We are working to provide at least one Bible for every Christian household in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya.
Need: While this program began focused on the need for Bibles for Refugees in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, it has now grown to include IAFR ministry locations in Dzaleka refugee camp (Malawi) and the refugee ministry of I Live Again in Uganda. The majority of refugees in these camps are Christians. Few churches in these refugee camps and settlements have access to more than a handful of Bibles. The refugee population continues to grow in response to wars and violence in the region. The need for Bibles increases every year.
Goal: 50,000 Bibles in the major languages represented in these refugee contexts (e.g. Swahili, English, French, Dinka Bor, Nuer, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Arabic, Amharic, Maro, etc.)
Strategy: We are asking churches to encourage people within their communities to gift a Bible to a refugee household.
Opportunity: For every donation of US$ 10 designated to the "Bibles for Refugees" project, IAFR will gift a Bible to a refugee household. The Bibles will strengthen their faith and your gift will let them know that they are not forgotten by the church at large.
Progress: 19,279 Total Bibles delivered as of 12/2019.
We are supporting small scale business ventures for refugees and members of the host community near Dzaleka Refugee Camp. Through investing in these business ideas we hope to create greater food and health security for the individuals and families operating these businesses as well as to influence job creation in the region.
Need: In Malawi, more than half the population lives on less than one US dollar a day. Estimates say as high as 85% of people still live as subsistence farmers, surviving season by season by growing the food they need for household use. Limited capital often means that businesses or ambitions never take off. But we know this does not mean there are not any good business ideas or entrepreneurs in the community. We have met many people who are operating successful businesses in the area, who employ multiple people and give back to their churches and other community initiatives in many ways.
Goal: Our goal is to invest in 3-5 businesses each year in the Dzaleka region. We estimate each small scale investment to be $800 or less.
Strategy: IAFR will partner with our friends at There Is Hope in this project. There Is Hope will provide us with an initial stage of vetting and research of business ideas and once completed, we will work together to prioritize and select business proposals that will receive funding from IAFR. Together we will monitor the progress of the businesses over the course of 1-2 years and we will visit recipients during our annual trips to Malawi to get feedback and updates from the proposals we support.
Opportunity: You can make a direct impact in the life of a refugee or host community family by supporting their business development goals. Click the donate link for more information about how to give online or via check.
Project Partners: There Is Hope Malawi
We are helping provide job skill training in carpentry, brick-laying, tailoring, welding and other relevant skills for refugees and members of the host community near Dzaleka.
Need: Officials in Dzaleka Refugee Camp and the Dowa District Government of Malawi have acknowledged the lack of opportunities for skills training in the region. Such training programs have been made a priority for investment by the National government in Malawi and they have been recognized as an area of focus by the UNCHR in their new Global Compact on refugees and forced migration. The local economy is starving for skilled workers in these vocations. This has been confirmed to IAFR by our partners at There Is Hope, from our church connections, and from other stakeholders in the community. We believe this is a critical way to help create greater economic stability for refugees and members of the host community, especially youth.
Goal: In 2017 we supported the launch of an Advanced Carpentry training class, and we are excited to say the first class started with 12 students learning advanced skills in this field. Our desire is to continue to partner with There Is Hope in sponsoring as many students as possible each year in the areas of carpentry, tailoring, brick-laying, welding, plumbing and more. We estimate the cost of one student to be $450 to complete a 6 month training course in one of the skills.
Strategy: These vocational training classes are open to all members of the community and are focused on training people in skills that are directly applicable to the local economy for immediate job creation and income generation. Our partners at There Is Hope have been operating their vocational training programs now for nearly 4 years and they have developed a very strong reputation in the community due to their committed efforts at maintaining the highest standards for graduates. Their programs are also certified by the government and meet international standards for certifications in each of these skills. We visit the classes and talk with the students during our regular visits to Malawi.
Progress: As of 7/2019 we have helped 33 students complete their training in the vocational skill of their choice.
Opportunity: You can help support the job training of one student in a skill that will give them the best chance for immediate employment in the local economy. Click the donate link and help support this excellent program today!
Project Partners: There Is Hope Malawi
Jonathan House provides stable housing, personal capacity-building, and supportive community to asylum seekers. Residents stay at Jonathan House an average of 1-2 years and partner with an IAFR Resident Advocate to receive emotional support and create a personalized roadmap for rebuilding their lives in their new community.
