ISSN 1710-6931 January 13, 2006 Issue 64

A Message From Our International Coordinator

Greetings and Happy New Year!! We at RESPECT are pleased to welcome you to 2006!

Please know that we currently have a couple hundred letters from refugee students under 18 years old. We are very much looking for schools and student groups who would be interested in exchanging letters with these young people. Message


The first two letters below are samples of letters sent to non-refugee contacts by their letter exchange refugee contacts. The last is an excerpt from a pen-pal letter.

Mohomou Refugee School

Dear Contact Teacher,

It is so great to get in contact with you… Students over here have been wondering why letters cannot come and go and why it takes so long to get replies… I hope you will not feel very bad and you consider for the relationship to continue again. (The posting system is very bad and slow and not reliable, but we have to take it like that because it is the only way for us to our letter replies.) Mohomou

Life Conditions in Camp Kola

If the students want to send anything to their friends like school materials (copybooks, pencil, erasers, etc.) they have to register them and write a different letter listing all of the materials in it. If letters are registered, it will be very difficult for any other person to tamper with it or them. We have experience instances where things meant for students are taken away by unknown people from the post office.

You can contact our international coordinator, Marc Schaeffer ( for more letters if you are in need for your students. Kola

Pentecost International School

Life condition in the camp is very bad indeed or worse than a slave, because to get food and eat in the camp is not just a small struggle, although United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is feeding us with food but even the education we are undergoing is not constant because of some other activities that always interfere on a school day like food distribution, kerosene distribution etc. So our education level in the camp does not advance and sometimes we can go to school three times in a week. Pentecost


Poster Contest:
Road to Peace

Road to Peace has been selected as the theme for this year's contest. Visit the RESPECT website to read the contest rules and to print the entry form.

Send your questions to:


RESPECT Uganda Addresses Female Refugee Students

Tom Fred Obonyo stands at the center of a war zone. For nineteen years he has looked on as his community was ravaged by armed conflicts, its citizens were killed or kidnapped to fight with rebel forces, and its precious herds were looted by raiding tribes.

This is Agoro, a rural Ugandan community on the Sudanese border, consisting of 16,500 of the Acholi people. Mr. Obonyo is both the program coordinator of the Agoro Community Development Association (ACDA) and the RESPECT Uganda Country Coordinator.

The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has soared from 450,000 in 2002 to about two million in 2005. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has been devastating rural communities and IDP camps alike for almost 20 years. HIV, in spite of a marked decline since the early 1990's, still claims thousands of lives annually. Mr. Obonyo is faced with these extremely daunting adversaries.

Several humanitarian organizations have noted, women are enduring especially difficult circumstances. Girls and young women in particular are extremely vulnerable due to a number of factors. Mr. Obonyo notes, females are less likely to complete their secondary education as many families look upon a girl's education as a financial waste when they could be put to work at home. This fact is reflected in the country's estimated 2003 literacy rates, with 79.5% of the male and 60.4% of the female populations being able to read and write. Uganda

As in any newsletter or magazine, RESPECT e-zine is committed to striving for interesting articles and announcements concerning refugee issues all around the world.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute an article, contact the e-Zine editor, Will Wallace, at

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