Letter from the Editor
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.