Reframe is a networking platform that supports refugee led organisations across the world. It showcases their work and connects them to the partnerships and funding they need to transform their communities.
395 Organistions, 27 Countries, Reaching over 1 million people
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SKILLS CHANGE LIVES
SKILLS CHANGE LIVES is a Community-Based Organization (C.B.O) founded in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in the country of Uganda. We support Refugees to become self-reliant and create job opportunities that will promote health and wealth attitudes to people for their well-being and prepare a better future for our communities. We provide life skills and Professional Skills, Entrepreneurship Courses, Business Management, Mentoring, ICT Technology, financial literacy ... WHY WE ARE DOING IT? We want Refugees to build the foundation of their lives that will prevent them from doing things that hurt their lives and their community. E.g.: Joining bad peer groups, Early Marriages and Pregnancies to Women, and Ignoring to exploit their full potential due to this unemployment. HOW WE ARE DOING IT Providing a Free scholarship to Refugees so that they can learn, explore and be able to use their creativity in building their lives. Empowerment&Mentorship: This is all about empowering and keeps on doing a follow-up in the development of their activities. Business consultation: supporting the youth to know, grow and understand the criteria for having a successful business. Success Stories We are passionate about transforming Nakivale and making it a better place to live by building strong pillars of success that will reduce unemployment and promote health and wealth attitudes to people which will be the source of inspiration to everyone whether in or outside the Refugee Camp.
African Solidarity Campaign-AfriSoC
African Solidarity Campaign (AfriSoC) is a pana-African non-profit organization based in Richards Bay KwaZulu Natal South Africa, working to promote peaceful resolution of conflicts and/or disputes, combating any form of violence against women and children, discouraging any sort of racial discrimination, racism, xenophobia and related intolerance between communities. Registered under the department of social development with Reg. No: 235-967 NPO... /Our Vision is to become a leading civil society movement to mining unity, solidarity and wellbeing of African people.. /Our Mission is to address social and structural drivers of poverty and promote unity in diversity by building resilient communities..
Scorpion Control Center
Scorpion Control Center is a refugee led Initiative. It was founded in May 2019 and is dedicated to creating a safe environment, providing education, counseling, and conducting research on venomous animals such as scorpions, Snakes, Centipedes and Spiders within the refugee camp and neighborhoods. The organization focuses on addressing the issues surrounding venomous animals within Kakuma refugee camp, including the high rate of stings/bites and the unnecessary killing of these creatures amongst refugees and host community. We conduct research, gather information related to the species, write flyers, design catalogs containing images of different species and we run a sensitization campaign to raise awareness and provide tips for safety measures anywhere and at any time.
Umoja Refugee Group
UMOJA REFUGEE GROUP is a registered, non-profit refugee-led organization (RLO) that is uplifting/changing the lives of the less privileged refugees’ families and vulnerable local hosts in the urban setup, of Nairobi. Our Inspirations: We believe that “refugee issues cannot be sufficiently resolved without including refugees at the decision-making table”. and this is possible through empowering RLOs to implement community projects as the direct impacting stakeholders on the ground. Areas of focus: URC focuses on empowering refugee women, children, elderlies, and differently-abled persons by applying Self-reliance- based programs, and promoting mental health care and education. We also take action in advocacy by promoting, striving to address, and speaking out for equal access to opportunities to better the lives of the most marginalized and less privileged persons. Our goal is to instill in everyone’s mindset to maintain a good practice of self-reliance standards for families ‘sustainability via procreative activities and skills development “ Umoja Refugee’s governance structure includes the following: - A board of management led by a chairperson - Operations team(staff) led by An executive director Women take up to 60% of the roles in management and executive. Our programs and Activities: 1. Mental health: counseling, PFA, SRHR, MHPSS, GBV. theme: “MY MENTAL HEALTH STABILITY IS KEY TO MY SELF-RELIANCE STANDARDS” 2 Livelihoods: a. Skills development: cinematography, digital literacy, &graphic design, tailoring training, English class, handcrafts (sewing, making detergents) b. Talent& Mentorship: filmmaking, media and storytelling, and mentorship activities c. Welfare& social assistance program: i.e.: UFEDSP/ Under Five, Elderlies and Disabled Support Program 3. Advocacy: Participating in advocacy forums, ODF, Refugee Act regulations, and sensitization We do community engagement through advocacy campaigns and awareness.
