Safety at last for refugees at Kakuma

The UN’s Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya is home to around 175,000 refugees from across east Africa. A Lutheran team manages the camp, and welcomes to safety refugees like Modesta Sabiman from Burundi …

During the conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in Burundi, more than 300,000 people were slaughtered and many like Modesta and her son Niera forced to flee their homes.

“I am Hutu, and my husband was a Tutsi. When the violence started, my family killed my husband.

This was so painful for me. I was hurt in two areas. First, it was my own family who killed my husband. Second, my husband’s family thought I was involved, so they rejected me too.

If you ask me where is God, I know God was there. Yet still it seems such a wrong thing to happen to my husband. My husband was a good man. He liked to interact with people. And he liked to pray so much. He was not willing to see people have problems, he always wanted to help.

I am not angry with God, because what God has planned, no one will change it. I get my strength from God. I keep praying because this is the only place I can get strength.

My message to Australians is first thanks because you have helped us when so many of us have died. I make a request that you please do not get tired of helping us, and keep giving us your support. Tomorrow I have hope that we can some day smile once more.”


Country: Kenya

Where: Kakuma Refugee Camp; Dadaab Refugee Camps - Dagahaley, Hagadera and Kambioos

What: Support new arrivals at the camps

Who: Kakuma: 128,131 people in partnership with Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Dadaab: 219,041 people, in partnership with Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Our Contribution in 2016: Kakuma $212,000; Dadaab $50,000

When families fleeing war arrive at Kakuma or Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya, the Lutheran-managed team is there to welcome them by providing for their basic needs, such as soap, clothing, household utensils, and food for approximately 14 days. The team also assesses their physical and emotional wellbeing, and refers them to appropriate places for follow up and support.

Another way in which you support those at refugee camps is by ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable are met. This includes making sure that orphans and unaccompanied minors are fostered to appropriate families and that these families receive the training they need to care properly for these children. Vocational training opportunities are offered to many, and therapy sessions are made available to survivors of gender based violence.

In addition to looking after new arrivals and supporting the most vulnerable refugees, you also help to provide for over 2,500 pre-schoolers by providing training for the teachers and a nutritious porridge for the children every day.

Drought in Somalia and conflict in South Sudan are currently placing huge demands on Kakuma and Dadaab as many more refugees make their way to the camps.

DID YOU KNOW? Every day LWF/World Service is caring for up to 1.9 million refugees and displaced people around the world? World Service is one of the UNHCR’s biggest and most important partners in looking after refugees. 

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