Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

To: The Editor of Kakuma News Reflector

Posted in Arts, Contributors, Letter from the Editor, News Updates, Opinion by KANERE on March 23, 2020

I have been a reader of KANERE for a long while. Many refugees like myself feel that KANERE is the only independent media that gives voice to refugees in both the Kakuma camp and the Kalobeyei settlement.

I would like to raise some concerns about the different ways that refugees all over the camp have been suffering, sometimes due to oppressive humanitarian policies. We hope future publications will cover these issues:

The first issue is about the rations on which we survive in Kakuma. You are denied a ration card if you have missed two food distributions. If you miss, your ration card is permanently deactivated and you are told to register anew. Imagine, someone has stayed ten years and then misses just three months, and they are required to start everything as if they are a newcomer.

The ration system becomes a way to police people, as if we are locked up in the camp. I know a family of five who were in Nairobi for medical reasons. When they came back to Kakuma, they discovered that their ration card had been deactivated. After staying months without a ration, the card was finally activated but recognizing only two people in the household. What kind of humanitarian treatment is this? I have attached a photo of a family begging to the agencies to open up their ration card. I hope you will find a space to publish that photo.

The second issue is about mental health. A lot of people who have been suffering due to mental illness, and the numbers of suicides are rising. It is good to create awareness about suicide prevention, but doing this only occasionally cannot help us. Refugees need counseling, and I hope KANERE will raise this issue in future editions to sound the alarm for organizations and donors.

The third issue concerns documentation. The Refugee Affaires Secretariat (RAS) is understaffed. They need to add additional employees and budget so that they can more adequately serve refugees. It takes so long for us to retrieve vital documents and permissions. The latest figures that I have seen show that around 23,000 asylum seekers are waiting for decisions on their status. They lack interpreters, and this is a big challenge especially for those who do not speak Kiswahili.

Finally, the issue of Coronavirus: Refugees both in Kakuma and Kalobeyei are panicking due to news of the pandemic. I do not think the agencies will save us if the virus reaches here. Please let the world know that we have nothing to rely on. May Allah protect all of us.

I hope you will publish the above message.

Yours faithfully
Essa Suliyman – Kakuma Refugee Camp

Community Radio Established in Kalobeyei Settlement

Posted in Arts, Community and Culture, News Updates by KANERE on March 23, 2020

By KANERE staff writer

REF FM, a new community radio for and by refugees in the Kalobeyei Settlement, is now ready to commence broadcasting for refugees and the host communities.

(more…)

I am not a Failure

Posted in Arts by KANERE on July 31, 2019

By Okelo Sejo KANERE contributor, April 2019

With all due respect
Am not a failure
Failure is an event
Not a person in fact
To be precise its a line
Of graduation right below pass
And its not a virtue (more…)

All in my thought

Posted in Arts, Community and Culture by KANERE on December 31, 2018

By Gidi Abamegal – Tilting cages, Kakuma refugee camp

In front of my tilting cage,
That little but of plastics,
So not to suffer from loneliness,
I travelled far and wide,
All in my thought. (more…)

Resilience in Laughter

Posted in Arts, Community and Culture, Education, Humanitarian Services, News Updates by KANERE on December 31, 2016

By Tolasa Shome and Qaabata Boru

Clowns Without Borders bring joy to Kakuma children (more…)

I Hate My Tribe

Posted in Arts, Opinion by KANERE on December 31, 2016

By Addisu

A tribe is a group of people, often who live together sharing the same language, culture and history, especially those who do not live in towns or cities. (Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 3rd edn.)

According to me, in relation to modernization and social integration of global society, tribal sentiment is a backward idea that can vanish in the process of civilization.

Look at the above definition of tribe which says “Tribe is … those who do not live in towns or cities.” For those who live in rural villages in their tribe, their tribe matters a lot than – their nationhood – because their tribe is their world. It would be an amazing question to a ‘White Man’ (a European or North American) if you ask them what is their tribe. This is not because they never had a tribe but they passed the tribal stage of human evolution and abandoned their tribe long, long ago through civilization and urbanization to the extent that this question surprises them. Today, they (western civilized societies) do not have a tribe but a race of civilized people, and that is where the global society is heading to.

Civilization coupled with digital technology has speeded up the global social integration of peoples of different cultures. We are a global community who share languages, cultures, values, etc.

If we look at the origin of conflicts especially in Africa, they often have an ethnic dimension and are deeply rooted in tribal divisions. The decades-long conflict in South Sudan is one good example.

Tribalism is a precursor of racism; and a tribalist is a racist in a broader view. If we are tribalist, why should we blame others for being racist?

If we use our tribe to discriminate against, marginalize, and/or to promote hatred against others who are not our tribesmen, then do not ask me my tribe. I HATE MY TRIBE.

A Term “Refugee”

Posted in Arts, Contributors, Education by KANERE on February 13, 2016

By Addisu Aznato – Kakuma

One day I asked my students in Intermediate English Language class if they had known the English word “beauty”, but they said they hadn’t. (more…)

Tagged with: , ,

The Stove of Scandals

Posted in Arts, Uncategorized by KANERE on December 25, 2014

A Poem By A. Kuot
(more…)

Open Letter to the UNHCR Office

Posted in Arts, Opinion by KANERE on August 16, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

To the Office of UN – High Commissioner for Refugees, Switzerland, Geneva.

Subject: Arbitrary arrest and deportation of refugees in Nairobi (more…)

Peace in South Sudan

Posted in Arts, News Updates by KANERE on March 12, 2014

By QB

I run away because (more…)

Tagged with: , ,

A Poem for UNHCR

Posted in Arts by KANERE on August 28, 2013

By Ayellow

We are like microorganisms

in a dry riverbed. The Earth, the wind

and our native countries unite to persecute us.

Our countries dispose of us, the earth broils us

and the wind blows us away, de-graded

and traumatized. We have no allies. We only

have U, beloved UNHCR. Life is wind erosion,

Life is dispersing us like dust.

Lucky citizens of the world, if you have

time to breathe today, or go to the beach,

I beg you to look out for us. We are always there

blowing in the wind or sinking in boats

from across your golden beaches.

Tagged with: ,

Ten Reasons for the Arts in Refugee Camps

Posted in Arts, Community and Culture, News Updates by KANERE on December 27, 2012

By Awet Andemicael
awet@post.harvard.edu

Last year, I conducted research for UNHCR (available online at http://www.unhcr.org/4def858a9.html), which suggests that artistic activity often plays a powerful positive role in the lives of refugees living in camps, and can help them survive and even thrive emotionally, spiritually, and physically. (more…)