Allvox is a legally registered refugee-founded and youth-led community-focused organization that facilitates community’s own response to its local challenges. The not-for profit initiative was founded in January 2021 in response to consequences of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Uganda. It got officially registered with Terego District in May 2022 as a community-based organization in Imvepi refugee settlement with registration number 636/050. Envisioning a young change making community, Allvox focuses on inclusive education, environmental conservation and media for local development. From a content creation group to a community-focused organization, our story of foundation traces back to 2021 when the global coronavirus’s wreckage on lives in refugee settlements got deeper. The plights of the people we serve were the driving forces that set the foundations of this intervention. Imvepi settlement with over 60,000 refugees had been facing untold challenges: a hike in teenage pregnancies and marriages; youth unemployment; limited educational opportunities; misinformation, disinformation and hate speech; conflicts over resources; and declining relief cuts. Since the settlement’s opening in 2017, humanitarian organizations had been responding to local community challenges. During a tour in the settlement on New Year eve in 2021, our founder discovered that a solar-powered local community radio set up by some refugee partners – made out of mega-phones – was pumping a lot of music, announcements and with largely no educative programmes. The radios lacked more playable content that could edutain the community action. As a result, our founder solicited young refugees and formed a drama group on January 6th 2021 in which they planned, acted, recorded and produced playable audio programmes. One year later, what was initially a Covid-19 content group graduated to a fully registered community-concern nonprofit organization. Allvox’s response strategy is simple; leverages the local resources in designing sustainable community-driven solutions.
VOLUNTEERS MOVEMENT FOR HUMANITARIAN RESCUE
The Volunteers Movement for Humanitarian Rescue (VMHR) is a refugee-led organization born in 2019, based in Kakuma Northwestern Turkana County, Kenya-East Africa. VMHR works towards building sustainable development for refugees, displaced people, and vulnerable people of the host communities. The purpose of VMHR is to promote social welfare, Health and well-being, education, agriculture, environment and nature preservation, poverty alleviation, and sexual education for disadvantaged people. Our Mission: To empower and promote active participation of refugees, displaced and vulnerable people of the host communities towards a better future. Our Vision: To build a dignified and self-reliant society with equal opportunities. Activities: Our core programs focus on promoting social welfare, Health and well-being, education, agriculture, environment and nature preservation, poverty alleviation, and sexual education. Core values: • Respect for human dignity • Social Justice • Inclusion • Compassion • Cooperation • Gender inclusivity • Transparency Our principals: • Humanity: VMHR will work without discrimination and with respect for human rights. • Impartiality: VMHR treats people equally without regard to national or ethnic origins, gender, or religious or political beliefs. • Independence: VMHR acts independently and is free from any influence of political parties, the military, or any other groups. • Networking: VMHR links with the government and other agencies to meet the organization’s objectives. • Non-violence: VMHR is committed to nonviolence and discourages any form of violence in any situation. • Voluntary service: The VMHR is a voluntary movement not prompted in any manner desire for individual gain.
NEW TALENT FOR THE BEST FUTURE
Living in a refugee camp for just several months, is one of the biggest challenges people can face in their life and Nakivale refugee settlement is one of them because it is easier to get traumatized, to loose hope, to grow without formal education, to even die with diseases like malaria and infections. In 2019, some youths living in Nakivale refugee settlement met on a street and started discussing about their life challenges in the camp, and many of them noticed that their friends have been suffering for so long from stress, trauma, hunger, and other different diseases and these situations were similar to many of them. After meeting on the street and discussed, these young people had set a place where children and youths could meet to share stories and life experience within the community. A few weeks ago, people were interested to come regularly in the place to listen to other people’s stories and gain more interest of sharing theirs. Then we saw that as an opportunity of uniting people in our community and we got a vision to make these meetings well organized, involving some community leaders; therefore, in January 25th, 2020, out of these story telling meetings and life experience sharing, we create a community-based Organization under the name of New Talent for the Best Future with a mission of Raising marginalized Children and Youths' Talents through Education, Sport, Art and Social skills.
