Bethsaida Community Church (BCC) was formed in 2003 by a small group of people from the refugee community living in Kampala, Uganda. BCC is a member of Uganda National NGO Forum, registered under the Uganda NGO Act 9456. BCC is involved in the Urban Refugee Development Program-URDP) The BCC was registered as an NGO in Uganda in 2011 and enjoys full recognition by the Uganda Government through the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness. Today, BCC through the Urban Refugee Development Programme-(URDP), is a Uganda Government Partner through a signed Memorandum of Understanding-MoU to support the urban refugee program in the country under the Office of the Prime Minister-OPM.
BCC Mission is guided by REFUGEES TO REFUGEES Support and seeks to partner with a multiplicity of partners to enhance Refuge Response by promoting harmony for peaceful coexistence between refugees and the host communities. This is done both through Community Dialogues as well as through the development of an innovative approach to refugee protection that goes beyond emergency assistance to providing long-term development.
Mission statement: In pursuance of this mission, BCC focuses on youth leadership, the urban poor and believe that unlocking youth potential and talents is key to occupying them gainfully to mitigate nefarious engagement. BCC works to support the protection of refugee women, boys and girls. The unique urban environment has opened multiple opportunities for both refugees and poor Ugandan living in same urban areas. As such; Bethsaida Community is collaborating with Uganda Government and Community structures such as KCCA (Kampala Capital City Authority, civil society, arts and music societies among others to provide support to poor individuals and communities in areas of Education, Community-based protection, Coordination-Partnerships, SGBV and Youth. BCC has support programs targeted at individuals at risk of domestic abuse, HIV/AIDS, commercial exploitation, drug addiction, homeless disability, early marriages etc.
The impact on our fellow refugees: To date, BCC Programs has supported over 850 children to join formal schools and trained over 2,000 parents in life skills and activities which enable them to raise education fees for their own children. The programs target Ethiopian, Ugandan, Congolese, Sudanese, Somali, Burundian, Rwandese, Eritreans, Indians, Pakistanis and others.
UNHCR works closely with the Bethsaida Community and acknowledges the good work done in an inclusive, innovative way. Moreover, Bethsaida Community embraces the Refugee Host Community Empowerment Program (ReHoPE) through the targeted inclusion of the host population. BCC’s Programing deliberately works to bridge the Humanitarian and Development nexus.
Given the remarkable contribution, BCC is actually well placed to speak to the enabling, generous and Model Government of Uganda’s Refugee Policy and serves as a positive example of how refugees themselves can contribute supporting fellow refugees to support solutions.