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Global Refugee Aid

Global Refugee Aid (GRA) is a UK registered charity, founded in 2018. The organisation was established by a diaspora group of professional doctors and psychotherapists from East Africa, now living in the UK. GRA provides counselling, access to maternal health services and livelihood training for refugees (particularly vulnerable women and girls)in East Africa. GRA aims to heal the lives of traumatised women and girls, men and boys who have fled from brutal regional conflicts across East Africa. GRA projects are Trauma Healing for refugee Survivors of Sexual Violence in East Africa and Transforming the Physical and Emotional Health of Albino Refugees

www.globalrefugeeaid.org.uk/ Fundraise for us
admin@globalrefugeeaid.org.uk

00447432616599

Registered charity no. 1193619

Member since March 2021

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An appeal to improve the lives of traumatised refugees livingwith Albinism

An appeal to improve the lives of traumatised refugees livingwith Albinism

Project summary

Global Refugee Aid (GRA) is a UK registered charity, founded in 2018.

The organisation was established by a diaspora group of professional doctors and psychotherapists from east Africa, now living in the UK.

GRA provide trauma counselling and livelihood training for refugees (particularly vulnerable women and girls) living in the Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda. The people who benefit from our help all fled from civil war and armed conflicts in the neighbouring countries of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

We are requesting donations to improve the health and well-being of more than 85 Albino refugees. These people suffer double hardship – they have experienced traumatic violence in their countries of origin before escaping to safety. Also, as people with Albinism, they suffer daily discrimination from other refugees within the Nakivale camp.

GRA will establish support groups to end discrimination of people living with Albinism; provide entrepreneurship skills training to enable Albinos to establish a small business and generate an income and distribute skin protective equipment to improve the health of people living with Albinism.

Global Refugee Aid – who we are

GRA aims to heal the lives of traumatised women and girls, men and boys who have fled from brutal regional conflicts across East Africa. We provide support and care for refugees in the Navikale camp in Uganda.

The organisation was created by a group of African health professionals that live in the UK. This team of people are determined to use their skills and knowledge to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable refugees from their home countries.

Our work is delivered on the ground in Navikale refugee camp by local doctors, psychotherapists and gynaecologists who provide their skilled services on a voluntary basis.

Our Vision: We seek a world where every refugee achieves self-reliance with dignity and control over their lives

Our Mission: We empower refugees to establish gainful livelihoods and we make a difference by enabling refugees to integrate into their community until they can support themselves.

GRA’s health support team of doctors, gynaecologists and therapists has a combined 35 years of professional experience. Since 2018, our staff have provided counselling for hundreds of refugees coping with a mental health condition, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We have also delivered medical support and one-to-one health care.

GRA also work with discriminated refugees including Albino adults and children. We distribute skin protective equipment and provide people living with Albinism with health education to prevent skin cancer. We also deliver campaigns to tackle the daily stigma that Albino refugees face.

The problem

The Nakivale refugee camp in southwest Uganda is home to thousands of refugees who have escaped from armed conflicts in the neighbouring countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi.

Hundreds of these refugees are people with Albinism which is a genetic disease resulting in extremely pale coloured skin and poor vision. Albinos suffer daily discrimination and physical and emotional abuse. Across Africa traditional superstitions and beliefs have often led to the appalling murder of Albinos for their bones and blood to make charms for healings.

Within the Nakivale refugee camp Albino adults and children suffer double hardship - they live with the traumatic experience of violence in their countries of origin and, as people with Albinism, they suffer abuse from other refugees within the camp.

What we will do

Global Refugee Aid will improve the health and self-reliance of 85 Albino adults and children. We will also confront discrimination and abuse of people living with Albinism.

Stop discrimination and abuse – GRA will establish five Albino peer support groups that will include other refugees who are not Albinos. The groups will plan and and deliver weekly community campaigns to stop discrimination against Albino refugees

Increase self-reliance – GRA will provide entrepreneurship training for 40 refugees with Albinism to help them launch a business enterprise and produce much needed income. The income-generating activities include local auto repairs and agriculture. Following completion of the training, GRA will offer ongoing business development mentoring to each person

Improve health and well-being - people with albinism are very sensitive to sun exposure and are at a high risk of skin cancer. Global Refugee Aid will provide health education workshops and distribute skin protective equipment to prevent skin cancer. We will also provide eye tests and diagnose and treat eye condition diseases and disorders.