People for Peace and Defence of Rights (PPDR Uganda) is an independent, non-partisan, and nonprofit Refugee-Led organization that focuses on empowering refugees through education, livelihood, and advocacy. - We empower refugees through our skills development programs Fashion and Design, Shoemaking, arts and crafts, Bag making, and art. - Financial literacy training and formation of self-help groups, so far we have 10 registered with over 20 members each. - We provide English, French, and Swahili language education to refugees (Adults and Children) as well as literacy adult education -Through advocacy, we do dispute resolution mechanisms, access to justice( access to legal representation in courts of law through partner organizations), through PASHA: a program that focuses on storytelling and poetry where refugees are empowered to tell their own stories by writing, slam, spoken word, poetry or music. - Psychosocial support: we provide counseling and trauma therapy to refugees in need of psychosocial support. - Sport: PPDR SPORTS CLUB has recruited 85 youth who undergo training in soccer for peace and development.
Endam Home of Hope
Endam Home of Hope is Refugee Women led organization in Nigeria. It was created in 2018 and registered in 2019. Endam Home of Hope has been i We support Refugees to integrate into society faster and safer through provision of temporal shelter, fight Against Gender Based Violence, train them to acquire different skills and Empower them with start up kits. So far we train more than 500 refugees, we have provided temporal shelter more than 150 refugees, and we have created awareness against gender base violence to over 1000 people. Endam Home of Hope won the UNHCR women led organization innovative award in 2022 and the grant helped us impact more lives positively. Endam Home of Hope has been funded by COHERE and partners with other organizations like UNHCR, national commission for refugees migrants and internally displaced persons, justice for peace and development commission. We implement projects in Abuja, Oron Akwa Ibom State, Ogoja and Benue state. Other sources of our funds are income from NKA Borngreat International company, sales from books written by the founder, Endam Home of Hope won the UNHCR 2022 Women led Organization innovative award.
What’s happening in Sudan? On the 15th April 2023, violence broke out in Sudan’s capital Khartoum between the country’s army and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces. The situation has continued to escalate and has spread across the country, including the Darfur region. Despite an agreement between the military players for a ceasefire, the fighting has reportedly continued. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict and 5.7 million have been displaced (ReliefWeb). 80 percent of these people are internally displaced, and the remaining 1 million have fled to the neighbouring countries of Chad, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, with some individuals travelling as far as Uganda. It is reported that violence is continuing to rage across the country. Furthermore, Sudan is home to over one million refugees from other countries, about 75% of whom are from South Sudan, mostly based in the Khartoum and White Nile states. According to ACAPS, 48% of the refugee population in Sudan are under 18. These communities are being directly affected by the violence. Refugee led response Refugee leaders and organisations are playing a critical role in supporting their communities as the situation continues to unfold across the country. These groups are particularly vulnerable and need our support urgently. We have partnered with a number of refugee-led organisations who are working on the ground to help people fleeing the violence, including I CAN SOUTH SUDAN, Sudanese Women for Peace and Development Association (SWPDA), Hope Relief and Rehabilitation for Disabilities Support (HRRDS) and GRTR Uganda. I CAN SOUTH SUDAN, an organisation based in South Sudan and Uganda, have been working in Gorom Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Juba. They have been providing clothes, food, water, shelter and other basic needs at reception centers which are being set up to receive new arrivals. They are developing a programme of activities and creating safe spaces for children within the camp. Beyond meeting people’s immediate needs, they will offering legal support and child protection services to those in need. HRRDS are supporting displaced people in the Nuba Mountains in Sudan, providing food items, blankets, tents & dignity kits for the women and young girls who have been displaced to that region. Your money will help these organisations provide safety and important supplies to those in need. Will you support them today?
