South Sudan: Sheltering the Vulnerable


CARE International in Uganda reaches out to the most vulnerable in the emergency response following the recent influx of thousands of South Sudanese Refugees into northern Uganda. 

CARE provides shelters; each built with a latrine and refuse-pit, to persons with special needs living in the Rhino Refugee Settlement. An integrated approach ensures that CARE targets primarily women heads of households, single mothers, separated children the elderly, and the disabled. The onset of the emergency in December 2013 was marked by waves of new arrivals of South Sudanese Refugees into the Rhino Refugee Settlement in the West Nile region of Uganda. Many refugees slept under trees while others were seen erecting makeshift shelters using old fabric materials and sticks. CARE gears its emergency response towards improving the living conditions of those most vulnerable, particularly women and children refugees who make the majority of the population found in clusters within the settlement

Steven Gai is 27 years old and lived in Juba, South Sudan when he had to flee the fighting that erupted in the city in late 2013. After a transit in Adjumani, in the West Nile region of Uganda, he finally reached the Ocea Refugee Reception Centre in Arua district, where he found himself alone, having left his relatives in South Sudan.

Steven used makeshift crutches, before receiving a wheelchair in 2005 while being a refugee in eastern Kenya. He has been using the same chair ever since. 


Today, Steven lives in his shelter home provided by CARE, situated near the office where he volunteers. Now he can better access the services available in the refugee settlement. His new role as a Hygiene Promoter allows him to develop new relationships and be a more effective community leader. Steven says, 

“CARE provided me with a newly built shelter, repaired my wheelchair, and trained me to be a Hygiene Promoter. I am recognized as being one of the leaders of the refugee community because I help people.”