• Gaaniko Samson Jerry

Rhino camp refugees appeal for job opportunities

Gaaniko Samson Jerry, Uganda

South Sudanese refugees in Uganda’s Rhino resettlement camp have appealed for greater employment and work opportunities.

Speaking to press this week, Rhino camp’s welfare chairman Joseph Geu said that young refugees in particular were struggling to earn a living due to lack of jobs.

Life is not easy for the refugees in the camps, since our life depends on hard work’ he said.

Geu noted that although many young people in the camp were qualified and educated, they have no access to jobs.

Refugees receive hand soap in the Rhino camp refugee settlement, Uganda. (photo by Samson Jerry)

‘Job opportunities is a challenge to the youths in the refugees settlement’ he said.

Referring to refugee implementing partners operating in the camp, Geu argues that they recruit mainly from urban areas to the detriment of qualified and competent refugees.

'Many refugees youths has the qualification but when they apply, they are even not shortlisted for the interviews’, Joseph added.

He said that implementing partners do not focus enough on young refugees when recruiting for job openings.

Using the example of agriculture, Geu argued that the land given to refugees by the OPM and UNHCR is not nearly enough. It was noted that plots are on average 30x30, which cannot accommodate both a refugee family and subsistence agriculture plot.

‘Many refugees are willing to do agriculture, but the plots allocated to the refugees do not allow them farm, since they use the same plots for home construction', he said.

He further urged refugee communities in camps to look for other, nearby opportunities instead of waiting for monthly food rations which he claims are being gradually reduced.

Geu also appealed for more support and help from OPM, UNHCR and other implementing partners in the region. Specifically, he noted the propensity of refugees to suffer from unemployment derived food shortages .

'Feeding and dressing, among other things, are a great challenge in the settlement since they are not employed’ he stated.

He further encouraged young refugees to use the little they have and know, and not to spend their time drinking in a worldly fashion.

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