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Extending Generosity For A World Where Refugees Are Welcome

Jul 9, 2024 | Articles | 0 comments

Kenya has a long history of hosting refugees, providing sanctuary for those fleeing conflict and persecution. From Somali refugees arriving in the early 1990s after the fall of Siad Barre’s government to the present day, Kenya remains the fifth-largest refugee-hosting country in Africa. The major refugee camps, Dadaab and Kakuma, are well-known, but many refugees also reside in urban centers, facing unique challenges.

Challenges Faced by Urban Refugees:

  1. Language Barriers: Refugees from non-Swahili or non-English speaking countries struggle to express themselves and access opportunities.
  2. Redundancy: Skills and qualifications from their home countries often do not translate, leaving many unable to find meaningful employment.
  3. Authorization Issues: Urban refugees need special identification cards to live outside designated camps.
  4. Limited Opportunities: Finding employment or starting businesses can be particularly difficult, impacting their ability to earn a livelihood.

These challenges significantly affect their capacity to support themselves and their families, increasing their vulnerability to crises like floods.

Youth Alive! Kenya’s Support: Through the SPA 2 project, Youth Alive! Kenya has been actively supporting urban refugees by distributing menstrual hygiene kits, which include soap, toothpaste, and body jelly. This initiative helps maintain personal hygiene and dignity, especially for women and girls who often face stigma during menstruation.

Additionally, Youth Alive! Kenya provides unconditional cash transfers, enabling refugees to start businesses and build resilience against shocks and disasters. These efforts align with the theme of solidarity with refugees, ensuring they feel welcomed and supported in their new environment.

By addressing these challenges and offering practical support, Youth Alive! Kenya plays a vital role in improving the lives of urban refugees, fostering a sense of community and belonging far from their homeland.

Author: Victoria Nyokabi

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