SINA, nominated by Zimbabwe’s Transformation Innovation Hub (TiH), was awarded one of the four annual Prizes for a training project that’s manifestly inspiring young business entrepreneurs by implementing their principle of ‘Freesponsibility’ – combining ‘freedom’ with ‘responsibility’ – and the co-creation of ‘Self-organized Learning Spaces’. The six-member jury said the project entered, ‘Marginalized and refugee communities are creating their own sustainable solutions through Freesponsible and Self-organized Learning Spaces’, is empowering refugees in Uganda who are proof positive the training is effective with a range of successful business startups, all distinctive and autonomous ventures. “The positive effect on refugee self-reliance is a compelling outcome of the academy’s award-winning motivation,” the judges observed.
“I’m living my dreams and not dreaming my life!” – Joseph Bwinika“After becoming a refugee in Uganda, I lived a life of struggle trying to contribute anything I could to my family through small and informal business activities. When I joined SINA, my understanding of business changed. From just making profits, I saw how I could also help make the lives of others easier.” – Rebecca Aime“SINA is a life transforming environment which is giving hope and meaning to the lives of the young. I was hopeless and I didn’t know what I was going to do but since I joined SINA I am now developing my professional skills and my personal growth. It is helping me to become an entrepreneur.” – Sylvain Himbana“Life decided to give me another chance to shine when I joined SINA. I was living a hopeless life as a refugee. I was out of school. I had given up on myself. I believed a refugee could never achieve anything and is supposed to sit and wait for aid. In SINA, I went through personal development and discovered myself and my potential. It opened my eyes and changed the way I see the world. I now perceive challenges as opportunities, which has changed my life a lot.” – Guilaine Bayubasire“SINA is creating changemaker-makers like me. I was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2012, political instabilities forced me to flee to Uganda and I became a refugee. Like many of the 1,4 million refugees in Uganda, I was lost, and broke, not knowing how to sustain. I joined SINA as a beneficiary in 2016. I went through the SINA empowerment model, which has helped me and hundreds of others to overcome fears and unleash potentials we did not even know existed. I found meaning in my previous suffering and motivation to support others in similar situations.Since then, it’s been a powerful journey for me. I became a trainer and facilitator in SINA, and various other roles helped me to grow. I saw an alignment of the purpose of myself and SINA then I co-founded a replication of SINA in Kampala for urban refugees, and later, when SINA Global was created, I joined the team and became a director to foster the global movement of freesponsible and self-organized learning spaces contributing and enabling a whole generation of African youth to create a future for themselves.” – Emile Kwilyame
Ockenden International’s four cash prizes recognise and reward innovative projects that deliver evidential self-reliance to refugees and/or displaced people, the hallmark of Ockenden International since its inception in 1951. The four annual prizes are open to projects or programmes focused on Internally Displaced People (IDP)/refugee self-reliance anywhere in the world. The other eleven 2023 finalists (with the other three winners italicised) are:
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