About Impact Designs

Impact Designs is a non-profit organisation based in Aarhus, Denmark. We work to improve the livelihoods of refugees in low and middle income countries.

Our approach is based on designing sustainable business models that can be utilised by refugees to take advantage of local markets to generate income without the need for external support.

We support refugees in Uganda to develop a business model based on the production of edible insects.

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We support refugees in Uganda

After Turkey, Uganda is the country in the world with the largest refugee population. It is now host to about 1.5 million refugees, in particular from DR Congo and from South Sudan. And more are arriving every week.

The refugees each receive a small plot of land from the Ugandan government, as well as food aid and other aid from the UN. However, funds from the international donors are insufficient to meet the needs.

Because of the continuing influx of refugees, the vast majority do not have access to enough land to cover the basic needs of a family for food.

Most refugees live in extreme poverty: 80 per cent live on less than USD 0.6 per day. Access to protein and other essential nutrients is very limited and only about 10 per cent of refugees in Uganda has access to enough food to cover the need for a balanced diet.

Why edible insects?

Globally, more than 2 billion people traditionally consume insects. More than 1,900 species are used as food. Insects are high in nutrients and is particularly rich in protein.

In Uganda, insects such as termites and grasshoppers are popular snacks. In DR Congo where many of the refugees in Uganda originate, it is also common to consume several species of insects, in particular the Mopani larvae.

Production of insects is relatively simple, does not require much land, and also only require little feed and water.

Edible insects therefore offer a potentially easy to access source of protein and vitamins for the refugee population in Uganda.

Our approach

Our approach is based on the design of sustainable business models, which can be utilised by refugees to generate income within a short period of time.

We offer free training in production of edible insects, as well as access to simple production kits.

The produced insects can either be utilised by refugee families directly in cooking, thereby contributing an important source of protein. Or, they can be processed into a protein-rich flour, which can be sold to local businesses, or as a component in animal feed.

More specifically, we are working with the Danish Refugee Council – one of the world’s leading humanitarian agencies – to pilot production of mealworm in the Kyaka II settlement in Western Uganda. The Danish Refugee Council has been working in this settlement for several years, and have excellent knowledge of the local context.

The Danish Refugee Council has also supported associations of refugee farmers with the production and sale of maize in the past.

Unfortunately many of these farmers have now lost their land, as a result of the influx of new refugees from the civil war in DR Congo. They therefore need support to start production of new types of produce, which does not require the same access to agricultural land.

Support our work

We depend on members to support our work. In order to apply for funding from DANIDA we also depend on a certain number of members of the organisation. By becoming a member, you therefore support us not just with your own contribution, but also by enabling us to apply for institutional funding.

As a member you receive regular newsletters with updates about our work.

Become a member by sending your name and email address to Programme Director Rasmus Schjoedt on rasmus@impactdesigns.dk. If you are based in Denmark you can become a member by paying DKR 50 to MobilePay number 2726 9866.