Context: Jonathan House works specifically with asylum seekers, individuals who have made their own way to the USA before requesting the protection of formal refugee status. The US receives more asylum-seekers each year than it does refugees through its resettlement program; this is truer now more than ever.
Up to 3,000 people in Minnesota are currently seeking asylum from war, human rights violations, and political, religious, or social persecution. They come from the most troubled regions of the world in hope of finding safety and a normal life.
Need: Though here lawfully, asylum-seekers are initially not permitted to work nor do they have access to governmental assistance. This leaves them especially vulnerable. Safe, stable housing is one of the most crucial needs in allowing them to recover from forced displacement and begin to rebuild their lives.
Jonathan House is the only Twin Cities metro-area housing program designed specifically for asylum seekers.Our scattered-site model allows us to accommodate individuals or families. We desire for Jonathan House to be a welcoming and compassionate community where asylum seekers know that God sees, hears, and cares for them.
Goal: We have an identified church partner and site for a third Jonathan House; this new site will allow us to welcome and serve a total of 21 asylum seekers! In 2019, we hope to raise $58,000 to fund set up of this third house plus the first 12 months of operation. We’re also seeking partners to help us raise $58,000 for continued operations of the first Jonathan House.
Strategy: Jonathan House relies on the power of individual, church, and non-profit partners. Church partners in St. Paul provide us with the rental sites to house asylum seekers. Individual volunteers provide a critical relational and emotional support to our residents. We also collaborate with MSP-area asylum service providers to connect residents to important social and legal resources.
Opportunity: Jonathan House is 100% donor-funded. Individual, church, and other financial partners play a vital role in allowing this ministry to continue. Help an asylum seeker in the Twin Cities by giving to the Jonathan House Project
We are working to provide a sustainable source of water for 4,500 people living in the Kenyan village of Canaan, formerly known as Turkana West IDP Camp (IDP = Internally Displaced Persons).
Need: While visiting Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya), refugee church leaders took us outside of the camp to a settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) near Kakuma town. An estimated 3,000 men, women and children settled in this IDP camp after fleeing their homes during post election violence in 2007. In the following years, many have married and had children, increasing the population to 4,500 today. Uprooted in their own country, they have nowhere else to go.
The IDP camp has no water local supply. The people (mostly women and children) have to walk several miles under the burning sun to fetch water in plastic jerry cans. Not only is it hard work, it is also dangerous.
The refugees told us that the IDP are even worse off than they are. For unlike the refugees in Kakuma camp, who receive assistance from humanitarian agencies, the IDP have no one commited to helping them meet their basic needs for water, food and shelter.
Goal: We teamed up with the National Council of Churches, Kenya (NCCK), to raise $135,000 to drill a well and purchase a water pump, piping, a reservoir (water tank), borehole cover and security fencing. The cost is high due to the terrain and lack of water in the area. Water will need to be pumped from a borehole several miles away from the IDP camp.
Strategy: We are partnering with National Council of Churches, Kenya (NCCK), as their team in Kakuma has the required technical capacity for the project. We set the project into motion in 2018, trusting God for the resources to complete it by the end of 2020.
Opportunity: We thank God for moving our generous partners to meet the project's financial goal! By you can still help by praying with our displaced friends so that they finally get water in the first half of 2020! The project has run into countless challenges, including 3 failed drillings. So please pray with us as we are pursuing a promising fourth borehole! Funding received by IAFR for this project is sent to NCCK. Their staff is prividing direct oversight of its implementation.
Funding still needed: $0.00
Project Partner: National Council of Churches, Kenya
The first borehole struck water at 110 meters. We are optimistic that the water quality will be good. We are now working on pumping and piping the water about 4 miles across semi desert to the IDP camp. We anticipate the project will be completed by early 2020.
Above: IAFR's Tom Albinson with NCCK's Wilson Kinyua at the borehole in 2/2019.
Watch this interview with Wilson Kinyua at the "miracle borehole" site to learn more!
Our refugee partner, United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC), established the Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission (KISOM) back in 1997. KISOM has since graduated over one thousand men and women, most of whom are serving as pastors, evangelists and missionaries today. As it is the only school of its kind in the Kakuma region, it serves both the refugee and local host population.
Need: KISOM had been meeting in an abandoned and condemned primary school building in Kakuma refugee camp. In early 2019, IAFR built a meeting hall, two smaller rooms, a guard house and toilets on the plot of ground we helped our refugee partners purchase a couple of years earlier. While we hope to later add several classrooms and a kitchen to the grounds, we are presently giving our refugee partners some time to learn how to manage and fully utilize their new asset.