The impact of the project

The people living with Albinism who participate in this health and wellbeing project will feel healthier and happier. Regular social connection through the Albino support groups will overcome feelings of loneliness and depression.

Joining a support group and engaging in campaigns with other refugees will create greater confidence amongst people living with Albinism. Regular medical advice will enable Albino refugees to get the health treatment they need.

Participation in business skills training will provide economic opportunities for people living with Albinism. Establishing a small business in the community will gain them respect and recognition, improve their standard of living within the refugee camp, raise their self-confidence and move them towards a more fulfilling life.

Budget for to improve the lives of refugees living with albinism

Item Cost (£)

Total £xx

Request to xx Charitable Trust

Thierry's story

Thierry is a young albino from Burundi. In 2015, he fled the civil war that shook his country and came to the Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda.

"Since my childhood, I never experienced happiness. When I thought of my future, tears flowed in my eyes. At school, the teachers and students laughed at me because of my skin. I couldn’t bear these insults.

After escaping Burundi and arriving in the refugee camp my life became more difficult. I received daily insults because of how I look.

In 2017, Global Refugee Aid brought all the Albinos together and helped us create support groups. We joined other refugees who are not albinos and discrimination began to slowly disappear as we started being accepted by the community.

GRA gave us skin products and health education to protect our skin. They also trained us to create small businesses. I’m now one of the best mechanics in the camp and even locals bring their motorbike and cars to me to fix.”

Alice’s Story

Alice is an 18-year-old albino girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"I was born an Albino in a family of seven children. I didn’t go to school because of my family’s shame and fear for my security.

I grew up thinking I’m cursed and shouldn’t be outside because I was the only one looking like this. Also, I didn't know how to protect my skin.

When I arrived in the camp, I joined an Albino support group. I was very happy to meet other Albinos and talk about our situation which gives me hope.

Thanks to the products we receive from Global Refugee Aid, my skin is much better. I feel confident and I forget that I’m different. The work of GRA helps me to feel like other people. I never thought of working for myself before but GRA trained me to be an entrepreneur.

In my support group, we harvest vegetables for sale. With the money we make we buy things we need including clothes. With GRA’s support I’ve changed and I know that I’m normal with dreams for my futur

An appeal to restore the lives of traumatised women and girl

An appeal to restore the lives of traumatised women and girl

Global Refugee Aid (GRA) is a UK registered charity, founded in 2018.

The organisation was established by a diaspora group of professional doctors and psychotherapists from East Africa, now living in the UK.

GRA provide counselling, access to maternal health services and livelihood training for refugees (particularly vulnerable women and girls) living in the Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda. The people who benefit from our support fled from wars and armed conflicts in the neighbouring countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi.

GRA are requesting a grant of £XX from XXX to help women and girls recover from rape and sexual violence. Each of these young women witnessed or experienced extreme sexual abuse before they escaped to safety, leaving lasting mental health problems.

We will provide trauma therapy, mental health treatment and entrepreneurship skills training for up to 500 women and girls living in the Nakivale settlement.

GRA will establish a network of refugee support groups across the Nakivale camp. We will also train and support women to create a small business enterprise to generate an income, build their self-confidence and raise their status in the community.

Global Refugee Aid – who we are

GRA aims to heal the lives of displaced women and girls, men and boys who have fled brutal regional conflicts across East Africa.

The organisation was created by a group of African health professionals living in the UK. This team are determined to use their skills and knowledge to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable refugees from their home countries.

Our work is delivered on the ground entirely by local doctors, psychotherapists and gynaecologists who provide their skilled services on a voluntary basis.

Our Vision: We seek a world where every refugee achieves self-reliance with dignity and control over their lives

Our Mission: We empower refugees to establish gainful livelihoods and we make a difference by enabling refugees to integrate into their community until they can support themselves.

GRA seeks to transform the lives of traumatised women and girl and men and boy refugees. Our health support team of doctors and therapists has a combined 35 years of professional experience.

Since 2018, these staff have provided counselling for hundreds of refugees coping with a mental health condition, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), medical support and specialised one-to-one health care.

We have created 40 peer support groups. These groups have enabled women to regularly meet and share their feelings and emotions following the violence and sexual abuse they experienced.

GRA have created a network of community-based workers across the Nakivale refugee settlement. These workers are refugees themselves and act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of their community. They identify individuals and vulnerable families who need assistance and providing them with ongoing care and support.

