The Enterprise department works with 9 refugee community-based organisations (CBOs) across 12 locations in Kenya and Uganda; including 3 in Kakuma Refugee Camp, 1 in Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement, 1 in Imvepi Refugee Settlement, 3 in Nairobi and 1 in Kampala.
Our partnerships with these organisations focus on sharing skills that serve to improve community engagement and enterprise among refugees in East Africa. In response to the barriers refugees face in attaining livelihoods and generating income, Xavier Project has developed the ‘Community Enterprise Cycle’ (CEC), which works by supporting the effort of these refugee-run organisations to improve livelihoods and income among their own communities.
Development of the CEC has come after years of working closely with refugee community groups. Xavier Project has come to understand that building the capacity of existing CBOs to better engage their own communities is a more sustainable and effective method of achieving Xavier Project’s mission. We believe supporting these organisations is a more cost effective, more creative, more empowering way of working than direct implementation models, and we believe the best way to achieve lasting change.
Community Enterprise Cycle
Step 1 includes partnership formation with individual CBOs, assessment of their operational gaps, and first-stage capacity building. This can be anything from donating furniture and learning materials to training key staff.
Step 2 is the training of foundational skills, for both course participants and CBO staff. XP supports CBO teaching activities – e.g. their literacy classes – and provides additional curriculums and teacher training support in line with the CBO’s own aims. XP also builds the capacity of CBO staff in these areas where necessary, particularly in the areas of finance and computer skills.
Step 3 sees graduates from Step 2 and CBO staff given specific technical skills that can help them generate more income and leverage more opportunities.
Step 4 encapsulates sustainability for both XP and the CBOs themselves, as well as scalability of the CEC concept. Through increase in capacity, income and opportunities afforded by Steps 1, 2 and 3, the CBOs become more sustainably run (financially and practically). XP facilitates collation of “lessons learned” during implementation and shares them with other CBOs in the CEC network. Trainers and participants alike give us feedback to iterate on course content – or contribute to course content themselves – the fruits of which are likewise shared among the CEC network.
Participants who say the learning centres we support are the only accessible learning centre in their area
Participants said taking their courses helped them get more money in their jobs
Participants who said taking their course helped them get a job
Participants that said their course helped them start a business
Participants said their course helped them access to higher educational opportunities
Participants said their course helped them participate in online/digital work opportunities
Updates on Education
As part of a 3D printing course that is underway in Kakuma Refugee Camp, some of the students have developed products that they can sell to generate their own income.
Eldoma Dawood, Education Officer in Imvepi, Uganda, reflects on the importance of nurturing a trusting relationship between Humanitarian Organisations and Refugee Communities through effective response in times of crisis.