While the rest of the world commemorated the World Refugee Day (WRD) and the World Environment Day (WED) on 20th June 2019 and 5th June 2019 respectively. Rotary Uganda in conjunction with Mission Green commemorated both days on 25th June at Kampiringisa National Rehabilitation Center, located a few kilometers off Mpigi road with a total of 181 juveniles, 170 boys and 11 girls.
The event was graced with participation from different Partners in the Refugee response and these included OPM, UNHCR, DCA, Inter-Aid Uganda, Raising Gabdho Foundation (RGF) UGAFODE Microfinance and CAFOMI team which constituted Chris Kayongo Finance and Admin Manager, Emmanuel Tibaire Livelihood & Environment Advisor, Florence Namugere Protection Coordinator, Nicholas Shawn Mugarura M&E COMMs Assistant and Vivian Aita Vol. M&E COMMs.
According to Sarah Basemera, one of the coordinators of the commemoration exercise, the Rehabilitation facility takes care of both Ugandan and Refugee children making it an ideal venue for the day, since there is cooperation and linkage between the refugee and Ugandan youth at the center.
“We believe that children are the best agents of the multiplier effect, so we thought that empowering the young ones with the importance of trees and maintaining them would help spread the message of trees because the children would eventually tell and teach their parents about the activity.” She further explained.
The day had a number of activities well lined up for execution and these included; a youth dialogue between the refugees and youth at Kampiringisa on how environment change affects them and possible solutions, sensitization on environment change and fruit tree planting.
Participants were asked to choose between the youth dialogue and tree planting. Those who opted for the tree planting activity, planted 100 fruit tree seedlings and the children from the rehabilitation center contributed so tremendously by digging holes for planting.
In the dialogue, Florence Namugere, our protection coordinator, took lead in the session by sensitizing participants about the benefits of trees in the environment. There was commendable response from the youth showing interest and commitments in preserving the already planted fruit trees at the rehabilitation center and beyond.
Trees can stop runaway, global heating, encourage rainfall, guarantee clean water, reduce air pollution, and provide livelihoods for local people and reserves for rare wildlife. The Government in partnership with organizations are looking up to the potential of “natural climate solutions” reforestation and other ecological restoration to capture carbon and tackle the climate crisis. Such solutions could provide 37% of the greenhouse gas mitigation required to provide a good chance of stabilizing global heating.