Supporting South Sudan’s most vulnerable refugees

Steven Gai

Steven Gai is one of many thousands of refugees who have fled to Uganda since fighting broke out in South Sudan nearly six months ago. But what made the already dangerous and exhausting journey that much more difficult for Steven is that he is severely disabled.

After crossing the border, he made it to the Rhino Refugee Settlement in the West Nile region of Uganda. He arrived alone, in a broken wheelchair he had been using for 10 years. The rest of his family are still in South Sudan.

Soon after Steven reached the camp, he began volunteering at Ocea Reception Centre, helping with the screening and registration of new arrivals or assisting health staff tend to fellow refugees. He has recently become a community leader in the settlement.

"CARE provided me with a newly built shelter, repaired my wheelchair, and trained me to be a Hygiene Promoter. I am recognized as being one of the leaders of the refugee community because I help people."

Steven lives in his shelter home provided by CARE, situated near the office where he volunteers. Now he can better access the services available in the refugee settlement. His new role as a Hygiene Promoter allows him to understand and respond to the needs of other refugees.

CARE's work with refugees in Uganda

The onset of the emergency in December 2013 was marked by waves of new arrivals of South Sudanese Refugees into the Rhino Refugee Settlement in the West Nile region of Uganda. When the first refugees started to arrive, many slept under trees while others were seen erecting makeshift shelters using old fabric materials and sticks. CARE was the first to provide emergency assistance in this area since the fighting broke out in South Sudan.

Support for the most vulnerable

CARE International in Uganda reaches out to the most vulnerable in the emergency response following the recent influx of thousands of South Sudanese Refugees into northern Uganda. CARE provides shelters, each built with a latrine and refuse-pit, to persons with special needs living in the Refugee Settlements. CARE gears its emergency response towards improving the living conditions of those most vulnerable: primarily women heads of households, single mothers, separated children, the elderly and the disabled.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.