Goals: We completed phase one of the building in 2019. It includes a security perimeter, a large meeting hall, two smaller rooms, and a guard house, 4 toilets, a rain water storage system and solar power.
We will soon initiate moving on to the next phase of the building project - building a kitchen and 3 blocks of buildings with 3 classrooms each. We will let you know when we are ready to begin that fresh stage of development.
Strategy: IAFR is partnering with United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC) - our local refugee partner agency and National Council of Churches Kenya (NCCK) our partner NGO in Kakuma with building expertise.
Opportunity: Many thanks to our generous financial partners that helped us reach our goal of $96,300 for phase one of this project! Stay tuned to learn when we are ready to embark on Phase II!
We are supporting Nicholas Gagai, a strategic full-time Kenyan missionary serving with our refugee partner agency, United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC) in Kakuma, Kenya. Nicholas is URHC Director of the Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission (KISOM) and the Director of URHC Youth Ministry (including the annual Refugee Youth Camp). IAFR is deeply invested in both of these URHC ministries and has worked in partnership with Nicholas for several years.
Need: Nicholas is a Kenyan. He was forcibly displaced from his hometown by post election violence in 2007 and ended up in Kakuma, Kenya. He has been serving full-time with URHC for the past 10 years, with no sending agency. He has often made ends meet through the generosity of the refugees he serves. But recent budget cuts have greatly reduced food rations and NGO services in Kakuma. Refugees are no longer able to help Nicholas as they have in the past. URHC leadership asked IAFR if we would assist them by supporting Nicholas so that he can continue in full-time ministry. As we have already established a long-term relationship of trust with Nicholas and know the critical role he plays in the ministry of URHC, we were happy to agree to help in this way.
Goal: $4,500/year ($375/month) support need for Nicholas Gagai's ministry with URHC.
Strategy: We are praying that God would move 7 people or churches to commit to supporting Nicholas at $50/month and 1 person or church to commit to $25/month.
Once IAFR has the first full year's support ($4,500), we will begin making monthly transfers to United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC) for the purpose of enabling Nicholas to serve full-time in his URHC leadership roles.
Opportunity: Click here to make a one time or recurring donation toward the support of Nicholas' important ministry. Or write a check to IAFR and mail it to us along with a note designating your donation "for Kakuma-Gagai".
Progress: Present need: $375/month. Updated 5/1/2018.
Project Partners: United Refugee and Host Churches
We are working together with French churches to extend community and support to asylum-seekers and refugees in Lille, France.
There is a great need for ministry centres in France in which refugees feel welcome and have opportunity to receive helpful information and personal support - places in which local churches can connect with refugees in ways that offer community, bring hope and strengthen faith.
Context: In their desperate search for refuge, many refugees and asylum seekers make their way across northern France. For many, their ultimate hope is to reach England. But few succeed. They end up stuck - at a dead end.
Many end up in the region's capital city, Lille, where they navigate the process of seeking asylum in France. They live with uncertainty about the future and sometimes in severe conditions.
Need: These displaced women, children and men not only need documents and shelter - they need opportunity to meet trustworthy people who can help them begin to rebuild their lives. They have many questions about their future and few places to which they can turn to try and find answers. Some refugees are Christians and they long for places in which they can worship and pray. French Christians need places in which they can meet refugees and extend help and welcoming community.
Goal: We received generous support enabling us to expand the center. But we still need about $7000 of annual support to operate the centre.
Strategy: We collaborate with local volunteers, churches, and associations to operate the Lille Ministry Centre. We are inviting Christians from the church-at-large to join us as financial partners.
Opportunity: Give to the Refugee Centre Project - France to keep the doors open. By doing so, you will show your solidarity with refugees and churches in Lille and help our friends recover from displacement and begin to rebuild their lives.
Project Partners: Various local churches and associations
Join us in helping refugee churches construct suitable buildings for worship and ministry.
Need: Refugee churches play a unique and vital role in helping people survive and recover from forced displacement. But they often struggle to find safe spaces in which to gather for worship, fellowship, prayer and various ministries.
Without a church building, they are significantly limited in their ability to provide spiritual, social, emotional and physical care for their congregations and for their fellow refugees.
As refugees are often located in places with inhospitable conditions, their churches often fall into disrepair as roofing is blown away, termites destroy wooden beams, rains washout mud walls, etc. This project fund will make it possible for us to respond to such needs quickly.
