Integral Responding in Northern Uganda – Update

In February 2017 an Integral Disaster Response was launched for the Northern Uganda refugee crisis. Here’s an update about what has happened through our collaboration since then …

Inside a Medical Teams International health clinic in Palorinya Settlement
© Helen Manson  

In February 2017 an Integral Disaster Response was launched for the Northern Uganda refugee crisis. Uganda is host to more than 800,000 refugees from South Sudan, displaced by ongoing conflict and food insecurity.  Eleven Integral Members opted to be part of the response, and to date we have hosted five conference calls for our Members to coordinate their operations, identify funding gaps and ways to support each other’s work. Integral has been able to map response activities right down to local level. This enables Members to more easily identify where they can complement one another’s work.

As well as sharing information on programmes, Integral provides a platform where our Members can share their photos and stories with one another. This enables all our Members to more cost effectively launch fundraising campaigns in their HQ countries and keep their donors updated. Photos shared include professional images from a journalist provided by Medical Teams International, and also images from Food for the Hungry, Tear Australia, Tearfund New Zealand and World Renew. Recently Helen Manson, from Tearfund New Zealand, visited programmes run by Integral Members and their own partner, Tutapona, in Northern Uganda, gathering media on behalf of the alliance.

Michael Chapman, Medical Teams Programme Manager for Africa and the Middle East, says about this resource: “The photos that Helen Manson from Tearfund NZ shot for us were a huge help as they increased our ability to tell the story of our response well, but in an cost effective way. And beyond the photos she shared, the collaboration between our agencies through that visit, as well as the mutual encouragement in our work, was extremely helpful. The openness to share time, resources, encouragement, and expertise is really beneficial and key to increasing the impact of the Integral Alliance.”

Michael also shares about how through the Integral coordination they received support from CEDAR Fund, our Integral Member in Hong Kong. “Through the Integral teleconferences and information sharing, CEDAR Fund approached Medical Teams to help support our work in northern Uganda. CEDAR Fund has now agreed to fund the construction of three semi-permanent health clinics, as well as purchase equipment and supplies (beds, linens, mattresses) for those new clinics. Improving our clinic facilities has been a key gap in our funding, but a huge need, so this partnership has come just at the right time.”

He continues: “In walking through the process of entering this partnership with CEDAR Fund, it has been clear that the Integral Alliance relationship creates a basis of mutual trust in our work, and enabled the partnering process to be quite quick and smooth compared to non-Integral partnership conversations I’ve been involved with. For me this is a sign of the success of Integral, and this ability to partner quickly and be nimble and responsive is greatly needed especially in the disaster response space.”

The Integral Secretariat is also acting as a bridge to Integral Members’ work on the ground in South Sudan, keeping our in-country group of Country Directors informed on the Integral response for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Jan Eyre, Integral’s Disaster Management and Programme Coordinator says: “It has been heartening to see how our Members have benefited from sharing information, needs and resources for this increasingly desperate situation in Northern Uganda. Large numbers of refugees are still arriving from South Sudan daily. As an Alliance we continue to look at how we can best stand alongside the people of South Sudan, whether in Northern Uganda with those who have fled as refugees, or on the ground in South Sudan itself.”

See here for an infographic of our Integral Response in Northern Uganda

Cedar Fund, Food for the Hungry, Medical Teams International, Tear Australia, Tear NL, Tearfund BE, Tearfund NZ, Tearfund Switzerland, Tearfund UK, World Renew and ZOA.