As of 2013 some 200,000 refugees were registered with the United Nations Refugee Agency in Uganda, and the number of urban refugees in the nation's capital is rapidly increasing. A majority of those displaced come from either Somalia or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and they typically end up living in Kampala's slums.
One of the best ways to better understand the challenges faced by Kampala's refugee community is immersion. One place to do so is at the sprawling Kisenyi Slum, one of the largest in Kampala and a neighborhood where many Somali refugees live. Tours guided by local NGO volunteers provide a unique perspective on what life is like for these vulnerable communities.
Visiting or volunteering at the YARID Center is another way to learn more about the Kampala refugee community. Short for Young African Refugees Integral Development, YARID works to empower Kampala's refugees and orphans through education, healthcare, vocational training and community involvement. Visitors to the YARID Center can chat with local Kampala refugees to learn about why they left their home countries and how they're building a new life in Uganda.