We have offered reproductive and maternal health trainings to more than 160 teenage women, providing information to prevent pregnancy, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

GRA also work with particularly disadvantaged and discriminated refugees including albino adults and children. We currently assist a group of 85 albinos distributing skin protective equipment and providing them with health education to prevent skin cancer. We also deliver community-based campaigns to tackle the stigma that albino refugees face.

The problem

The Nakivale refugee camp in southwest Uganda is home to over 90,000 refugees who have escaped from armed conflicts in the neighbouring countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi.

A tragic feature of these regional wars has been the use of sexual violence against women and girls. Before being forced to flee their homes, thousands of women were raped and assaulted.

These shocking experiences have led to mental health issues, such as depression, PTSD and suicide attempts among women and girls now living in the Nakivale refugee settlement.

Within the camp, a large number of female rape survivors are now pregnant or single mothers. Many of these young women are stigmatised and face rejection from their families and the refugee community before or after childbirth.

Although Nakivale camp provides food, water, shelter and the right to work, the settlement neglects the mental health needs of these young women.

They end up alone with no emotional support. Teen mothers also face enormous financial difficulties in providing for their children and economic support is essential to sustain the lives of these young mothers.

How GRA will help

Since 2018, GRA has helped hundreds of vulnerable women and girls within Nakivale refugee camp. We plan to build on our experience and reach more women through the delivery of the following programme:

Trauma Healing

GRA psychotherapists will provide one-to-one counselling sessions and mental health support for up to 500 vulnerable women and girl refugees who are coping with the impact of their traumatic experiences. Survivors of sexual abuse are given support that lasts from a few months to a year, depending on the individual involved.

We will organise refugees into a network of peer support groups across Nakivale refugee camp. These groups will meet regularly to enable women to share their experiences. The groups will provide a confidential, non-judgemental space for each woman to discuss their feelings and emotions around the effects of conflict and sexual violence on their lives.

Each group will be organised and guided by a team of GRA volunteer facilitators who will carry out weekly home visit checks on each woman and girl refugee.

By creating a safe space to talk and share, GRA will enable these victims of rape and sexual violence to come to terms with their experiences and move forwards with their lives.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Advice

GRA’s gynaecologists will provide advice on maternal and reproductive health issues that concern young women. They will provide medical examinations and advice on issues relating to pregnancy, contraception, fertility, new born-child care and sexually transmitted infections.

When required, our medical professionals will refer women for specialist care at hospitals or health centres in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

Business Entrepreneurship Training

GRA will deliver a dedicated programme of small business training to help 60 teen mothers establish an income generation activity. We will teach young women entrepreneurial and personal development skills to help them launch a business enterprise and produce much needed income.

These entrepreneurship activities include small scale agriculture production for the sale of fresh vegetables in the refugee camp and traditional crafts and basket weaving for sale in local markets.

Following completion of the training, GRA will offer ongoing business development mentoring to each woman.

Nina’s Story

Nina is 17 years old and she arrived in the Nakivale camp in 2017.

I come from Burundi and I fled my country after soldiers raped me and killed my father and brother.

When I arrived at the camp one of the refugees told me about GRA who help teen mothers that have been raped. I met the GRA doctor and he was the first person I told my story to. I also met GRA’s psychiatrist and I just started talking to him as a friend. He helped me to make sense of my life and continues to support me today.

I joined a Teen Mother’s Support Group and I stopped feeling alone at that moment. I knew I have people around me who went through the same things as myself.

We meet every week and our traditional basket weaving project is flourishing. We now sell the products we make to tourists and local people.

I am 19 now and, in the future, I want to go back to school and finish my studies.

Benefits of the trauma healing project

The project will enable women and girls to make positive, lasting changes to their lives and transform their relationships with friends and family. Traumatised women and girls will benefit from specialist, individual support which will enable fewer crisis situations and more women and girl refugees able to manage their mental health condition.

Joining a support group and engaging in activities with other refugees within Nakivale camp will reduce feelings of loneliness and create a greater sense of well-being and confidence amongst women and girls. Regular medical advice will enable women to make informed responsible decisions and get the health treatment they need.

Women’s participation in business skills training will provide economic opportunities for teenage mothers. Establishing a small business in the community will gain women respect and recognition, improve their standard of living within the camp, raise their self-confidence and move them towards a more fulfilling life.