The power of connectivity: Avanti brings the world to refugees living in Uganda

The Avanti Connectivity Project has brought high speed satellite internet and ongoing maintenance and support to seven sites hosting refugees in Uganda, including Bidibidi, Imvepi and Palabek camps.


From Zoom calls with long-distance family to finding out what’s happening in the world; being able to access the world at the touch of a button is something we often take for granted in our day-to-day.  

When someone flees conflict and persecution, connectivity can be the lifeline that helps them reconnect with loved ones and start to rebuild their lives through education or work opportunities. Internet connection is often the only way refugees can keep in touch with their family and friends.  

The connectivity can serve as a learning centre for the youth and some community members that are interested in having computer knowledge.”

UK for UNHCR’s partnership with Avanti is connecting settlements in Uganda – Bidibidi, Imvepi, Palabek, Maaji II, Rhino Camp and Kiryandongo – through the delivery and installation of free solar connectivity equipment, bandwidth, laptops, tablets, and ongoing support and maintenance. This contribution from Avanti is having a profound impact on the residents of these sites in Uganda and the communities that host them 

Twenty-six-year-old Imvepi resident John uses the newly installed connectivity for research on subjects of interest and for school research work. John also told UK for UNHCR that he plans to intensify his research when he starts his studies in 2022, so the internet is of great importance to him. Outside of school and research, John found that the Avanti connectivity centre made communicating with relatives far from home a lot easier. 

Robert, a 34-year-old Palabek resident, uses the new connection to read updates on the situation in his home country of South Sudan, as well as connecting with friends and family on Zoom. Robert is looking forward to seeing the centre flourish so younger members of his community can take advantage of the connection. He hopes, “The connectivity can serve as a learning centre for the youth and some community members that are interested in having computer knowledge.” 


These installations realise Avanti’s pledge at the UN Global Refugee Forum in December 2019 to support UNHCR through the provision of connectivity, increasing opportunities for people in some of the most disconnected locations. 


For more information and data on displaced families in Uganda, please visit the UNHCR data portal. 

More information about our partner Avanti can be found on their website.

To find out more about how you can help refugees, visit our website.

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