Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

Community Talking Point May-June 2009

Posted in Community and Culture by KANERE on July 16, 2009

Volume 1, Issue 5-6 / May-June 2009

The Impact of not Having Network at the Cyber Cafe in the Camp.

Tamrat an Ethiopian young man commented that the Internet is very important in the refugee camp. It is timely media for current affairs of the work and exchange of ideas specially sending and receiving documents. It is also important to the people who deal in net work marketing “but it’s not always accessible. Some times we have electric power shortage and the cyber cafe itself is not enough, I felt dark for the period of no net work service and alternatively the only help is if NGOs could establishing other net work services in the camp” said Tamrat in an interview with kanere.

Ashenafi an Ethiopian refugee at (UNISA) distance learning degree program that having internet in the camp is important. Its center for effective communication of friends, family and official matters without any external barriers. Net work marketing also goes together he stated. this cyber café is mostly used by refugee partially those who have knowledge and skills of computer. “I wish UNHCR could intervene in establishing other server in the refuge camp so that competition take place for better service and fair price of refugees, we had no any communication for about two months, apart of friendly communication many students lost several session with their lecturer twice in a week and that was very painful since early march.” said ashenafi during the interview.

Festo a young man from Burundi community commented that the refugees benefited from this refugee run cyber café. “People from different part of world come together through the media and internet interactions so we are always busy in the internet especially in the looking up for sponsorship or scholarship to finish the college or the university courses that individuals are undertaking before they fled their countries of origin so we do not just sit and wait for UNHCR” said Festo. F or the past two month the internet users really felt sad and get blocked out of communicate anywhere in the world and many elite refugees claims that its like they lost a basic need or a belonging for that matter.

Kate Ugandan girl 22years commented that the importance of some thing is known when you lose it. There was no network here for the long time. I really how refugee camp
Internet is important for the refugees especially for those who and not working in the NGOs’ offices. I have access to internet in my office where I am working but I use refugee cyber café when our network is down.
“Actually very many refugees suffered from lack of communication with their friends and relative in different work due to the network interruption since march towards May and I can conclude that missing internet is like losing your clothing sans waking naked around “ said Kate in an interview with kanere.

Gebe an Ethiopian 21 stated that he was a fun of the internet.” In fact for the first time when I heard that internet service is started in the camp I’m so exited its safe and fasted means of communication source of information as well,” said gebe
Gebe stated that he do use internet five days in a week and he has many of his friends whom they internet through in the internet he concluded that it would be nice thing on the earth if all refugees are educated about the internet and were provided with the free internet service in the camps since only few people can afford to pay for the charges of using the internet.” Said gebe during his interview with kanere journalist.

Abebe Gutama commented that the impact of not having a cyber café in the camp was very bad. He stated that he use cyber café every days of the week to communicated with family and friend “when cyber café shut down I felt terribly sad. I lost all the communication and I feel I was just blocked from news, education or information, e-mail is much cheaper than telephone and I feel internet is getting to be a basic need” said Abebe in an interview with kanere journalist. According to Abebe several cyber café should be opened in a refugee camp to bring camp into more light and free internet service should be provided to refugees once in every two weeks like the food distribution cycle.

Peter – Sudanese UNISA student “Internet service in the camp is very important. That is the only way that we feel that we are the part of the world. Scholar program uses internet line from refugee JRS. Internet services are used to communicate with our lecturers and do group discussion with some of the students in South Africa, UNSA students.
On my free time, I do communicate with the rest of my friends in many countries; in addition, that is the only way for me to do job search with Agencies in Sudan Program. For about two months when there was internet problems in the camp, actually we missed a lots of communications in fact I felt that I got isolated from the world”

Abel Congolese young man commented that having internet service is very interesting in the refugee camp. It creates many opportunities to many refugees in terms of communication, working in NGO and have access to internet in the office where I’m working. However, during holidays and weekends, I do browse in the refugee cyber café is like having a free world.
Although it has not affected me much, the absence of internet service in the camp for about two months impacted negatively to very many refugee and local community members who has no internet access in the NGOs offices”

Saidi Atoli, Kenyan, commented that it is very much important for the refugees and the surrounding host community members to be provided with the free internet services,
It is cheaper and timely media of communication. These days’ person prefers internet or e-mail than letters and phones communications.
Refugee camp internet is the only one way we have been using for communication on job search, learning purposes and for current news as the newspaper; coverage is low in this area making lively comments to our refugee free press. In the absence of the internet the camps life gets affected.
On my experience, I applied job through internet and waiting for response. I could not check the reply because network was down for the past two months. Lastly, when I access to it I found the organization set me an interview schedule and the dead line has already passed. Any way, I can say it is only here in kakuma refugee camp has good internet in the large turkana district.
Here, I suggest that the agencies should assist the refugee and the host communities by establishing the broad band Internet machine so that large number of people to access internet services. For example, I was working in Sudan and I know UNICEF, fixed very good internet machine for Rumbek youth in the purpose of income generating activities and why should not NGOs do the same in kakuma?

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