SHA has joined with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to work with a pilot group of 300 refugees in Zambia, to help them build small businesses and become self-sufficient.
The new project, based in a long-established refugee camp in North-Western Zambia, focuses primarily on teaching farming skills to these refugees, along with the literacy and financial skills necessary to run these businesses. This approach to helping refugees build their own businesses and move away from income-dependency - known as the Graduation Approach - has been successful in a number of other countries worldwide but this is the first time it has been tried in Zambia.
This first group of refugees have been given an allotment of land, on which they grow crops and tend small animals. The program of intensive supports and training lasts 24 months, at which stage refugees are expected to 'graduate' to self-sufficiency, away from reliance on food aid within the camp. In the medium term, it is expected that the refugees will move out of the camp structure and build homes on these farms.