Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

“No Application Form”

Posted in Arts by KANERE on February 28, 2009

Volume 1, Issue 3 / February 2009

Anonymous poem written by a disabled refugee in Kakuma Camp


There is no application form

To be disabled

If there were

I do not imagine myself filling one.


It is difficult to live in this world

Some people look at me

As a useless creature

Yet they do not know.


They do not know

That they are lost

That I do things they can’t.


In the streets

Their attention is drawn

They stare

As if I’ve come from heaven

Some look with merciful faces

Some with the eyes of ignorance.


Don’t judge by my appearance

A wheel-chair and a pair of crutches

Are but a means of transport

They are not part of my body

I’ve got legs with blood and veins.


So if you see a disabled person

Do not laugh

It may happen to you

Because there is no application form.


If there were

I do not imagine myself filling one.

Artwork on the wall of a Youth and Culture Centre in the camp

Artwork on the wall of a Youth and Culture Centre in the camp

2 Responses

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  1. Beth said, on March 24, 2009 at 9:46 am

    This is very moving. I have been guilty myself of making judgments based upon physical appearances; it’s practically unavoidable growing up under the influence of American media. I am so grateful to have had my eyes opened, to see how lucky I am and how meaningless appearances can be. Thank you for sharing this poem, and for this website! Is it possible to receive postal mail in Kakuma camp? Might some of the residents benefit from a sort-of pen pal exchange? I would be interested in initiating something between my university and your camp.

  2. Jerome said, on May 24, 2009 at 10:26 am

    It possible to receive the postal mail in Kakuma camp. Some individuals have their own postal addresses but others have been larrgely using UNHCR’s which is

    Kakuma Refugee Camp
    C/O UNHCR Sub-Office Kakuma
    P.O. Box 43801, Nairobi-Kenya.

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