published in EducationLivelihoods / Small Business / New SkillsRefugees on January 30, 2018

His name means ‘happiness’

When you welcome a ‘stranger’, you change lives – Furuha’s proof!

When Furuha was born, his dad was very happy – finally here was a son after three daughters! The son was given the name Furuha bin Suguru, which means ‘Happiness, Son of Rabbit’ (his dad was well-known for working with rabbits). However, it’s taken time for Furuha to find happiness again after fleeing his country as a refugee. He arrived at Kakuma Refugee Camp in 2010.

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Furuha with his Certificates for sewing. In one month Furuha says he can earn 37,000 KSh ($550) if there is work available. The average Kenyan wage is 7,000 KSh ($110) per month.

War broke out between two tribes in March 2010. My mother was from one tribe, my father from the other. Attackers came to our shop and my mother was killed. We were surrounded by people, but I escaped.

When I got to the Reception Centre at Kakuma, life got much better. I saw people from my own country. We were eating well. We were safe.

I was advised to look for work, and I saw the advertisement for tailoring training. I learnt the skills at the school.

After one year I graduated, I started sewing, and used the machine provided by LWF (Lutheran World Federation, supported by your donations through ALWS). I also received scissors, a tape measure and everything I need.

I started producing school uniforms. I also produced clothes for the community. After two years I saved enough money to buy a machine of my own.

One of my brothers has arrived at the camp, and has two children. I support him and his family with clothing and food from my profits. I have also bought a video and TV, solar panels and battery. I have fenced my homestead, and lit my compound. This means I can sew at night.

At my home I volunteer to teach five other people in tailoring. I am motivated to do this because I myself have benefited, and I want others to benefit like I have.

My students are doing well, and I encourage them. I tell them when they are ready I will present them to LWF so they can sew uniforms too. My future plan is to run my own tailoring school.”

“We are thankful for what people are doing for us refugees. We thank you very much.”