These sounds of happiness don’t come from any Ugandan in their mother country, but, grateful and hopeful South Sudanese refugees. Some, young adults, others elderly and many children as well as expectant mothers who were relocated to the reception centre from Ngomoromo collection point. This comes after the official opening of Plabek reception centre and settlement in Lamwo district, Northern Uganda. ay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes).
Salesian missionaries are providing five chapels and working to set up a nursery and primary school in the Palabek Refugee Camp in northern Uganda. The refugee camp is currently hosting 34,000 South Sudanese refugees. The camp was officially set up in April 2016 to reduce congestion in larger refugee camps in the north-western corner of Uganda. Uganda hosts close to 1.3 million refugees within its boundaries. ABC News reports that Uganda now has more refugees than Greece, Turkey or any other country in the world at the height of last year’s crisis in Europe.
Salesian missionaries working within the refugee camp report that 86 percent of the refugees there are women and children. The elderly comprise two percent. There are very few men but a significant number of teenage boys are among the population. After reporting to the security, each household of five people is given a shelter and few household items. Shelters are made of tarpaulin roofs and walls are held together with sticks and nails. Each household is given 30×30 meters of land as well as 100 liters of water a day to manage all the home needs.
The archbishop of Gulu recently appointed Salesian Father Lazar Arasu as the chaplain of the refugees in the archdiocese. Salesian missionaries founded five chapels in the camp including St. John Bosco, Mary Help of Christians, Holy Cross, Daniel Comboni and Mother Theresa. The chapels are used for Catholic mass as well as a meeting place for young women and their children. There are games for youth, community meetings on peace issues and agriculture activities. Salesian missionaries are in the process of setting up nursery and primary schools. The goal is additional vocational training will follow.