Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

Letter from the Editor

Posted in Letter from the Editor by KANERE on December 22, 2008

Volume 1, Issue 1 / December 2008

To all KANERE readers, here and abroad:

We are most pleased to introduce the Kakuma News Reflector, known among us as KANERE. We hope this inaugural edition will mark the beginning of a strong history of refugee reporting on encampment.

Through this publication, we act on our conviction that refugees should be involved in monitoring the work pertaining to their affairs, and should be given a meaningful channel to address their concerns to relevant bodies. We hold that a free press is one of the most effective means of human rights awareness. In this sense, our publication represents one step in a larger project to re-conceptualize refugee affairs from the ground up. To the well-established voices of academia, law, and institutions, we wish to add the emerging voices of refugees.

The birth of KANERE has been the result of concerted effort by a small team of journalists. Concerned at the lack of refugee participation in refugee law and policy, we wish to offer our own perspectives in a constructive bid for involvement. Disheartened at the lack of international attention to our prolonged encampment, we wish to spark awareness and interest from all quarters. We are appalled at the lack of human rights monitoring in refugee camps, and hope to stimulate discussion and debate over the events that unfold in our daily lives.

We are committed to the strictest honesty and integrity in our journalism. If our reporting is sometimes gritty, it reflects the perspective from the ground. If our analysis is sometimes incomplete, it reflects the information we have been given—and our access as refugees is often very limited. We are dedicated to the courageous questions and clear thinking that are necessary for a free and balanced press.

The theatre of our lives is diverse. As a community-based newspaper, our operations are local while our vision is international. Our primary concern is to provide local reporting for refugees and Kenyans living in and around Kakuma Refugee Camp. At the same moment, we are acutely aware of the international influences that bear on our daily lives, and this is also reflected in our reporting.

We welcome comments and contributions from all our readers. We send our especial greetings to all those members of our Kakuma community who have been resettled abroad, and welcome your input. Please address all correspondence to blo3@cornell.edu.

With many thanks to the humanitarian agencies who have walked with us and worked for us thus far, we press for the day when refugee rights are an entitlement rather than a gift. It is a long time coming and we are only one voice, but our vision burns.



7 Responses

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  1. Laura O said, on December 28, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Wow! This was such an eye-opening experience to read these articles touching on such varied aspects of life in the camp. I am left with a sense of awe and admiration for the people who see or live in these conditions and conclude to work to bring about change. A huge thank you to those who shared their difficult experiences in print so that others can know of the changes that need to be brought to the agencies controlling health care, water, food, education and just about all aspects of camp life. May this paper be the beginning of change for all of those in the camp and those still coming!

  2. Daniel Denbel said, on January 4, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Keep it up ur true spirit refugee in Kakuma.

  3. Kizitos said, on January 6, 2009 at 9:56 am

    A good initiative. refugee participation in policy design, implimentation and monitoring is key to a comprehensive and satisfactory program in aid and assistance. Keep up.

  4. IT guy said, on January 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    hi there.. i love the work your doing up north.. good job.

  5. Roni said, on January 14, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Hi KANERE,
    Thank you so much for this. I’m very proud of you for taking on this initiative. As a refugee from West Africa, I stand in total support of your goal to ensure that refugee voices (especially women and children) are being heard in law and policy design. KUDOS

  6. Barbara Harrell-Bond said, on January 18, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Hope you will subscribe and regularly contribute to Pambazuka news so that the voice of Kanare will reach its readers. Barbara Harrell-Bond

  7. dr jiok said, on July 8, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Thanks guys for your contributions into this topics on kanere and providing your views. hopefully a good progress made by the kanere will foster in upholding the refugees rights they live in Kenyan camps!! I am in kakuma camp

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