The latest article on the Rethinking Refuge website presents a case study of a refugee-led organisation’s response to COVID-19 in Uganda. It is written by Patrick Chandiga Justine, Co-founder and Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Creative Innovation (CECI), a youth-founded refugee-led organisation whose primary focus is community peacebuilding, livelihood, girl child education, and environmental conservation.
With a general lack of assistance provided to refugees, CECI has become one of the first responders to address the increasing vulnerability of refugees due to lockdown measures. It is raising local community awareness about COVID-19 prevention and safety guidelines among refugee communities using both online and offline channels, including translating materials into languages commonly spoken by refugees and fundraising to provide food to refugee families.
The article offers lessons for refugee-led and community-based organisations to implement effective awareness-raising campaigns, and makes clear, immediately actionable recommendations for governments, international organizations, and donors to improve their support to such organisations at the front line of the crisis.