The Salam Music Program is located in the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement, in Northern Uganda, which is the largest refugee camp in Africa. Playing For Change Foundation has partnered with local NGO Sina Loketa to bring access to music and arts education to the youth of the settlement. In 2021, we initiated musical activities for about 60 youth by hiring a music teacher ( vocals, guitar, keyboard ) and a traditional dance teacher.
Sina Loketa is a refugee led Ugandan NGO dedicated through strengthening capacities of young people from the refugee and host communities to become self-reliant and develop social enterprises.
Through this partnership PFCF and Sina Loketa have been implementing a unique music program in the settlement and have been working on other areas such as sustainable agro farming, PSEA training workshops and community events.
VIDEO OVERVIEW: TAKE A VISIT AT THE SALAM MUSIC PROGRAM
LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY
The Bidi Bidi Refugee settlement, in Northern Uganda, is the largest refugee camp in Africa and was the largest refugee camp in the world until the Rohingya crisis in 2018. Bidi Bidi has quickly become the newest city in the world, now hosting almost 300,000 inhabitants after being created only in 2016. The vast majority of refugees are South Sudanese who have fled the ongoing civil conflict. Others come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Somalia. Most of the population in Bidi Bidi are children under the age of 18, with limited or no access to education, cultural activities, job opportunities, or the internet.
TEAM ON THE GROUND
MEET WITH SYLVAIN
Sylvain Himbana was born in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2010 he left his home country to reach Uganda as a refugee, where he co-founded Sina Loketa, to support the lives or refugees and disadvantaged communities in northern Uganda. Sylvain has helped in the creation of multiple refugee-led social enterprises, resulting in new economic opportunities for dozens of other refugees in Bidi Bidi.
AGRO FARMING PROJECT
In 2021, SINAL and PFCF have started to develop an agro farming project dedicated to develop training sustainable farming. With the decrease of the UN World Food Program this year, refugees will primarily depend on consuming their own-produced food stocks and selling their stocks for income. To help face this situation, Loketa Agrofarming has implemented a training program targeted to a core contingent of 50 women and 70 local farmers. The training covers the full scope of the food production process: sowing, culture, processing, and local sale to help generate complementary revenues for refugees. One of the aspects of the projects is orientated towards oil production.
Just a few days after receiving new elementary recording equipment, our music teacher Victor started experimenting audio recordings with his students and local musicians.
Victor has also been using the Online recording tool Soundtrap in order to remotely collaborate to recording sessions created by other PFCF program in East Africa, the Ubuntu Music program in Rwanda. One of the main focus of the collaboration is recording a version of the East African gospel Song Mambo Sawa Sawa.
This program is targeting women and girls between 16 to 30 years old who are victims of sexual exploitation or abuse, all come from diverse backgrounds and live in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. Some are former orphans, former street children, former sex workers, HIV positive and many had to go through very difficult circumstances in their recent past until reaching Uganda. The project will also produce and distribute nearly 2,000 information, education and communication (IEC) materials in English and Kawa languages which included T-shirts, posters, pamphlets, videos, and radio shows to reach at least 3,000 people in Bidi Bidi by the end of 2022.