Uganda has developed a remarkable approach to support refugees: instead of placing them in camps, refugees are provided with small plots of land to build homes and cultivate. This has been proven to be a much more effective way for refugees to not only access shelter, but also to become self-sufficient and create new lives for themselves.
The majority of refugees who have adopted this program come from Sudan and DR Congo. These individuals are provided with support from the Ugandan government, which includes allotment of land, access to water sources, and help with building supplies for their homes. Furthermore, they gain rights to own the land given within certain limits ensuring security and stability.
This policy is proving hugely successful in improving the lives of those who choose to take part in it. By providing a sense of permanence and security, these people are able to build meaningful futures for themselves despite their difficult situations. With enough time many of them manage to start businesses or find jobs outside their homes thus becoming economically independent and contributing back into the Ugandan economy.
Given this incredible success story it’s no surprise that several filmmakers have already documented this novel refugee policy through documentaries such as Return from Exile (2015). This eye-opening film follows six Sudanese families as they journey towards Uganda in search of a better life – ultimately finding the promise of home ownership through resettlement on small plots of land given by the Ugandan government. It’s an inspiring journey that will leave viewers feeling humbled by the resilience and strength demonstrated by those involved in this revolutionary program.
We urge you to watch Return from Exile (2015) or similar documentaries profiling Uganda’s unique refugee policy – you will come away with an understanding not only about the people’s remarkable capabilities but also about how much can be achieved when governments work together with civil society organizations towards humanitarian solutions that benefit all parties involved.