Nakivale, Uganda


Self-organized space for refugees, by refugees, to create opportunities

Over 100,000 people from a dozen African nations live in the Nakivale Refugee Settlement.  Opened in 1958, the 71 square-mile camp has become a city in its own right. In many ways, it’s more peaceful and better organized than the places the exiles fled from. But with little to do as they wait for re-settlement, often for years, the asylum-seekers can benefit from inspiration.

Refugee Opportunity Hub

Some in Nakivale have recognized the potential around them. Opportunigee is a self-organized space where refugees help each other meet immediate needs and reach for long-term goals.  Collaborating with Shadowman, founder Patrick Muvunga Trickpa and his team are providing necessary inspiration and support.

We help people to get used to identifying challenges in this community, and with their passions they create solutions to those problems.


Communal Space For All

Originally fostered by the Social Innovation Academy (SINA), Opportunigee is now using the SINA empowerment framework in collaboration with Shadowman to create stable programming within Nakivale, which includes:

*  Tutorials in sanitation, hygiene and water conservation.

*  Instruction in making clothes, including knitting sweaters for newborns.

*  Guidance in making and distributing sanitary pads.

* Education in higher-yield sustainable farming.

* Coaching for microfinance candidates developing business concepts.

* Photography and filmmaking lessons — giving refugees the tools to tell their own stories.

* Dance and yoga instruction.

* Soccer and basketball programs.

The Rise of Shadowman

Opportunigee has also partnered with Habitas|RISE to build Uhuru Land, an amphitheater for performances, film screenings, sports telecasts, cultural gatherings and community discussion.  With a music festival forthcoming, Uhuru Land is quickly becoming Nakivale’s pulsing town square with additional energy provided by Promise Hub. Nearby you’ll find a replica Shadowman Van, assembled by residents with recycled plastic bottle bricks.  It all adds up to a vibrant demonstration of the hope that people can find in themselves.

I’m doing poetry to change peoples lives, to give them hope. It’s also a way for me to generate money to sustain the Nakivale Futbol Academy and my life as a refugee.