The Government of Norway and UN Women Uganda Commended for Empowering Women and Girls in Refugee Settings in Uganda


Drama group
A local drama group showcased the effects of GBV through a skit at the launch of the LEAP II project. 

Terego, 14 June 2022: - The Resident District Commissioner for Terego District, Ms. Ajilong B. Modestar has hailed UN Women in Uganda and the Norwegian Embassy in Kampala for partnering to empower women and girls in refugee settings.

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Uganda, at the launch of a four-year project entitled, “Enhanced Women’s Leadership, Empowerment, Access, and Protection” (LEAP) 2021-25, Ms. Ajilong said, “the government has an open-door policy that allows refugees to walk in, settle and work to forge a livelihood. We are therefore thankful to our partners for identifying this important need to empower these women and girls and working to address it through various projects.”

The LEAP project which is funded by the Government of Norway through their Embassy in Uganda will be implemented for four years (2021 – 2025) and is worth 48,000,000 NOK ($5,764,381). The project aims at ensuring that the refugee and host community women and girls affected by crisis, lead, participate in, and benefit from humanitarian response and recovery efforts.

These efforts are in line with the Uganda National Plan of Action of the Comprehensive Refuge Response Framework (CRRF) (2021-25), the Refugee Response Plan (2022-25), the National Action Plan III implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, and drawing on lessons learned from the UN Women’s LEAP I Programme.

Resident District Commissioner signing
RDC Terego District Ms. Ajilong B. Modestar appends her signature to launch the LEAP II project in Terego

In 2017 – 2021, UN Women, with funding from the Government of Norway implemented the first phase of the LEAP Programme in Adjumani and Yumbe which contributed to an increase in the number of women in leadership in the Refugee settlements with 54 percent and 46 percent representation of women on the Refugee Welfare Council (RWC) structures, from 10 and 15 percent representation in Adjumani and Yumbe in 2017 respectively. During this phase 1,333 refuge and host community women also gained literacy and numeracy skills through the English for Adults Programme while 1,544 refugees & 466 host community women improved their incomes after engaging in village savings and loans association and being supported to engage in various business enterprises.

Speaking on behalf of UN Women, the Political Participation and Leadership Specialist, Ms. Agripinner Nandhego said that the UN Women’s mandate in Uganda is centered around empowering women and girls. “We are happy to launch the second phase of the LEAP program to build on the strides made under the first phase and the Norwegian Government for the generous financial support.”

She further recognized the support from key partners that worked with UN Women during phase one of LEAP, including TPO, Refugee Law Project, CARE International, Overcomers Women Association. 

group photo
Participants pose for a group photo at the launch of LEAP II project in Terego District, Uganda

The LEAP II Programme will be implemented in Adjumani, Kyegegwa, Terego, and Yumbe in partnership with Office of Prime Minister, the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework Secretariat, district local governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, local women’s organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector. The Programme will benefit 56,310 refugee and host community (40,610 women and girls and 15,700 men and boys) as direct beneficiaries and 1,300,000 refugee and host community women and men.