Raised: £ 35,422
Five RLOs efficiently run schools with a total of 43 classrooms and 51 teachers, collectively providing access to formal education to 2071 children ( 1709 refugees, 362 from host communities). At the global level, UNHCR estimates that half of the 3.5 million refugee children of primary school age do not go to school. The psychosocial impact of being forcibly displaced coupled with the inadequate opportunities for education negatively affects their childhood development experiences resulting in a deficient quality of life. Formal education systems in refugee-hosting countries cannot meet the educational needs of refugees by themselves. Refugee-Led Organizations (RLOs) are playing a vital role in closing the existing education gaps. With additional funding, these RLOs can fill the existing capacity gaps such as the construction of more classrooms to accommodate more pupils, employing more teachers to achieve an appropriate pupil-teacher ratio, providing continuous teacher development training, acquiring additional learning resources etc. We are inviting donors and partners to support these RLOs to continue providing quality education to children within their communities.
Raised: £ 34,091
Gaining employment as a refugee is harder than for a national. Refugees face discrimination both in entering the job market and in the monthly salary they receive once entering the job market. Barriers to refugee livelihoods lead to extreme poverty and long-term negative life outcomes. For example, the levels of poverty faced by households in Kakuma in northern Kenya can be illustrated in the behavior of 43% of families who employ immediately harmful coping mechanisms such as spending entire days without eating. However, there are opportunities for refugees to engage in and contribute to local and international economic growth. With the right skills, investments, and networks, refugees are playing a key role in local and international value chains. With improving connectivity and market linkages refugees all over the world are engaging in remote work and generating income online. These refugee-led organizations (RLOs) are collectively empowering youth with digital skills and connecting them with digital employment opportunities thus significantly contributing to their sustainable livelihoods. Facilities improvement, tapping into better internet connectivity, and procuring more and better computers are some of the urgent needs that these RLOs can address with additional funding. We invite donors and other partners to support them with funding of any amount.
Raised: £ 0
Latest news & articles directly from our blog
Feb 7, 2024
Andias and Angela - both refugees in Kenya - team up to discuss the importance of localised mentorship for girls. By McCreadie Andias, Communications Manager, Nawezaa This story is part of the co-branded story series, 'Rewriting the Narrative: Stories of & from Refugee and Community-Led Initiatives' a collaborative effort between Samuel Hall, Youth Voices Community, Cohere, and Reframe Initiative. Members of various Refugee-Led Organisations (RLOs) participating in the Reframe Initiative underwent an introductory training in storytelling and advocacy. They were then invited to share their personal narratives, capturing their journey, work, and the lasting impact of their initiatives. This collaboration aims not only to spotlight their incredible work but also to empower them with the skills to share their own stories effectively, fostering greater support, funding, and opportunities for their vital work. This story highlights one RLO’s work in Nairobi on mentorship - Samuel Hall seeks to elevate their voice and connect them to those who can support them in amplifying their social impact. Twenty years ago, Angela Jean left her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a baby - with no understanding of her sudden transition or what destiny awaited hert. Her father had gone ahead to Kenya in 2003, striving to find a safe place for his family amidst the escalating civil unrest in the DRC, which, according to UNHCR, had compelled nearly 1 million people to flee their homes in search of safety. When they reunited in Kenya, life was challenging, with obstacles such as renting and adapting to the new surroundings. Even the Congolese accent felt like a burden. "Congolese have that accent that, when they speak Swahili, you immediately know they don't belong here." For Angela, who lives with her parents at Kabiria, a small village in Nairobi, this accent was like a ticket to estrangement. However, life began to find a semblance of normalcy when she enrolled at Ngong Forest Primary School in Nairobi. She started her education hoping to reshape the future of her family and community. Angela recalls that at Ngong Forest Primary School, where she and her brother were students, nobody knew of their refugee status at first. Her peers and even the teachers treated her just like any other Kenyan student simply because they were unaware of her background. "Everything changed in class six when my dad visited our school for the first time. That