Around the world, there is a refugee crisis. More people are displaced than at any time since the Second World War. From Syria to the Mediterranean, the numbers are increasing. But the system designed to respond to refugees is broken. People face decades in closed refugee camps, destitution in urban areas, or they are forced to risk their lives on perilous journeys. The status quo is unsustainable and our politicians are failing to find better solutions.
But one group of people who are finding solutions are refugees themselves. Below the radar, refugees are leading change. Out of necessity, they can be highly innovative and entrepreneurial. Community-led organizations sometimes flourish, albeit on a small scale. The problem is that they are locked out of the system: they lack recognition, access to funding, and are ignored as prospective partners. So they are unable to scale.
It is with this background that the first initiative for Refugees Organization Network started to emerge in 2011 which was called Refugee Grassroot Network (RGN) which also brought together other organizations which were not necessarily refugee led. In order to claim more space to look critically at the different issues faced by refugee organizations and have more time to address them we opted in this May 2016 to create the Refugee Led Organization Network which is aiming at strengthening the capacity of refugees in order to respond positively to tasks ahead of them not only towards their fellow refugees about also to the host communities.
Statistics of Refugees
As per 2016, there was nearly twenty million displaced people around the world. In Uganda where this network has started there is an estimated number of 968,997 displaced people from different countries while the majority of these refugees come from the South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda, Eritrea, Ethiopia among others. More than 90,000 refugees are in urban areas especially in Kampala where they are expected to live on their own.
“A better and safer world for refugees”
“We exist to unite organizations working with refugees around the world, especially smaller and less established organizations, so that they might benefit from each other and therefore have a positive impact on the refugee community”
- Capacity building by sharing of experiences, knowledge, data and opportunities with Refugee led organizations
- Advocacy and lobbying on behalf of Refugee led organizations
- Contribute to policy making affecting refugees
- Fundraising and resource mobilization both locally and internationally
- Outreach to refugees in the communities through various programs.
- Team work