By Devota Uwilagiye

Proving Myself A LEEP Leader

The Country Operation Planning (COP) meeting is an annual 2-day workshop organized by UNHCR that brings together leaders from the Botswana government, Skillshare International Botswana, Botswana Red Cross, the Dukwi refugee camp clinic, and nearby village governments. This year, the COP was held in Mahalapye, a village located between Francistown and Gaborone (the country’s capital). The workshop allows leaders to discuss the challenges that they had faced implementing programs for refugees in the previous years, as well as some of their successes. They then plan for the upcoming two years.

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By Scottie's Place

Inside Rwanda’s Refugee Camps

Part III of III

From January 10 through March 5, 2012, my colleague Matt Vincent and I visited five separate refugee camps in Botswana, Kenya, and Rwanda as the first step in developing the Vulnerable Scholars Program. Over the last month, I’ve been sharing our experiences and findings from the hundreds of interviews we conducted with education and government officials, from representatives at UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and NGO partners, from leaders in the refugee and host communities, and from countless young women and girls seeking desperately to achieve an education. This final post will focus on our visits to the three of the four refugee camps in Rwanda: Kiziba, Gihembe, and Nyabiheke. The fourth camp, Kigeme, was opened in August 2012 after an escalation in violence in and around Goma, a city in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.   Read more

By Scottie's Place

Life in the Kakuma Refugee Camp

Part II of III

From January 10 through March 5, 2012, my colleague Matt Vincent and I visited five separate refugee camps in Botswana, Kenya, and Rwanda as the first step in developing the Vulnerable Scholars Program. I’ll be sharing our experiences and findings from the hundreds of interviews we conducted with education and government officials, from representatives at UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and NGO partners, from leaders in the refugee and host communities, and from countless young women and girls seeking desperately to achieve an education. This week will focus on our visit to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, and next week I will share our findings from three refugee camps in Rwanda: Kiziba, Gihembe, and Nyabiheke.

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By Scottie's Place

Faces of Homelessness

At its most elemental, homelessness is about inadequate housing, insufficient income, and a lack of appropriate social supports. For many of the children who come to Scottie’s Place, homelessness entails a life of extreme poverty, frequent bouts of hunger, greater risk of illness or injury, and the ever-present threat of violence in their homes, neighborhoods and schools.

For the children who come to Scottie’s Place it means lying to their friends about their personal circumstances, living in a car, shack or shelter; it means not having enough money to play sports or purchase hygiene supplies. Sometimes it means that the child manages the family, while the parent succumbs to the demands of their stressful life. It means that many of the children of Scottie’s Place know too much about drug and alcohol addiction, prison time, sex. Many have been in foster care, many have been abused – sexually, physically and emotionally.   Read more

By Scottie's Place

What is Homelessness?

The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates 3.5 million people are homeless in the United States in the course of a year, 39% of whom are children. Our homeless are veterans and senior citizens, babies, toddlers, youngsters, teens. The most representative face of homelessness is a single mother with children. Many homeless individuals are employed, sober, responsible. Others are addicts and alcoholics. Many struggle with health problems and medical bills that dramatically increase their economic vulnerability.

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Proving Myself A LEEP Leader
Inside Rwanda’s Refugee Camps
Life in the Kakuma Refugee Camp
Faces of Homelessness
What is Homelessness?