visit revealed to my teachers and classmates that we were not Kenyans," Angela shared. Angela and her brother faced challenges. Their academic success sparked jealousy among some classmates, who felt overshadowed. "They seemed to think we had come to outdo them," Angela observed. She recalls a particularly difficult day in class six during a lesson on creation. "The teacher asked us to divide into groups based on our tribes. I was the only refugee in the class and found myself alone." Returning home in tears, Angela confided in her sister, "I don't want to return to that school. I don't feel like I belong there. I want to go home,” she said, questioning if being a refugee was a crime. This incident deeply affected Angela, leading to depression and impacting her remaining time at primary school. When the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams approached, an unexpected hurdle arose. Although the KCPE exams, marking the transition from primary to high school, are typically free for every pupil regardless of tribe or origin, Angela was asked to bring 800 shillings to sit for the exams because of her refugee status. When Angela inquired about this charge, the head teacher bluntly asked, "Did I ask you to become a refugee?" Angela feels that this remark made her fail her exams. Despite her challenges, a still bright and determined Angela eventually progressed to high school, aspiring to become a doctor. Throughout her high school journey, Angela attended three different schools. The first two provided relief, as they had many refugee students from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Burundi. This environment made her feel more secure, surrounded by individuals with whom she shared similar backgrounds and stories. "It has been tough being a refugee, it made me into a liar" Angela's experience at her third high school was particularly challenging, especially during business classes. "How is the Congolese currency?" her teacher would jokingly ask another Congolese student, sparking laughter and mockery in the classroom. Interestingly, most students and teachers at this school were unaware of her refugee status. They assumed she was from the Kikuyu tribe of Kenya, as she spoke the language fluently, having spent 19 years in the country. However, Angela still felt deep sadness and empathy when her fellow Congolese were ridiculed in class. To cope with this environment, Angela found herself concealing her true nationality."I used to tell my classmates that I'm Tanzanian. I had to hide my origin," she reveals. After completing high school, Angela joined Refushe, an organisation dedicated to empowering refugee girls. This period of her life was particularly challenging, as she was the sole provider of her family. "My dad was working as a senior pastor at an ACK church. He had a stark choice: work under a Kenyan or resign. Feeling disgraced, he left the job.” Angela, already burdened by failed relationships and family struggles, found herself grappling with deep depression. She felt like an empty shell, struggling to find something to hold onto. "I felt like nobody wanted me or my family," she expressed. The combined weight of her father losing his job, her family's dire situation, and her own experiences of alienation drove her to a point where she contemplated ending her life. With pills in hand, ready to give up, she paused to consider the impact on her family: "What would my parents think of me? Would this solve our problems?" It was her strong relationship with her father that proved pivotal. Turning to him in her despair, he offered perspective and support. "Life has been tough since Congo," he reminded her. Her father then shared that her mother had suffered five miscarriages while they were fleeing the civil war in the DRC. This insight into her family's resilience in adversity was sobering. "One day, we will fight for our country, and we won't have to be called refugees anymore," her father encouraged her. Yet, Angela couldn't help but wonder when that day would come. An (Unsustainable) Opportunity At that time, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was offering startup funding for businesses run by refugees. Angela, who had previously believed that refugees were solely dependent on aid, eagerly seized this opportunity. Although, her initial application was rejected, weeks later, she was recalled by the IRC and granted Ksh 56,000 for her business startup. Angela used Ksh 30,000 of this funding to pay off her father's debts. She also realised she had to change her plans: local government regulations prevented refugees from obtaining business permits, barring her from running a business freely. With the remaining Ksh 26,000, Angela ventured into an online business, shipping clothes abroad. This endeavour ultimately failed due to insufficient capital for stocking inventory, bringing her family's financial situation back to square one. Angela addresses a common misconception within the host community: the belief that refugees are financially well-off. She explains how the local population often assumes that refugees