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Helping to transform one of the world’s oldest refugee settlements into a vibrant city where previously displaced people are thriving. Intentionally creating a global best practices model that can be applied to every refugee settlement in the world.


At 61 years old, Nakivale Refugee settlement is the oldest continuously operating refugee settlement in Africa, home to more than 100,000 people from at least 8 African nation states. Opened in 1958, the 71-square-mile camp has grown to become a pan-African city in its own right. In many ways, Nakivale is more peaceful and better organized than the places of origin of those now living here.

To: Approach:

To: R&D has supported a number of initiatives within Nakivale that will help the refugee settlement become a thriving city, creating a circular economy and providing the opportunity for creativity and innovation to thrive. 

While refugees await resettlement, often for years and with little to occupy their time, a huge amount of human potential, hopes, and dreams go to waste. Creating purposeful spaces and places is the foundation to motivating a sense of meaning and agency for thousands of displaced people, providing a much needed outlet for their skills and energy.


To: has supported the early developments of Opportunigee, a space where refugees can meet up to share ideas and pool skills in pursuit of their long-term goals.

Uhuru Land

We partnered with Habitas|RISE to help Uhuru Land to come alive. Uhuru Land is an amphitheater for performances, film screenings, sports telecasts, cultural gatherings, and community discussion. With the addition of Promise Hub and Shared Studios, even more energy has been brought to this vital community hub. And with a music festival forthcoming, Uhuru Land is rapidly becoming Nakivale’s vibrant town square.

Naki Commons

At the very centre of the Nakivale Refugee Settlement is Naki Commons, a terrazzo basketball court and gathering place where the community comes together. Here, residents enjoy everything from sports to performances and community events. Nakivale residents have hosted World AIDS Day events at Naki Commons, as well as basketball tournaments and coaching clinics with professional basketball players. 

Reception Centre

When new refugees arrive at Nakivale, they first must spend time in the overcrowded Reception Centre. Until recently, new arrivals slept on dirt floors, there was no space for children to play, and no dedicated space for education. To: Creative Activists raised funds to provide mattresses and teddy bears, a playground, and a school offering English classes for 600 children.

To: Creative Activists raised funds on GoFundMe to provide mattresses and teddy bears, a playground, and a school offering English classes for 600 children.