Mbeleni was started on the recognition of the fact that while there are a number of efforts to address Refugees’ plight in Uganda, the scope is still small. Their access to essential services is inadequate. Access to Health, Education and Psychosocial services still have gaps and efforts to address the alternative livelihood needs of marginalized populations are still wanting. In whole, their Rights are not fully realized.

Mbeleni was founded to act by contributing to these efforts so as to contribute to the well-being of  of refugees and vulnerable populations. Aware of this prevailing situation, Mbeleni, through a family centered approach will contribute to the realization of community wellbeing of women and young girls, children and youth within  refugee settlements, among urban refugees, conflict affected areas, and  their host communities.


Mbeleni was founded by Professor Sarah Dryden Peterson (a then PHD student from Harvard University), and her two research assistants, Kyohairwe Sylvia Bohibwa, a Ugandan and Jacques Bwiira, a Refugee of Congolese origin.

Mbeleni was founded on recognition of the fact that while there are a number of efforts by government, humanitarian agencies and many other diverse stakeholders to address Refugee’s plight in Uganda, the scope is still small and calls for strengthening. Refugees access to essentials services is inadequate and  their rights are not fully realized; Refugee women and young girls', youths and children’s psycho-social, health, educational and economical empowerment needs are not met to the fullest, and their orientation to relevant governing laws and policies need to be popularized.