have substantial funds, believing they receive significant financial support from the UNHCR and other organisations. Moreover, she points out that refugees often face even more significant challenges, as they typically lack formal and sustainable sources of livelihood, making their financial struggles more pronounced. On the contrary, Angela believes that refugees living in urban areas are not receiving adequate support from the UNHCR, feeling that the focus is disproportionately on those in refugee camps. She asserts that this leaves urban refugees feeling abandoned and segregated. Dwindling Hopes for the Future When asked if there is real hope for her future, Angela can't help but feel a tinge of sadness. This stems from her perception of limited prospects for growth and achieving her dreams. Angela contemplates that if an opportunity to work abroad and support her family doesn't materialise, she might consider marrying a Kenyan. But why a Kenyan, specifically? Angela's reasoning is deeply rooted in cultural dynamics. She understands that in many African cultures, the children of a mixed-tribe couple are typically identified with the father's tribe. Therefore, Angela hopes to secure a Kenyan nationality for her future children by marrying a Kenyan citizen. This, she believes, would spare them from the rejection, mockery, exclusion, and abuse she endured due to her refugee status and her mother's origins. Angela's story resonates with thousands of other refugee girls who have endured similar hardships.. They often lack mentorship to overcome stigma and depression, and require guidance to handle the heavy and early responsibilities thrust upon them. Nawezaa - Localising Support Through Mentorship Nawezaa is a youth-led refugee organisation established in Dagoretti, Nairobi. A Swahili word that means 'I Can,' Nawezaa inspires youths to believe in the possibility of achieving their dreams. Established in 2020, Nawezaa is actively involved in various activities, including providing Sexual Reproductive Health training to empower refugee youths, writing and publishing inspiring stories about their experiences, and conducting media interviews to raise awareness about refugee projects. Additionally, Nawezaa offers sports mentorship through the 'Refugee United in Sports (RUIS)' Programme and engages in advocacy work to support and represent refugee interests effectively. It runs with a mission to give a voice to refugees and share their stories while empowering, guiding, supporting, and mentoring girls like Angela. Nawezaa's mentorship program is tailored to the needs of girls who have experienced the hardships of displacement. It addresses their needs through support and awareness for menstrual health, pad drive initiatives, and girl-talk sessions. These efforts aim to support, encourage, mentor, and guide young girls, helping them find hope, survival, and growth amidst their challenges. One of Nawezaa's initiatives, the sexual reproductive health training titled 'She-world', was conducted in April this year. It equipped participants, including Angela, with skills, ideas, and knowledge to address issues faced by refugee girls, often neglected due to barriers in local systems. The three-day training impacted 300 girls with experiences of forced displacement. It covered a range of topics, including business startups, relationship and sexuality guidance, managing issues like early pregnancies and miscarriages, menstrual education, self-awareness, combating stigma in schools, and coping with home challenges. Angela shares that she gained invaluable experience from Nawezaa's She-world project. She had previously conflated contraceptives with family planning but now understands their differences. Reflecting on her mother's five miscarriages, she believes that increased awareness and knowledge of sexual and reproductive health could help reduce or prevent such incidents. Such support could mean Angela and others wouldn't feel resigned to marriage as their sole path to identity, survival, or mental well-being. Rather than viewing marriage to a citizen as the only option, mentorship can provide alternative avenues for empowerment and self-realisation. Initiatives like Nawezaa's can equip girls with the knowledge and tools to tackle their challenges and those affecting their families. However, Nawezaa faces operational and funding obstacles. The organisation lacks a formal office setup, limiting engagements with potential partners, and is missing a primary funding source to secure their activities over the long term To fulfill the potential of Nawezaa, we are searching for partners to provide us with digital equipment such as laptops for writing and editing stories, podcast equipment for shows, capacity-building training to enhance staff expertise, partnerships for media engagements and projects, and funding to establish and maintain office space. As an organisation, we are committed to making the Angelas of the world feel loved, protected, cared for, and supported. This approach nurtures their individual growth and contributes to a more inclusive and empathetic society.
