The progressive refugee and asylum policies in Uganda have made the east African nation a place of solace for many people from the continent fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries.
Upon receiving refugee status, refugees are granted the right to move freely, work or start a business and access public services such as education, healthcare and justice.
Bosco Niyonkuru a refugee who left Burundi over a decade ago is living proof of the integration of refugees in Uganda.
Bosco fled the civil unrest in his native Burundi in 2001, having trained as a paramedic amid the raging conflict.
Armed with his degree and hoping to avoid being forcibly recruited or caught up in the violence, he made his way to Uganda where he started working as a volunteer at the health center at the Nakivale refugee settlement.
He was in 2005 however given a full-time contract with a monthly salary and family benefits.
“I really feel at home and they also feel me,” said Bosco of his new home in Uganda.
“Having a job, I am able to sustain myself and my family.”
With his position firmly secured, Bosco goes all out helping other refugees who visit his facility.
“We serve everyone regardless whether they are a refugee or a national. We serve them equally.”
The 35-year-old nurse is planning to upgrade his skills. “If God wishes, I will have to become a paediatrician,” he said.
His dreams of becoming a paediatrician though may delay a bit as Bosco was recently diagnosed with cancer.
He hopes to be resettled in another country with more advanced medical care. This will enable him properly battle the cancer and ultimately accomplish one of his most cherished dreams.