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KAKUMA CAMP IS NO PICNIC

African Human Rights Coalition has been providing supplemental food rations, building grants that include fencing and latrines, sanitary supplies and more to LGBTQI refugees in Kakuma Camp for the past several years, with ramped up food distributions during COVID lockdowns. LGBTQI+ refugees are faced with extra challenges when it comes to self sustenance. AHRC is the ONLY LGBTQI+ dedicated organization working exclusively with Africa's LGBTQI+ refugee and asylum community. We also provide country conditions expertise and advocacy related services. Through the generosity of an American donor corporation, AHRC have embarked upon a direct grant program in Kakuma instead of our usual food distribution as an experiment which we hope brings more value to the refugee. We are also working with partners to implement livelihood programs but are funding that organizations are sinking dollars into this programs that actually do not end up providing full sustenance and so many remain in need of more assistance. Remember all LGBTI people are criminalized in Kenya, whether they are seeking protection from other countries or not, and so find themselves more marginalized than most refugees. LGBTI refugees have also become the target of opportunists and frauds who are affecting the landscape negatively. We put out a call for grant applications and are in the process of vetting applicants. HERE IS OUR ASK: The extent of the applications bring to light that with the increase in pricing and serious food shortages impacting supply, we are short by $3.00 per applicant per month if we are to sustain our program for at least 11 months and require an extra $1.00 per month per child, to cover children. So we have decided to ask you the donor to chip in and help make this work and be effective.


Life is so hard, to add food will change everything..... SO to adopt a person to feed adequately , we ask you to donate $4.00 per month, ongoing, for 12 months for this year. Effectively you will be adopting a person to feed for a one month period as we use our grant to cover the balance. YOU CAN DO IT HERE: www.africanHRC.org/donate

ABOUT KAKUMA:

Population Kakuma Refugee Camp serves refugees who have been forcibly displaced from their home countries due to war or persecution. It was established in 1992 to serve Sudanese refugees, and has since expanded to serve refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Uganda, and Rwanda. According to current UNHCR statistics, the camp population stands at just close to 180,000 refugees. In 2007, Kakuma Refugee Camp hosted 21% of the total refugee population in Kenya (UNHCR Fact Sheet, September 2008).


The local Kenyan population is largely comprised of nomadic pastoralists from the Turkana community. According to the 1999 Kenya Census, the population of Kakuma town is 97,114 persons, making it nearly twice as populous as the camp.


Humanitarian Aid and Governance Kakuma Refugee Camp is administered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR is assisted in its duties by a wide range of organizations.


The camp falls under the jurisdiction of the Kenyan Government and the Department of Refugee Affairs. Since the adoption of the Kenya Refugee Act in 2007, a CampManager has been appointed to oversee camp affairs and liaison with humanitarian agencies. The Act paves the way for the Kenyan Government to eventually assume full management of Kakuma Refugee Camp.


Environment Life in the semi-arid desert environment of Kakuma is rather challenging. The area has always been full of problems: dust storms, high temperatures, poisonous spiders, snakes, and scorpions, outbreaks of malaria, cholera, and other hardships. The average daytime temperature is 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.


Economy Due to their legal situation and local environmental conditions, refugees are largely unable to support themselves with income-generating activities. The semi-arid climate of Kakuma is ill-suited to agriculture, while restrictions on employment deter refugee job-seeking. Those who work with NGOs receive a small incentive payment for their work, but incentive staff represent only a fraction of the refugee population. As Arafat Jamal concludes from his evaluation of Kakuma camp, “Anyone confined to a place like Kakuma is rendered automatically dependent on some form of hand-out” .


Daily Existence The camp is a “small city” of thatched roof huts, tents, and mud abodes. Living inside the camp is equally prison and exile. Once admitted, refugees do not have freedom to move about the country but are required to obtain Movement Passes from the UNHCR and Kenyan Government. “Essentially, the refugees are confined to the Kakuma camp area: they are not allowed to move freely outside of it, and they may not seek education or employment outside of it” . Inside this small city at the edge of the desert, children age into adulthood and hope fades to resignation. To be quite frank, it’s more or less a kind of hostage life for many refugees.




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