Jan 31, 2024
At the crossroads of climate justice, skills development, and women's empowerment, Resilience Action International is crafting sustainable solutions for a greener environment and a brighter tomorrow. Gloria Mairura, RAI's Business Development and Communications Manager, interviews two programme participants to understand their impact and their message to the world. By Gloria Mairura This story is part of the co-branded story series, 'Rewriting the Narrative: Stories of & from Refugee and Community-Led Initiatives' a collaborative effort between Samuel Hall, Youth Voices Community, Cohere, and Reframe Network. Members of various Refugee and Community Led Organisations (RLOs) participating in the Reframe Network underwent an introductory training in storytelling and advocacy. They were then invited to share their personal narratives, capturing their journey, work, and the lasting impact of their initiatives. This collaboration aims not only to spotlight them but also to empower them with the skills to share their own stories effectively, fostering greater support, funding, and opportunities for their vital work. This story highlights one RLO’s work in Kakuma, Kenya on climate change - Samuel Hall seeks to elevate their voice and connect them to those who can support them in amplifying their social impact. Climate migration has been and continues to be a significant factor contributing to migration in East Africa. Several young refugees recount experiences of climate-related migration as their first reason for leaving their homes. This phenomenon also applies to those already within the camp, who find themselves displaced for a second or subsequent time within the camp, primarily due to natural disasters, such as flash floods or powerful winds in the Kakuma region. People here often struggle to make a living in ways that are different from what they were used to in their home countries. This challenge is particularly pronounced for those who previously worked as farmers, pastoralists, or fishermen and have had to adapt to life in hot and arid regions like the Turkana county - where Kakuma Refugee camp is located. In an effort to resolve some of these issues, in 2010, Muzabel Welongo, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, established Resilience Action International (RAI) in Kakuma, Kenya. Over the years, RAI has earned a reputation as a refugee-led organisation by focusing on enhancing the economic resilience of youth. Kakuma's challenging environment, characterised by a semi-arid climate with temperatures averaging 40 degrees Celsius and an annual rainfall average of 200mm, underscores the need for environmental conservation and sustainable, eco-friendly economic activities. RAI's economic empowerment initiatives are crucial steps toward mitigating the impacts of climate migration within the displaced Kakuma community. To address the lack of access to clean energy for refugees not connected to the national electricity grid, RAI, through its subsidiary Okapi Green Ltd, is distributing solar power to homes and small businesses in Kakuma 3. This initiative aims to replace costly and environmentally damaging alternatives like candles, diesel generators, and charcoal. I have always believed that climate change is a serious yet an often overlooked issue as refugees and asylum seekers in Kakuma face many challenges due to the climate crisis, in addition to their existing vulnerability. Working with RAI has given me the opportunity to connect with brilliant refugee youths and learn more about displacement first-hand. To assess and document their own influence, I, on behalf of RAI, engaged in conversations with two people from the camp to explore their personal journeys; the effect RAI has had on their lives and how they think international organisations can support community-led initiatives of green transition. Local Solutions For Global Problems: Interview with Ardiya -Ardiya (in a green Okapi shirt) demonstrating to learners how to operate a domestic solar kit in Kakuma 3 training centre. 27-year-old Aridya arrived in Kakuma in 2012 from Sudan. He currently works at Okapi Green Ltd as a Project Lead. Along with his teams, he provides training to youths in Kakuma refugee camp on operating and maintaining portable solar-powered kits for domestic use. Q1: Have you ever been forced to relocate due to extreme weather events? A: Yes, indeed. Part of the reason for our move to Kenya was the mudslides and frequent flooding in the lowland area of Sarbuye in Sudan. This area was known for its plantations and fruit trees but was prone to flooding due to rivers and streams that overflowed in rainy seasons. Villagers had to relocate to the higher hill region of Nuba Mountains to escape the devastation caused by mudslides and flooding on their livestock and animals. Following the mudslides, there was often a period of starvation as food crops and most domestic animals perished during the event or later due to hunger. At one point, even the village chief advised families to move out of the valley. Q2: How did this experience shape your life in Kakuma? A: Upon arriving at Kakuma refugee camp, we were allocated a piece of land in Kakuma 1, close to a seasonal stream that divided the camp. This larger stream collected rainwater from nearby secondary schools and the two smaller streams, causing flooding and impassable