IAFR Kakuma

Field notes, stories, perspectives and updates related to our ministry in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya


April 28, 2023

Children in the refugee camp reception center

New people - mostly women and children - arrive at Kakuma every day. We went to a refugee reception center today to visit with some of them.

It was overwhelming.

Gatera visiting with new arrivals through the fence

It turned out that the group we spoke with were originally from Burundi - Gatera's homeland. He was able to share with them how he once arrived at a Kakuma refugee reception center and spent over 19 years in the camp before being resettled to the USA in 2016.

They told him that they didn't know what was going to happen to them. They didn't know how long they would have to wait in the reception center before given a proper shelter in the camp. In the meantime, they lived in UN tents with dirt floors. One woman said that she heard that they would have to wait 7 months before receiving a shelter.

New arrivals - mostly children

They had survived the trauma of forced displacement and the dangerous journey to Kakuma refugee camp. Now their futures would be determined by people they would never see. Where they lived, what they ate, and how much water they could receive each day would be dependent on the decisions of those nameless people.

The reception center gate

Their future depends on what the nations of the world decide to do with them. Perhaps we will leave them there and forget about them? They will become like many in Kakuma who have been there for over two decades with no end in sight. Or perhaps we will choose to care and offer them place - somewhere they can put down roots and rebuild their lives?

Whatever happens, IAFR is committed to showing up in Kakuma in life-giving ways. I am deeply grateful to our financial partners that make it possible to do so.

- Tom Albinson

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About IAFR in Kakuma

IAFR has been serving people in Kakuma refugee camp since 2010. 250,000 people (mostly women and children) have found temporary refuge here from war, persecution and gross violations of human rights.

We visit Kakuma 2 times annually, during which time this blog is most active.

Visit the Kakuma page on the IAFR.org website to learn more!

Our Partners

We partner with United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC) - a refugee initiated association of over 160 churches from within the camp and surrounding host community.

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