Kakuma (Kenya): a mutual aid association between Burundian refugees

Kakuma (Kenya): a mutual aid association between Burundian refugees

Intellectuals, religious people, young students and enlightened refugees have created an association for mutual aid between Burundian refugees called “Umoja Ni Nguvu (unity is strength)”. The objective is to mobilize funds to help each other in especially painful and/or accidental events. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The association was born in April 2022 and its actions are already commendable to Burundian refugees in the Kakuma camp in Kenya.

“The idea came from a community leader when we found ourselves in a team of less than ten people at the funeral of a Burundian. It was really shameful : having the misfortune to lose a person and missing people who accompany him to his last resting place”, says a founder of the said association.

“We said to ourselves that we must mobilize people, they really responded massively and we have reached more than a hundred members. The first achieved objective is to have members”, he says.

The association helps above all in the event of death, accidents or the arrest of people.

“We are mobilizing and raising funds either to reserve a dignified burial and organize funeral ceremonies, or to treat victims of an accident or to organize visits to the cells to buy food for detainees”, rejoice members of “Umoja Ni Nguvu”.

For the moment, the association also includes Rwandans but initiators and leaders remain Burundians. Its members ask all Burundian refugees to break with loneliness and join others in this association.

“It’s also a way to fight against the stress and fatigue of exile. We meet, we discuss and we no longer feel isolated. It’s another family”, members explain.

For other communities such as Somalis and the Congolese, this type of association is about to create jobs or stimulate income-generating activities, which “Umoja Ni Nguvu” also intends to do.

Kakuma hosts more than 200,000 refugees from several countries of the East African Community and the Horn of Africa, including more than 20,000 Burundians.

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