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Empowering Refugee Teen Mothers: Building a Self-Sustaining Vocational Hub in Nakivale
Our Tagline: "Empowering Refugees, Building Futures" "Skills for Self-Reliance, Hope for Tomorrow" "Transforming Lives Through Education and Empowerment" "Creating Opportunities, Fostering Resilience" "From Refugee Camps to Thriving Communities" "Together for Self-Sustaining Refugee Communities" "Empower, Educate, Elevate" "Building Skills, Building Lives" "Hope and Opportunity for All" "Supporting Dreams, Building Futures"
Project High-Level Pitch: YAREN Vocational Training Hub for Refugee Empowerment Project Overview: YAREN Organisation LTD, founded by Muganuzi Mushongole Adonis in 2017, is dedicated to empowering refugee teenage mothers, women, and youth in the Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda. Our mission is to provide access to education, vocational training, and entrepreneurship skills, enabling high-risk communities to achieve self-resilience and sustainable livelihoods. Problem Statement: Nakivale Refugee Settlement, established in 1958, is one of the oldest and largest refugee settlements in Uganda, hosting over 171,387 refugees from various countries. Despite its long history, the settlement faces significant challenges, including limited access to education, protection issues, poor water quality, and inadequate financial institutions. The lack of vocational skills and employment opportunities hinders the development and self-reliance of the residents, particularly vulnerable groups like teenage mothers, who face numerous hardships, including unwanted pregnancies, lack of occupation, and social rejection. Project Goals: Construct a Vocational Training Hub: Build a dedicated facility with two blocks – one for handcrafts and tailoring classes and another for large gatherings, innovation, and computer skills training. Provide Training and Employment: Offer vocational skills training in areas such as sewing, handcrafts, permaculture, and poultry, linking these skills with entrepreneurship to create sustainable income-generating opportunities. Empower Teenage Mothers: Train 3,600 teenage mothers by 2027, providing them with the skills and seed capital to start or scale their businesses, thereby improving their livelihoods and contributing to the hub’s sustainability. Foster Community Resilience: Create a space for learning, innovation, and collaboration, enabling refugees to develop solutions to their challenges, build peace among different nationalities, and shift from being aid recipients to problem solvers. Funding Requirements: To achieve these goals, we seek to raise USD 90,833.00, allocated as follows: Construction of the Vocational Training Hub: USD 8,663.3 Training Programs and Seed Capital: USD 30,000 Hub Equipment: USD 4,290 Administrative Costs for 39 months: USD 47,880 Expected Outcomes: Employment Creation: Over 100 refugees will gain employment through scaled businesses and new ventures. Community Empowerment: Refugees will develop a sense of responsibility and ownership, contributing to the hub's success and their community’s well-being. Sustainable Livelihoods: Beneficiaries will achieve self-reliance, reducing dependency on aid and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship. Enhanced Collaboration: The hub will serve as a platform for refugees from diverse backgrounds to unite, share ideas, and work towards common goals. Join Us: Every action counts. Your support will directly impact the lives of refugees in Nakivale, helping them build a self-sustaining community. Together, we can transform dreams into reality and ensure no one is left behind. Supporters: We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partners and supporters, including Yorghas Foundation, The MBA Academy UK, SUKKI 222 Human Rights Campaigns, Global Water Works, Field Ready, Needslist, CBOs, AYAN, and all the individuals who have believed in our mission from day one. "We Are Because You Are" Let us join forces to build a self-sustaining refugee community together. Every penny donated brings us closer to creating a brighter future for the refugees in Nakivale. Thank you for your support.

My name is Muganuzi Mushongole Adonis, Congolese by Nationality (DRC); I live in Kampala Uganda, where I shifted 3 years ago from Nakivale refugee settlement Uganda where I lived for 6 years. I was able to found YAREN Organisation LTD in 2017 that provides access to education and vocational and entrepreneurship skills to the Teen mom, women, youths as well enabling high risk communities in order to build a self-resilience. YAREN has been able to change thousands and thousands of the lives of the refugees in Nakivale camp Uganda. please watch the video to receive more details . Being in Kampala gave me a best opportunity to thinking on mainly establish the main work place in Kampala as a way to voice for both urban and in the settlement refugees and advocate for them as I can because I know how it feels like to be a refugee without how far our fellows in Rural Communities like in Bugiri District Muwayo Town Council.

Nakivale refugee settlement was established in 1958 and officially recognized as a refugee settlement in 1960 through the Uganda Gazette General Notice. Nakivale refugee settlement is the 8th largest refugee camp in the world.

