Supporting refugees

LABE, a non-governmental organisation in Uganda

Here at Comic Relief we have a long proud history of supporting refugees. We’ve been funding projects working with refugees in the UK since 1993, and made our first international grant to support people displaced by conflict in 2006. In total, we have made almost £30 million in grants to fund projects that help to give people hope and provide them with the opportunity to rebuild lives that have been shattered by war, oppression and conflict.

Today marks World Refugee Day and we want to take this opportunity to spotlight one of the many amazing organisations we fund, and hear first-hand their experience of supporting refugees.

‘Working for an organisation that can help people in real need.’

“I work in a small local Non-Governmental Organisation in Uganda called Literacy and Adult Basic Education (LABE). We work with young people, parents and the community to promote literacy and increase access to education.

It’s been an exceptionally difficult time for us this past year to continue the work that we do and help the people we work with because of the famine that struck East Africa. We have had an influx of refugees from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, officially new arrivals in March 2017 averaged more than 2,800 daily, which in turn has put more strain on our resources.

These refugees have been badly affected by the famine, even worse than those within our communities. They, of course, have had to deal with the brutality of the war they have witnessed and fled. Even though we are all struggling to get by I have seen great welcome within the community. Families we work with continue to receive their refugee relatives informally in their homes. They seem to take their cue from an African proverb; ‘If relatives help each other, what evil can hurt them?’

Our organisation can see the struggles of these families and desperately want to help. We have recently been awarded £60,000 from Comic Relief to support families who do not have enough to eat.

We have been training parents to manage the food resources this money has bought in and ensure that families most in need are receiving enough food. This has been a community effort with everyone coming together to help. I am glad to be working for an organisation that can help people in real need, as well as in a place that is supportive and welcoming in the face of difficulties.”

Stellah Keihangwe Tumewbaze, Executive Director of Literacy and Adult Basic Education (LABE).