation behind their actions despite the challenges. “It’s the positive change in people’s lives and witnessing individuals, families and communities commit to reducing Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) as a basis for better and peaceful living in future”.

Uganda’s humanitarian workers include trained Volunteer Psychosocial Assistants, Social Workers, Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatric Clinical Officers, Project Coordinators, health workers and other CSOs who may be largely people in need themselves.

EDITOR’S NOTES

The Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Uganda is a rights-based Non-Governmental Organization that has been delivering psychosocial and mental health services to vulnerable communities in Uganda since 1994. TPO Uganda has grown into a recognized NGO with a demonstrable track record in currently 45 districts in seven regions of Uganda including; Acholi, Lango, Teso, Karamoja sub-regions, South West, West Nile and Central region. Our work is governed by the key strategic objectives of; Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Child Protection – Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Food Security and Livelihoods Support, Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response, and Organizational Development.

FOR DETAILS, CONTACT

Agnes E Nantaba                                                           
Communication & Documentation Manager – TPO Uganda                                                                 
+256772261357/ +256758158383                           
anantaba@tpoug.org / nantaba7@gmail.com

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