Unidos: Transforming the Nakivale refugee settlement into a regenerative community

Forty four percent of refugees in Nakivale are unemployed due to lack of skills, the rigid educational system and limited social networks. We’re determined to build more sustainable communities for everyone

Unidos Social Innovation Centre is a refugee-led, community-based organization that engages with marginalized at-risk youth located in the Nakivale Refugee settlement, Isingiro district, South West Uganda. We aim to empower young refugees through appropriate training and teach them inclusive entrepreneurial skills that enables them to create their own jobs and opportunities.

Our goal is to transform these young refugees into change makers, who will drive the community and make sure that everyone will be heard, when it comes to creating a better tomorrow for all of us.

Learn more about our story

In 2018, we found an urgent need to build more sustainable systems for our people; Unidos was birthed

We soon became stronger through the aid of our partners; impacting over 5,300+ lives so far

The Nakivale settlement is diverse, which has given us the opportunity to touch lives from over 7 countries

We are proud to share that we’ve received donations in excess of $3,839 to push our causes forward

1.5 million

refugees live in Uganda

Our work is unlocking big changes for refugees in Nakivale

Unidos Projects is an initiative by refugees for refugees

Nakivale Refugee Settlement is in the Isingiro district of southwest Uganda and is home to 150,000 refugees from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and Sudan. These are the refugees that have been most affected by poverty, climate change, war and political oppression from their home countries.


Refugees from 7 countries

The amount of people being displaced and therefore seeking refugee asylum is rapidly increasing. Barely 5 years ago, the number of refugees here in the Nakivale settlement was around 80,000. We are currently estimated to be around a whooping 150,000 now in 2022, which means that current resource allocation will never be enough.

Declining ration of external aid

The refugees depend on food given by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and harvests from allocated land to supplement food supplies, but recently, food rations by UNHCR were reduced drastically and this has been worsened by persistent drought that has been experienced in the district.

Our impact

The amount of people being displaced and therefore seeking refugee asylum is rapidly increasing. Barely 5 years ago, the number of refugees here in the Nakivale settlement was around 80,000. Today, we’re barely capable of satisfying our most basic needs.

See how we’re transforming lives in Nakivale

Local soap manufacturing booms as more women learn the skills to produce, together with business techniques, to commercialize it

According to statistics, women make up over 50% of the refugee population in Africa. Yet, despite their numbers, they are deemed to be amongst the most vulnerable in society. It is little wonder then, that with their displacement from their homes, the women now living at the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda, have little in the way of prospects for the future. Many of the refugees, men included, face major barriers to inclusion within local economies, which makes finding stability and earning a living almost impossible.

More men have taken part in our permaculture training and have been able to grow enough crops to feed their families and neighbours in a more sustainable way

Imagine living in a place where you don’t have any opportunity to generate money that can help you look after your family, or, imagine only receiving $3 per month in food rationing, and as a result, you must face hunger and malnutrition, daily. It is difficult to imagine surviving on only $3 of food per week, never mind per month, but that is the stark reality that residents here at the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda are facing.

Unidos Social Innovation Centre’s Permaculture Work in Nakivale wins Social Impacts Award

Unidos Social Innovation Centre, an NGO created by refugees in Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda, has been recognized with the Lush Spring Prize award for our work on permaculture and regenerative agriculture practices. Established and led by Paulinho Muzaliwa since 2018, along with a group of refugees living in Nakivale to address food insecurity and create livelihood opportunities in the community after food rations were drastically reduced for refugees in Uganda.

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