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Refugees Lives: New Beginnings, New Opportunities

By Kelly Jennings-Robinson

Senga and Niragine are farmers in Nakivale in Uganda. They also happen to be refugees who are building a new life for their family. They have faced many challenges, but they are strong, resilient. Senga and Niragine are just starting out on their journey with Opportunity International through our new project.  Here is the beginning of their story, but it is certainly not the end. 

Senga and Niragine


We came to Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006. We have four children aged 2, 4, 6, and 8 years. We came because soldiers were coming and killing people in the neighbourhood where we lived, so we had to run to save our lives.  We could hear gunshots and we lost 12 relatives during that time.

I’ve always been a vegetable farmer and today we plant cabbage, green peppers, onions, carrots and other vegetables. Tomatoes are my favourite because they get a good price at market. 

If we could have a loan, we would buy more land so that we could get more harvest. Our dream would be to have enough money to start a grocery store. A loan would mean our children could get a quality education.  We would be an example to our community! 

Senga and Niragine


For many people, like Senga and Niragine, that dream of a loan is becoming a reality. We are now working with refugees in the Nakivale and Kiriondongo settlements to provide a variety of financial products, training and servies. These services will enable families to grow businesses and become more financially secure… in a very insecure world! 

Photos by Helen Manson


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