Goal: We hope to assist with the costs of building and/or repairing at least 6 refugee church buildings annually (averaging 1 building every 2 months). In most cases, refugees are happy and able to do the work of building - they often only need help purchasing building materials. The cost of building/repairing church structures varies greatly from context to context.
Strategy: As funding permits, we will respond to the need to repair or build refugee church buildings as our refugee partners alert us to such needs.
Progress: As of 12/2019 we have invested in a total of 41 church building projects, of which 28 were in 2019!
Opportunity: You can help answer the prayers of our forcibly displaced brothers and sisters by giving to the "Refugee Church Building Project" today.
Active Project Partners: United Refugee and Host Churches (Kakuma, Kenya), Dzaleka Church Union (Dzlakea, Malawi)
We are working to sponsor forcibly displaced youth through secondary school in Kenya, with a priority of sponsoring refugee girls.
Need: The UN reports that only 23% of refugee adolescents go to school. This is not because they don't want to go to school. The primary barrier is cost (e.g. school fees, uniforms, books, transportation, etc.). The need is greatest among refugee girls. In Kenya, there are only 4 refugee girls enrolled in secondary school for every 10 refugee boys. [Click here for more related information]
In 2018, National Presbyterian Church (Washington, D.C.) initiated a partnership with IAFR to begin this scholarship program by commiting to sponsoring 5 forcibly displaced girls in Kakuma, Kenya. In close consultation with National Council of Churches Kenya (NCCK), our primary partner in Kakuma, IAFR met with Windle International Kenya (WIK), a NGO serving refugees in Kakuma that specializes in refugee education. Together we identified three girls from the refugee camp (South Sudanese, Congolese and Burundian) and two girls from the IDP camp as the first scholarship recipients. They began school in 2019!
Goal: The cost of sponsoring 1 refugee through four years of secondary boarding school in Kenya is $9,100 (including tuition, travel, medical, books, travel, allowance and monitoring). Thanks to National Presbyterian Church, funding is already committed to scholarship the first five girls through secondary school. We would like to see another five refugee girls receive 4-year scholarships in 2020..
Strategy: We are partnering with Windle International Kenya, an NGO in Kakuma with lots of experience and systems in place to facilitate the refugee scholarship program. NCCK, our primary NGO partner agency in Kakuma is assisting IAFR with logistics and monitoring of the scholarship program.
Opportunity: We encourage you, your church or small group to consider changing the life of a girl in Kakuma through a secondary school scholarship of $9,100. Together we can meet our goal of sponsoring another 5 more girls in 2020! Donations can be made online (see button above) or sent by mail to IAFR, P.O. Box 1405, Wheaton, IL 60187. Be sure to include a note designating the gift for "Refugee Scholarship -Kenya".
We are sponsoring refugees and members of the host community near Dzaleka Refugee Camp through a 4-year degree program of their choice in Malawi.
Need: The UN reports that only 1% of refugee youth go to college/University, compared to 36% of youth globally. In Dzaleka Refugee Camp and the surrounding host community, we have seen evidence of this statistic playing out on a regular basis. This is not because students in the camp or the host community do not want to go to school or because they are not qualified. The primary barriers they face are cost and access. Their isolation and limited resources make it difficult to achieve their goals.
Goal: In 2017 and 2018 we supported 12 students each year in their studies. Our goal is to continue to provide support for a minimum of 10 students per year. The cost of supporting one year of classes for one student is about $1500. The cost of a full 4 year program is around $6,000.
Strategy: We are partnering with There Is Hope to sponsor refugees and host community youth to go to college in Malawi. There Is Hope has successfully managed this scholarship program for many years, and they have an excellent system in place for student selection, mentoring and advising, and financial accountability. They assist us in monitoring the progress of the students and help us facilitate visits with sponsored students during our visits when helpful.
Progress: As of 7/2019 we have issued a total of 28 scholarships!
Opportunity: We encourage you, your church or small group to consider changing the life of a refugee in Dzaleka through a College scholarship. Together we can meet our goal of sponsoring at least 10 students each year in their studies. You can send donations by mail to IAFR, P.O. Box 1405, Wheaton, IL 60187. Be sure to include a note designating the gift for "Refugee Scholarship -Malawi" Or you can click the link above to give online via credit card or bank transfer.
Project Partners: There Is Hope Malawi
Refugee youth are among the least supported groups in refugee contexts. Our refugee partner, United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC), holds an annual Refugee Youth Camp in Kakuma that invests in their faith and encourages them to lead whole and healthy lives. By bringing a diverse group of youth together, Refugee Youth Camp also plays an important role in peace building as the youth learn that they can live in peace with one another.
