Without having lived as a refugee, there are certain assumptions about the hardships that refugees endure. Most refugees arrive at the reception centres in new countries having fled war, terrorists or natural disasters, having lost everything they have ever owned. Many only have the clothes on their back.
Over 2.3 million refugees, 80% of them women and children have fled South Sudan following armed conflict in the area. In Uganda at the Imvepi refugee
settlement, thousands of South Sudanese refugees have fled to the camp in desperate need of aid.
Life in a refugee settlement
Upon arrival, they are given blankets, plastic sheeting for shelter, poles and sleeping mats (non-food items or nfi’s). Food rations are handed out by
humanitarian aid organisations working at the camp.
For many refugees, while they are incredibly grateful for these supplies, a few additional non-food items provided by JAM make all the difference. We met up with a young 22-year-old woman named Sina Khemis to understand how JAM’s non-food item contributions had helped her.
“Imagine, sneaking down to the stream late at night to take a bath because there were no containers to fetch water or even bath. We risked snakebites, being
attacked or even being raped and killed as we tried to clean ourselves.” Sina says.
“While we are grateful for what we have been given, not having sanitary and hygiene supplies starts eating at your dignity as a woman.” Sina comments.
Sina and her mother would sometimes face days of hunger as they bartered some of their food rations with the local Ugandans for soap and cooking
utensils to cook the food rations they had been given.
But since the JAM non-food item package has arrived, Sina and her family now have a water container which enables them to fetch water during the day and bath in safety. They have soap and sanitary products that help them maintain their basic human dignity and provide them with the hygiene they need to stay healthy.
Sina and her family also now have cooking utensils so they need not barter their precious food away.
The JAM non-food items have enabled Sina and her family to plan ahead so they need not go hungry and provided them with the small, yet vital hygiene
comforts needed to preserve their dignity.
Sina in front of her home with her JAM provided NFI’s