The Crisis

Forced displacement is the defining social crisis of our era. Every morning we wake up, there are 15,000 more people forcibly displaced due to conflicts and other emergencies. The total number of refugees worldwide exceeded over 100 million in 2022, more than double the 42.7 million people who remained forcibly displaced a decade ago and the most since World War II. If current trends continue, the refugee crisis is projected to increase to over 300 million by 2030. Uganda alone hosts about 1.5 million refugees, the third highest of any country globally.

As the refugee crisis peaks, the funding is dipping due to other competing global events such as COVID-19, the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Gaza conflicts. In Uganda this has led to a decline in refugee assistance in terms of cash allowances and land allocations, both critical to their survival.

The Hope

There is a growing interest among governments and international organisations in the private sector's potential role as an alternate source of funding and delivery of refugee support. Zahra Food Industries Ltd in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Uganda through the 'Travel Beyond Bars' project aims to improve the livelihood of refugees and their host communities through the development of cereal bars made with ingredients sourced from refugee and their host communities.

While integration of refugees into commercial activities by the private sector, especially by social enterprises is not entirely new, most of these interventions have been on a smaller-scale and in non-food sectors focussing on crafts and textiles to harness the immense talents and expertise of refugees, especially that of women. The ‘Made51’ program initiated by UNHCR for example identifies refugees with artisanal skills, helps them to form strong artisan groups and connects these groups to experienced social enterprise partners. 

Refugees in Uganda widely engage in agricultural activities since the key settlement strategy in the country is to allocate parcels of land to steer them to self-reliance. A private-sector initiative that centres on value-addition within agriculture therefore is innovative and has the potential for a more wide-scale impact on refugees in Uganda; not to mention the opportunities that it creates towards the advancement of food security. 

At the inception stage of the 'Travel Beyond Bars' project, Zahra Food Industries Ltd is working with refugees and their host communities at the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement located on the shores of Lake Albert. The settlement spreads over 35 square-miles and houses about 130,000 refugees, mainly from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (85%) who have fled from ethnic violence and general insecurity. Although agriculture is the most wide-spread economic activity in that area, refugees are more likely to practice subsistence rather than commercial farming because of the small plot sizes allocated to them. The Ugandan government together with the support of other donor agencies is however focussed on boosting yields and establishing farmer groups who are provided with additional land. These types of interventions allow for sourcing of raw materials from the refugee communities for this project.

We firmly believe that addressing social impact requires substantial, structural change rather than merely addressing surface symptoms. Our forecast model indicates that once the 'Travel Beyond Bars' project is fully implemented, it holds immense potential to generate significant and lasting positive impact on refugees and their host communities in Uganda.

The Opportunity

Introducing Blossomz Revive Breakfast Bars: made from 100% natural breakfast ingredients, including wholesome cereals, succulent tropical fruits, premium nuts and pure honey with more than 50% uniquely sourced from refugee communities in Uganda.

Every bite not only rises to the occasion of the most important meal of the day as it restores essential nutrients for the body and mind, it also cements solidarity with the refugee communities in regaining their economic independence.

Cashew & Chia

Indulge in the perfect symphony of flavors, where the sweet and tangy taste of pineapples dance with the crispiness of the maize flakes. A medley of cashews, peanuts, chia and pumpkin seeds provide a satisfying texture and an abundance of nuttiness. The natural sweetness of honey gives it a touch of richness, creating a breakfast bar that is sure to nourish and energise you for the day while leaving your taste buds yearning for that irresistible second bite

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Macadamia & Moringa

Start your mornings with a harmony of flavors and textures. The tropical mangoes infuse a vibrant and juicy sweetness which is beautifully complemented by the rich and buttery macadamia nuts. The cereal adds a satisfying crunch, while the moringa enhances the nutritional value of the bar. The entire experience is elevated by the inclusion of honey that seamlessly weaves all the ingredients together into a delicious and invigorating breakfast bar that's designed to awaken your mind and body

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