Need: $2,500 makes it possible to rent suitable space and provide food to meet the needs of up to 250 youth for 4 days of camp.
Goal: We are thankful to Northwood Community Church in Minnesota as they partner with us to sponsor the annual youth camp!
Strategy: Northwood Community Church does more than help cover the main costs of the camp. They send 1-2 of their church members to participate in Refugee Youth Camp. The result is mutual blessing and life-giving encouragement.
Opportunity: Refugee Youth Camp is held in April every year. Let's pray that this time of fellowship, learning and fun would truly encourage our refugee brothers and sisters. If you and your church is interested in such ministry involvement, please let us know.
Project Partners: United Refugee and Host Churches, Northwood Community Church
Safe Start is a new housing project in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) specifically designed to provide safe transitional housing for asylum-seeking young women who are aging-out of juvenile immigration detention centers. In securing housing, these young women are able to avoid being placed in adult immigration detention centers where they are vulnerable to abuse.
Context: As of May 2018 there were more than 10,000 unaccompanied children in U.S. government juvenile immigration detention centers. By December 2018 the number had risen to almost 15,000. Facilities differ greatly in the quality of care children receive. Once children in these centers turn 18, they are transferred to adult immigration detention centers if they do not have secondary housing options available. These young women and men are placed in facilities with adults where they are vulnerable to abuse and protracted trauma.
Need: Federal statutes say that when a child turns 18, it is the responsibility of U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement to find the least restrictive setting for them to take residence if they are going to stay in the country. Examples of “least restrictive” settings may be living with relatives or in large-group homes run by non-profit organizations. Many of these large-group homes are at capacity and are having to turn away young men and women, forcing their entry into adult immigration detention centers.
Goal: This project will provide stable housing and restorative community for 2 female asylum seekers ages 18-21 in the Twin Cities for a period of 9-12 months, with the goal of supporting their transition into stable and independent living in their new community.
Strategy: Safe Start will partner with Bethany House of Hospitality in Chicago to provide secondary housing for a small number of young women who Bethany House identifies as benefiting from a smaller, more family-like living environment. Using the resident advocate model created and used by IAFR Jonathan House, volunteer resident advocates and house staff work with the young women residents to develop and achieve goals leading to financial and housing independence and emotional and physical well-being.
Safe Start partners with Awaken West 7th and IAFR for volunteer training and support, furniture and grocery donations, and mentorship.
Opportunity: Your prayers and financial gifts provide the physical resources and spiritual support for a safe place to begin the work of healing and restoration. Prayerfully consider donating today to Safe Start and join us in the work of welcoming.
We are helping provide shelter for refugees and internally displaced people (IDP) in Kakuma, Kenya.
Need: Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans were displaced by post-election violence in 2007. About 4,500 of these people and families are living in the extremely difficult conditions of Canaan (a Kenyan village formerly known as Turkana West IDP Camp) in remote northwestern Kenya, on the outskirts of the town of Kakuma. They are in desperate need of shelter. While the government and humanitarian agencies focus on caring for the 200,000 refugees in a nearby refugee camp, the basic needs of the IDP go largely unmet.
Goal: We have built 147 Shelters as of 12/2019. We are praying and working to build 50 more shelters by 12/2020.
Strategy: IAFR is partnering with National Council of Churches, Kenya (NCCK), as they are the humanitarian agency responsible for building refugee shelters in Kakuma camp. Funding raised by IAFR for this project is sent to NCCK for the purpose of building shelters in the IDP camp.
Opportunity: Every designated donation of US$ 950 received for this project will build a new shelter and put a roof over the head of 2-6 people in the IDP camp.
There are 70.8 million forcibly displaced children, women and men in the world - the highest number ever recorded. That's 1 in every 108 people alive today. Another 37,000 people are uprooted every day.
First, God is alive and well along the refugee highway today. Second, Refugees are more than people in need. They are an important part of the solution. And third, God has begun a worldwide movement of his people to welcome and love refugees.
Learn more below.
Discover how you can help people survive and recover from forced displacement by providing them with shelter, water, Bibles, church buildings, schools, income-generation, specialized training and more!
Whether by joining the support team of one of our missionaries or by joining one of our teams yourself, you can show up in the lives of refugees. Explore the unique work of IAFR in Africa, Europe and North America.
All photos on this website by IAFR.