Refugee children in Uganda

About a third of our profits go toward our work with displaced refugees in Africa and Los Angeles. This work started with an invitation from American Refugee Committee, a non-governmental organization working with displaced persons in Africa and around the world, to volunteer in Uganda to improve the lives of refugees in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda. We jumped at the chance.

Almost 100,000 people from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia have settled in Nakivale after escaping war, domestic violence, and political unrest in their home countries.

We often think of a refugee camp as a temporary place of refuge; in fact the average Nakivale refugee lives there for 17 years. While they receive support from the UN, USA, and other government and non-government agencies, that support is very basic and they lead challenging lives. The vast majority have no electricity or running water, and schools are often a very long walk from home. They receive a monthly ration of wheat flour, oil, and maize, but they continue to have many gaps in their quests for “normal” lives.

This is where we step in. There are groups of refugees that gather together to share resources and effort to create business to generate income for their families. They may operate small livestock operations raising pigs, cattle, ducks, chickens, or goats; formulate household cleaning soap for sale; operate motorcycle taxis, import honey, or tailor clothing for sale. Through these efforts they are able to earn some additional money, but they lack business training and capital to fund their growth.

LA Insider Tours provides support to these social groups, providing training and mentorship to help their micro businesses grow. Just in the last year our founder spent a total of 4 months in Africa, training groups in budgeting, marketing, strategy and planning. We also work to secure funding for their businesses for additional equipment or livestock to boost their growth.

With our work we’ve seen these groups grow with direction and purpose. They are creating livelihoods for themselves and jobs for others in their community.

We’ve also helped in other ways. We’ve participated in ARC’s Changemaker program, where they undertake high-impact, low-cost initiatives to directly benefit refugees on the ground in Nakivale. In this program we worked to replace roofs on homes of single mothers, re-build homes of families in collapsing structures, and provided supplies to schools, just to name a few.

Thus we’re making change happen in this part of the world. We’ve decided that’s not enough, however, and have begun to work with displaced persons here in the US who have settled in the Los Angeles area. We’re teaching them US civics to help them pass their citizenship tests and become fully contributing members of our nation here.

So while you’re enjoying one of our world-class tours of LA, you can feel proud that you’re also making a difference to improve our world.

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    ~ Kelly T

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    ~ Michele G, El Segundo, California

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    I can recall doing a bus tour of LA a number of years ago, and that tour did not remotely compare to what we experienced with our number one guide Rivers. Our family of four, including two boys aged 13 and 10, had the best day possible.

    ~ Lindsay O, Hepburn Springs, Australia

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    The Kozars, Lethbridge, Canada

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    A big thank you to Scott for our fantastic LA tour!! We got all the sights in, in one day including a last minute shop @ Dash!! Scott was full of information and my family including my 3 year old had a fantastic day!! Highly recommend !!

    ~ Nicole9Aust

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