Building Self-Reliance for Refugees in Zambia


As of May 2019, the number of Persons of Concern (PoCs) in Zambia has reached 80,739. While the majority is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia has also received PoCs from Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, and Somalia, among others.
Angolans have since been locally integrated into the host community. The vast majority of refugees in Zambia live in one of three refugee settlements, Meheba (23,546), Mayukwayukwa (14,386), and Mantapala (14,467). Many also live in the capital Lusaka and Ndola in the Copper Belt (15,936).

Since November 2015, Trickle Up has been building the capacity of implementing partners to deliver Graduation so that refugees and host communities can build their self-reliance in the face of protracted bordering situations.
Through its partnership in Zambia, Trickle Up supports the design and implementation of Graduation in the Meheba and Mayukwayukwa Settlements. When not in the field, the team engages with implementing partner staff through biweekly meetings and quarterly reports. Because of this direct communication channel, Trickle Up has been able to maximize the learning opportunity of the pilot, especially in preparation for the second cohort. From the beginning, Trickle Up has also regularly visited the program for a variety of purposes, as all staff work together to improve and adapt the Graduation pilot.


Project Objectives

  • Build the capacity of UNHCR to integrate the Graduation Approach into its existing interventions with refugees in Zambia
  • Provide economic empowerment to refugees in settlements in Zambia to increase self-sufficiency, economic stability, and improve their lives

Additional Information

Click here to view the 2-page factsheet about this project.

Our Partners

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated by the United Nations to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. Trickle Up and UNHCR have been partners since 2013.

Caritas Czech Republic is UNHCR Zambia's and Trickle Up's current implementing partner for livelihood programming, which includes Graduation. They have been active in Zambia since 2013, where they started with a program targeting child and maternal health. Most recently, they have established courses for entrepreneurship in areas surrounding Meheba and Mayukwayukwa, as well as providing support for rural farmers in the area.

Self-Help Africa was Trickle Up’s and UNHCR Zambia’s previous implementing partner in the Graduation project in the  Meheba refugee settlement. Their work currently centers on livelihood building and agricultural development, with projects targeting livestock, seed growers, climate change adaptation, and nutrition. Currently, their largest funded program revolves around improving the health and nutrition of smallholder households in the Northern Province of Zambia.

Meheba & Mayukwayukwa Refugee Settlements, Zambia


Start Date: 10/2016
End Date: 8/2019


Number of Participants: 205

Vulnerable Populations

Women, Rural, Refugees, Extreme Poor

Project Components

Stipend for Consumption Support, Asset Transfer, Coaching, Savings/Self-Help Groups (savings and credit services), Technical Livelihood Skills Training, Financial Literacy and Capability Training, Legal Services, Healthcare Services