The biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seen is happening right now. More than 65 million people are forced away from their homes. Many of them are children. One of the worst hit countries is South Sudan. The country’s independent history is short, but most of it has been spent at war. Right now, more than a third of the population is displaced – that’s more than four million people. Three out of four South Sudanese children are out of school. The refugees are under enormous pressure. They have all experienced terrible things during their flight, and they are fighting the traumas.
Education can provide stability in crisis, especially for children and youth, by giving them a chance to come back to familiar routines. It builds resilience in communities and empowers the population through skills development, increasing their chances to find employment in the future and instills hope for a better future.
Conflict doesn’t only affect refugees but also the host communities that welcomes the refugees and has to find ways to coexist and share resources with the many newcomers. Uganda is a role model when it comes to their migration and refugee policies and recognized worldwide for its open door policy. More than one million South Sudanese have taken refuge in Uganda who also hosts large number of refugees from DRC and Burundi. Being themselves a developing country, Uganda is struggling to meet the needs of the refugees and the influx is adding a severe pressure on the host communities adding to their risk of falling into conflict or extreme poverty.
There is a high pressure on the existing education system in Uganda which is stretched beyond capacity to accommodate the high number of children and youth at school age, and limited capacity to provide quality education that meets the specific needs of the refugees.
Through the EU funded project Resilient Learners, Teachers and Education Systems in South Sudan and Uganda, 35.000 children and adolescents in South Sudan and Uganda will get a chance for a better future. Refugee children will go to school together with children from the host communities. They will learn how to read and write, they will receive psycho-social support and they’ll become active citizens who can make progress in their own lives. Together they can create peace and rebuild their communities. With education they can also combat the poverty and inequality in their countries.
It takes qualified teachers and robust educational structures to offer quality education, especially in conflict affected areas. Teacher support and teacher training is therefore core to this project that targets both Ugandan and South Sudanese teachers – in South Sudan or in refugee camps in Uganda. They need proper frameworks and training in education in emergencies, in how to provide accelerated learning and how to give psycho-social support to children. 1000 teachers will be trained within this project and local communities will be strengthened to support the schools during the crisis.
Country: South Sudan and Uganda
Conflicts, human rights violations and environmental degradation often follow when companies extract oil, minerals and renewable energy in Latin America. A new project, funded by the EU aims at promoting dialogue between civil society, governments and businesses and ensuring compliance with the UN's guidelines for human rights and business.
In the past, Oxfam IBIS primarily focused on supporting the native people whose houses and livelihoods were annexed and destroyed when mines, oil drilling, hydroelectric power plants and wind farms were established. With the support of the EU, Oxfam IBIS and its partners are now also in dialogue with companies and governments in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.
The aim is to ensure the implementation of the adopted international standard, namely the UN's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, with particular focus on extractive industries and indigenous people’s rights. In addition to the companies and the national authorities, the partners in the project will strengthen the capacity of the organizations of indigenous people to negotiate with companies and authorities.
The project is carried out in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, seeking to influence key governments in the region such as the United States and delegates from the European Union, to take into account the proposals of the organizations of indigenous people and local communities are addressed. In addition awareness will be raised about the criminalization and violations of the rights of indigenous people and communities affected by extractive projects. Constructive dialogue between the parties will ensure that indigenous people and other locals are involved and consulted before concessions are approved.
Gender justice is an integral part of the project by strengthening the organizational representations of indigenous and non-indigenous women to defend their territories and rights. Women are the most affected because of the inter-sectional discrimination they face (gender, ethnicity, poverty and inequality) in the 3 countries, and therefore they are of particular concern for this project.
Geographical area: Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico
Burkina Faso ranks 183th out of 189 on the 2018 Human Development Index and 14th among the poorest according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (2018). Strong inequalities persist with respect to life expectancy, education and income levels. The weak capacity of the State to manage national resources and public resources in a transparent and equitable manner further exacerbates the situation. Increased levels of citizen and civil society participation, and a better understanding of policies and budget processes, can enable the citizens of Burkina Faso to influence decision making processes and to hold governments accountable for gaps in the budget policies.
Through the EU funded project PAGPS, Oxfam IBIS will, in collaboration with National NGO’s in Burkina Faso, contribute to the eradication of poverty and inequality in Burkina Faso by fueling public debate on good economic governance and monitoring public policies. Citizen participation in policy and decision making is crucial to obtain positive social change
The project is developed in a national context marked by a strong social demand for transparency and accountability on the management of public goods. Through this project trust between the government and civil society actors including the population will be strengthened. The aim of the project is to strengthen civil society as an agent of change capable of leading governments to implement fair, transparent and pro-poor public policies. Key elements are promotion of transparency, access to information, and the establishment of mechanisms for citizen participation and monitoring in decision-making processes.
Through this project civil society is expected to become an active partaker in the fight against inequality and empower the population of Burkina Faso to influence the government and their budget policies, taking into account the needs expressed by the people at grassroots level and allocating sufficient financial resources for these needs, including sectors such as education and health.