Our ambition is to create a sustainable society where productive vulnerable groups, particularly women and youth, have access to services that significantly improve their economic opportunities and quality of life.
Our Mission We create a life-changing experience and a common ground for refugees to start and run their own enterprises.
Integrity. Our work is built on trust, honesty, and integrity. We only do what we promised to do, live to our commitments because we know that trust is earned.
Innovation. We approach everything in a unique way. We deliver the highest quality and value possible through simple, relevant, and out-of-the-box solutions
Inclusion. We focus on reaching those who need us the most and we deliver approaches that create the most impact.
Our Founding Story
Our story starts in 2010, with the uncertainty in DR. Congo, that forced Rebecca to witness her brother get killed by rebels, and later her family to flea to Uganda as refugees.
As refugees in Uganda, they slept in incomplete building, and ate foods picked from the trashcans. With no way to provide for the family, her mother took on work as a house help, which affected her back, leaving her unable to walk. And as the eldest in the family, at the age of 15, she had to drop out of school to find a job so as to provide for the family and even treat her mother. Rebecca got a job as a hawker, traveling very long distances, which exposed her to dangerous situations, and yet she still wasn't making enough to provide for the needs of my family. While hawking, she got raped twice and survived ritual sacrifice once but because there was no other option, she had to continue working. While hawking, she got to interact with many more refugee women and girls, who like her mother and herself, were struggling to survive and to provide for their families. In 2016, after joining SINA (Social Innovation Academy), a unique space that empowers marginalized youth to become social entrepreneurs, she decided to support people like her so that they don't go through the kind of life she and her family had to.
The refugee situation is growing every day the world over, with refugees making up over 26 million (UNHCR 2019). Uganda is one of the leading refugee-hosting countries with over 1.4 million refugees from DRC, South Sudan, Burundi, Somalia, etc. And according to the UNHCR report 2019, more than 81% of the refugees in Uganda are women and children, and 64% of the households are women-led.
With effect from February 2021, the aid to refugees was cut to 60% of the initial ratio due to funding shortfall (WFP, 2020), and yet the initial rations were not enough for a household to survive through the month.
And with the high unemployment rates in the country, refugees remain helpless and hopeless. Many women and girls, primarily to support their families, are pushed towards "3D jobs" (dirty, dangerous, and demanding) which leaves them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
Entrepreneurship and business start-ups provide a sustainable way out of poverty. And the refugee policy in Uganda allows refugees freedom of movement and the right to work and establish businesses. But unfortunately, most refugees lack the knowledge, technical support, resources, and financing to start and grow a business. And mainstream financial institutions don't provide financial services to refugees because they don't have significant assets for use as collateral.
Our Purpose: to inspire and empower refugees to become economically independent.
Our unique combination of training, mentoring, access to the right resources, and financial services makes refugees more resilient, and in turn, inspires refugees to build their own businesses.
Patapia responds to the prevailing challenges facing refugees in Uganda by empowering refugee women and youth to become economically independent, strong, and self-determined leaders of Change.
Our approach is focused on providing holistic including economic, educational, technological, and social empowerment as a fundamental driver of change.
Giving refugees the tools they need for a better life