Nakivale refugee settlement, is approximately 200 km away from Kampala, Uganda's capital. It is one of the oldest refugee settlements in the Uganda. It is estimated at well beyond 180 square kilometers. This enormous area is geographically divided into three administrative zones – Base camp, Juru and Rubondo. These three zones, in turn, contain a total of 74 individual villages and 51,132 households.

It currently hosts 171,387 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.[7] Although many refugees in the area have been living there for several years, recent conflicts in nearby countries are increasing the number of arrivals per day. The majority of refugees in the settlement are Congolese although the population is largely heterogeneous with many cultures and groups from different nationalities. The settlement is divided into 79 villages with an average of 800 to 1,000 people per village.

VISION: Creating a better society by improving living standards, tackling poverty and unemployment, increasing local capacities, and promoting self-resilience among refugees and high-risk communities.

MISSION: To train, promote, and empower high-risk communities with skills that enable them to become self-resilient, stimulate entrepreneurship, and improve sustainable community practices to enhance livelihood opportunities.

GOAL: Empower refugees and high-risk communities to achieve self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods, thereby contributing to the creation of a better society.

YAREN is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting refugees and vulnerable communities since 2017. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have stood strong, navigating through and emerging even more determined to make a difference. Structured initiatives in Education, Health, Hygiene, Livelihood, Women Empowerment, and Humanitarian Aid.

YAREN the former Young African Refugee Entrepreneurs Network, Historically is a result of a dream, “In a dream, I saw I was leading an organization called YAREN that helps people in difficult situations, such as war survivors, sick individuals, rejected people, and those in conflict. The organization brings these people together, provides them with skills, and empowers them. In the dream, I witnessed the transformation of these individuals: they were happy, smarter, and their lives changed for the better. I woke up and wrote about this in my book tonight. This dream became a reality in April 2017…” Muganuzi Mushongole Adonis.

Challenges: when YAREN started, we started we were providing all the services to our fellow refugees for free to make them believe in change by acquiring knowledge, and see that value that it can create in the lives of the lives of our target groups especially teen mothers, children, women and youth. We thought about sustainability as it is stated by our vision to create a better society by enabling high risk communities, in 2022 we were able to purchase a plot where to construct a hub that will be opened to many opportunities of skilling to support teen mothers and Youth as support as many refugees as possible to have access to quality skilling opportunities and being self-sustainable.

These Teen Mothers are aged of 13 to 17 Years Old, facing the lack of occupation, lack of money to respond on their needs, as being victim of an unwanted pregnancy, lack of food that push them to give their body, victim of rap, being misled and not-oriented, expressing pain affecting them, after being victim of such scenario most found are rejected from their own family, lying by boys and men, Stress, frustration and trauma, Rejected from their colleagues and school friends becoming as bad example for others.

Due the current situation where by refugee receives less than $5 a month for food but they mentioned that if they are given opportunity learn different skills they can be able to support the Hub and sustain their lives. And that is when we introduced different programs including vocational skills (Sewing, handcrafts and English classes), we are also thinking on Permaculture and poultry. W are looking to link all these vocational skills with entrepreneurship which will help more than 100 teen mothers to start contributing to Hub and by now we have been able to generate yet 8 Iron sheets out of 65 Iron Sheet, our services are facing challenges to progress due to the financial limitations that does not facilitate us to expand our service by paying much on the rentals and fail to sustain the payment of the working staff’s salaries which comprises of 13 team members with volunteers.

The current challenge is that we don't have enough space to train because the place that we normally have been using was costing much renting for the trainings and was not enough with its places. And also lack of finances to support the entrepreneurship ideas have brought them to discouragements mainly the entrepreneurs teen mothers trained. They have great business ideas and have prototyped but they lack capital to boost their businesses and being able to generate more income. We have realized that if we want to provide quality services to Nakivale community, the parents of teen mothers and teens mothers as well all beneficiaries should feel responsible for the success of the Hub, yes they may feel responsible but by how support them to be able to support the Hub in return.


This project aims at providing a safe learning space to the refugees who have already started their small business to scale and generate more income and create more jobs for other refugees. It will also help those who have never started anything and are still struggling to sustain their family to generate concrete business ideas and being able to start especially the teen mothers. The project will enable us to build a Hub and train the first and second cohorts and each cohort will have 30 Teen mothers which means 30 businesses will be improved and employ more refugees and other 30 teen mothers will be able to start their own small businesses to help them sustain their family needs and supporting the Hub to keep enabling this at risk community.


