published in Refugees on April 4, 2018

Critical care at Kakuma

We live in a Western world that constantly complains times are too tough to have any spare money to share with people in need.

Here in Australia, in 2018 our national overseas aid budget is heading towards the lowest in history – just 19 cents out of every $100 of our wealth!

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What do you think it costs per day to care for a refugee?

Sometimes people have vastly wrong ideas about what it takes to care for people. What about you? What do you think it costs to care for a refugee per day?

To provide food + shelter + water + sanitation + education + health + security + social services?

If you start by thinking about what it costs you to do all this for one person in your family per day, you’re going to get the answer very wrong!

The fact is, in Kenya it costs about $1 a day
to welcome a refugee with this basic human care.

There are around 60 million people worldwide forced from their homes by poverty, conflict and other threats. 20 million people are refugees (outside of their country), while 40 million people look for shelter inside their country.

As the world grapples with the ‘refugee crisis’, you provide life-protecting care through ALWS and our partner LWF to people like James from South Sudan, who you see here with his extended family at Kakuma Refugee camp in Kenya.

A refugee at Kakuma for 10 years, he passes on your care as a foster parent to children who have arrived alone:

“These children are separated from their parents so I will make myself to be their father and their mother. I handle these children just like my children…

… I know that without the help of others, we would not be here, and safe. So I want to serve these children just as others have served me.”

James’ example reminds us that dealing with the ‘refugee crisis’, it’s not a matter of ‘us and them’, but all of us working together so all may be welcomed…

… and that the best measure of what it costs to care for a refugee is not measured by what’s in our bank account, but by what is in our heart!

Photos: ALWS