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Welcome to Bidi Bidi - the largest refugee settlement in the world

More people live here than in the whole of Co Galway.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

A YEAR AND a half ago, Bidi Bidi in Northern Uganda was a small settlement made up of mostly bush land.

Now it’s home to over 280,000 people – most of whom are fleeing civil war in South Sudan, just over the border, making it the largest official refugee settlement in the world.

TheJournal.ie was invited by aid agency Trócaire to visit the sprawling camp.

For many who live there, hopes of returning home are fading. Instead, they’re training in new skills and trades, so they can better take care of their families.

David MutaMuta, a former laboratory technician in South Sudan before he fled to Uganda, is currently learning farming through training initiatives and is fostering four children along with his mother.

“At the start it was not easy,” he says about learning farming and adjusting to life in the settlement. But he said it was better to work to provide for his family than simply rely on the beans and flour given out by the UN.

Though he would like to go back and continue his lab work (which centers around curing diseases) he says:

“In life you have options. If A fails you try B. If that’s not so good you try C.”

We’ll be running more reports from our visit to Uganda in the coming weeks.

Read: ‘I would do what it takes to survive’: former child soldier tells of his time in Kony’s army

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