Kenya + 1 more

UNHCR Kenya Kakuma Operational Update, 12 - 25 June 2015

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Highlights

  • As at 25 June 2015, Kakuma had received 46,235 asylum seekers from South Sudan. As at 21 June 184,527 refugees and asylum seekers had been registered by UNHCR and DRA, with South Sudanese refugees making up 50.1% of the total camp population.

  • The Day of the African Child was marked on 16 June in Kakuma with cultural performances and skits. The performances highlighted the day’s theme which focused on ending early child marriage.  A team from Vodafone Foundation arrived in Kakuma on 19 June to prepare for the launch of the Instant Network Schools project on 26 June. The eLearning project will be launched in a secondary school and a community library in the camp. The project seeks to answer issues of accessibility of learning materials and connectivity which pose a major challenge in most schools in the camp. The Instant Classrooms are a mobile, quick and easily deployable solution that allow for interactive classes using mobile educational content.

  • On 19 June, the Governor of Turkana County officially handed over the land for a new camp in Kalobeyei which is about 20 kilometers from Kakuma. The terms of agreement were signed by UNHCR Kenya Representative, the MP for Turkana-West, the Commissioner of the Department of Refugee Affairs and Turkana County Secretary in the presence of the Governor and other government officials. This comes after a year of negotiations between UNHCR, DRA, the County and sub-county officials and the local community.

  • On 20 June, Kakuma was the epicenter of World Refugee Day celebrations for the UNHCR operation in Kenya. The event, whose theme for this year was ‘Get to Know Refugees – People Like You and Me,’ was attended by thousands of refugees including the host community, National and County government officials, UNHCR staff and staff from other UN and humanitarian agencies and members of the diplomatic corps. The event was marked by colourful performances by refugees and host community members. There were elaborate exhibits of cultural cuisine, dress, songs and dances from over 15 nationalities that make up the camp’s population.

  • The highlight of the event was the announcement by UNHCR Kenya Representative, Raouf Mazou of Ger Duany as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. The former South Sudanese refugee and now accomplished actor based in the United States, has been one of UNHCR’s high profile supporters. In his acceptance speech, Duany expressed gratitude to UNHCR for the role and also thanked his mother for her role in his life. He was further honored by the Mr. and Miss. Kakuma World Refugee Day 2015 pageant finalists with traditional Turkana regalia fit for an elder.

  • A former South Sudanese refugee Awer Mabil and current football player for one of Australia’s top teams - Adelaide United, arrived in Kakuma on 22 June. Awer who is accompanied by his brother, a fellow teammate and Ian Smith, a prominent businessman and founder of “from Barefoot to Boots” initiative, is in Kakuma to distribute football shirts and boots to refugees. Awer and Ian are running the initiative as a way to gather more support for refugee children and youth by providing sporting equipment and conducting football clinics and mentorship sessions.