Deriving Fulfillment Through Hygiene Promotion -Samuel

By Angela Kateemu Nuwahereza 

I arrived in Uganda from South Sudan in February 2016 and on that same day, my family and I were given a plot of land in Imvepi Settlement to start a new life. I live here with my three brothers, my wife and son Joshua.

Two months after I settled here, I became an Oxfam field-based volunteer. You see, before I fled to Uganda, I worked in the Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) sector in South Sudan. With this experience, I applied for a job which I successfully acquired. Even more exciting is the way this opportunity has changed my life. Initially, having nothing to do - on top of being displaced - made me feel inadequate, and dissatisfied. However, becoming a community mobiliser with Oxfam brought me to greater levels of fulfilment. As a field-based mobiliser, my responsibilities include promoting proper hygiene practices, awareness creation and prevention of public health diseases like cholera, typhoid, diarrhea, among others. From Oxfam trainings, I am now abe to build the capacity of other hygiene promoters.

One of the biggest challenges I have seen is the negative reception of some community members to constructing and using latrines, as well as some families’ inability to construct them (due to disability and old age). Regardless, we continue to sensitise community members to change their mindsets, one at a time.

My dream is to see every refugee in Imvepi having an ideal homestead- one with proper waste disposal facilities. This in a way validates my work as a health promoter and will benefit the community members health-wise.

Oxfam, with funding from European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), is leading a consortium of partners to implement an integrated WASH, Shelter and protection response to South Sudan Refugee and host communities in Bidibidi, Imvepi and Rhino Camp settlements in Uganda. The EU humanitarian assistance helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year.

The European Commission’s humanitarian aid department provides funding for projects run by its partners in the field to cover the needs of the most vulnerable. Through the work of Oxfam in Uganda, the Commission supports the provision of safe water, proper sanitation and hygiene measures, which are essential for survival and prevention of diseases