  1. The project aims to construct a vocational training hub for refugee teenage mothers, women, and youth in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Uganda. The lack of skills guidelines is hindering their development and employment opportunities.
  2. This project is to build a Big Hub that can accommodate our services. The building will be with two blocks where one will be with classes for hand crafts and designing for tailoring, and another one will be having one main big hall for the sessions or events that gather so many people together, for conferences, celebrations, storytelling as well different manifestations this and another small room that will be used as an innovation and computer room where people will be sited to work on their proposals, making researches and learning different computer skills. the construction will cost USD 8.663.3, the refugees will do all job and this will be a ways to provide them employment during the construction. This will enable more than 20 youth being able to provide for their families.
  3. Nakivale Refugee Settlement faces challenges like limited access to education, protection issues, poor water quality, and limitation of adequate financial institutions, but this hub will be a space where to learn much on how to create solutions to these challenges.
  4. On another angle of this hub is to train those teen mothers who have already started businesses on how to scale their businesses and providing them with seed capital, and create more jobs. With a goal to train 3600 teen mothers by 2027. After training there will always be a pitching panel where ten businesses that employ and have great chances to succeed will be given boost capital.
  5. Training teen mothers who have never started but willing to start businesses on how to generate concrete business ideas and helping them to prototype. We are looking at using USD 30,000 for the trainings and seed and boost capitals.
  6. We are also looking to equip the hub for the better functionality for the amount of USD 4.290
  7. For a period of 39 months we are looking to sustain the working conditions for administration cost of 47,880 USD
    A goal amount for this fundraising is 90, 833.00 USD                   


• This project will provide employment to more than 100 refugees in Nakivale as the businesses are scaled more people are hired and once their employed. It is easier for them to sustain their family needs and supporting YAREN to keep provide quality service to the community.

• This project will enable people from different background to come together and think a ways to overcome their current challenges they are facing as refugees.
• This project will enable the Hub to keep paying the workers and providing the materials needed the learners to access, skilling opportunities since there will be a best way for source of incomes.

• This project will change the perspective on how refugees see the world from waiting to receive support to being responsible to solve their problems, and becoming more of problems solvers and only not beggars. This project will make them understand that they have a big role to play for their better future.

• This project will build Peace among the different nations that live in Nakivale and helping them understanding that the change can only happen if all people come and work together. "EVERY ACTION COUNTS"

Any penny donated will go directly to improve the lives of the refugees in Nakivale refugee settlement but also will be helpful to sustain our work in Uganda. We thank all those that have been supporting all our work since day one and we couldn't be here without your support:
Yorghas Foundation
• The MBA Academy UK
• SUKKI 222 Human Rights Campaigns
• Global Water Works
• Field Ready
• Needslist
• CBOs
• And All the individual that have been supporting our efforts.

" WE ARE BECAUSE YOU ARE" let us join our efforts and build and Self-sustaining refugee community together, and no one should be left behind.

Project Launch Date: June 28, 2024
How can people help? People can be involved through: Donate: We receive financial contributions and are critical to building and sustaining the vocational training hub. Donations will go directly towards construction, training programs, and seed capital for refugee businesses, Volunteer: We accept volunteers who are ready to share their or your time and skills by volunteering at YAREN. We welcome professionals in education, vocational training, entrepreneurship, and other relevant fields to mentor and train refugees. Partner with Us: Organizations and businesses can collaborate with YAREN to provide resources, expertise, and support for our programs. Partnership opportunities include sponsoring training programs, providing equipment, and offering internship or employment opportunities to our graduates. Spread the Word: Help us raise awareness about the challenges faced by refugees in Nakivale as well in Uganda and the impact of YAREN’s initiatives. Share our mission and updates on social media, and encourage your network to support our cause. Attend Our Events: Participate in our fundraising events, workshops, and community gatherings. These events not only raise funds but also foster a sense of community and shared purpose. In-Kind Donations: Contribute materials and supplies needed for our training programs, such as sewing machines, fabric, computers, and educational resources, motorcycle for field work, vehicle (car) for fields around Uganda, like from Kampala to Nakivale for transport facilitation. Advocate: Use your voice to advocate for policies and initiatives that support refugees and high-risk communities. Engage with policymakers, support refugee rights, and promote social inclusion. Contact Information: For more information on how to get involved, please visit our website or contact us at Together, we can make a difference and empower refugees to build a brighter future.
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Nakivale Refugee Settlement South West Isingiro District of Uganda