Uganda has a long-standing history of hosting refugees with more than 1.1 million refugees and asylum seekers as of October 2018. Uganda has received more than 1 million refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan since July 2016. Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum, operating in Kyakka II refugee settlement and Kyegegwa district, has joined the rest of the world to celebrate the world refugee day under the theme “Every Action Counts”.

Our change champions in Kyakka II organized a community outreach as they celebrated world refugee day. The group was divided into two groups one for the men and boys and the other for the women and girls.  The men and boys shared their experiences on what they know about contraceptives using storyboarding. Cultural norms prevent men and boys from getting involved in sexual health and productive issues and this provided a safe space for them to learn from one another’s experiences. The meetings were attended to by 40 people from three zones; Ntambabininga, Mukondo, and Sweswe.

The women and girls were trained on how to make masks as they talked about some of the challenges they face such as poverty, limited medication at the health centers, sexual and gender-based violence, teenage pregnancies, and child marriage. The change champions took them through the session guiding them on the use of contraceptives and demystifying myths surrounding their use.

They emphasized the need to observe the guidelines shared by the Ministry of Health at all times. One of our change champions Faridah Luanda explained that while it is our responsibility to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, we must also know about our SRHR. They continued to use the storyboard to share how they felt since the lockdown began. The masks that were made were distributed to members of the community together with condoms using the freedom kite.

participants making freedom kites and face masks