Mbeleni is a Kiswahili word meaning “the future”.
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, 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.
A Stake holders consultative meeting in Kyaka II refugee settlement.
Compelled by this situation, Mbeleni was inspired to join the force to contribute to bridging the gaps and particularly focus her activities on community socio-economic justice and development. Mbeleni contributes to the realization of community wellbeing with focus on Women and girls, children, and youths within refugee settlements, the host communities and other populations affected by conflicts, disease, poverty and natural disasters.