paths during heavy rains. In 2015, we moved to Kakuma 3 with the help of our block leader and camp authorities. I have adapted to the hot and dry climate in Kakuma, but I still struggle with the strong, dusty winds that can blow away roofs. I've seen neighbours lose their 'mabati' homes to these winds in Kalobeyei. Others have had to rebuild their brick houses after heavy downpours in the camp. We don't have many relocation options, so we have to manage as best as we can. Q3: How did you get involved with RAI and Okpai Green? A: I became aware of RAI, through public posters and colleagues who worked there. I was in high school at the time and would pass by the RAI centre in Kakuma 2 to visit friends. Additionally, I worked as a facilitator for RAI on a five-month project in 2022 before applying for a job with Okapi Green Ltd in 2023. I chose Okapi Green Ltd because its mission and vision aligned with my passion. I hold a bachelor's degree in Education in Mathematics and Physics from Kenyatta University, and Okapi had the right job for me. Furthermore, I have the opportunity to facilitate workshops and witness physics in action through solar power technology. It's remarkable how simple technology can generate significant power without harming the environment. Q4: How has RAI influenced your thoughts on Climate Migration? A: Working with Okapi Green Ltd, to promote the use of renewable energy in homes and small businesses has shown me how ordinary people can access clean and natural power. It's my hope that I can apply this knowledge back in Sudan, where we could harness floodwaters to generate power, much like we've harnessed the sunny weather in Kakuma for a positive purpose. Additionally, I'm interested in pursuing a master's degree in natural sciences in the near future. I've come to believe that both for-profit and nonprofit organisations should adopt environmentally friendly strategies and structures in their activities to reduce harm and protect the environment in the areas where they operate. "Youths are the drivers of change. It's up to us to be creative in adopting and developing conservation measures that protect the environment and our homes." Q5: What efforts do you see the refugee communities and RLOs making in the camp around climate change and mobility and how can the international community support them? I have seen local organisations within Kakuma refugee camp working with the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) to assist people affected by strong winds and flooding in the camp to build sturdy shelters that can withstand extreme winds and heavy rainfall without disintegrating or leaking. Furthermore, RLOs are collaborating with small self-help groups and communities affected by flooding and impassable roads. They are working together to dig ditches that divert flood water away from residences, preventing the need for repeat relocations each time the rainy season begins. Refugee communities in Kakuma 3 are exploring and adopting renewable energy technologies from local CBOs, such as solar power from Okapi Green Energy Ltd. By doing this, we hope to reduce reliance on non renewable fuels such as candles, kerosene, and charcoal by refugee locals at home and in their shops. I think various organisations can help the refugee leaders with climate change. They can fund and teach youths necessary skills to implement and sustain climate projects in Kakuma. It's a good idea for them to work with RLOs for more grassroots level impact. After all, we're all working together towards the same goal, that is, to stay safe from climate changes." No Climate Justice Without Gender Equality: Interview with Sharlotte (Sharlotte awarding her student in the reproductive health class with a certificate and sanitary towel wrapped in a brown envelope) Sharlotte Lotombo, a 23-year-old student currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Kenyatta University in Nairobi arrived in Kenya in 2010 with her family. They had fled the Democratic Republic of Congo due to civil unrest and challenging living conditions. Sharlotte joined RAI as a volunteer after completing high school in 2022. Later that year, she transitioned to a staff role facilitating Sexual and Reproductive Health due to her outstanding work performance in the department. Q1 Have you ever had to move because of extreme weather events? Yes, indeed. In DR Congo, we lived in Baraka Province near a river. Heavy rains came after several months of drought, causing floods in our village. Along with our neighbours, we had to move to higher ground because our house was flooded, and some villagers lost their possessions and crops. I kept in touch with some neighbours and learned that some had migrated to neighbouring countries. The flooding destroyed crops and granaries, and many farm animals drowned. Survivors faced food shortages and starvation, both for themselves and their animals. Q2: How did this experience affect your life in Kakuma? I remember Baraka Province being lush and green, a stark contrast to Kakuma, which is dry and windy year-round. DR Congo is a very green country, so moving here was quite different. In 2010, Kakuma had few trees, especially in the camp, so we felt the full force of the sun and wind. However, Kakuma has changed since I arrived. The camp has more trees and shrubs due to tree-planting initiatives led by the refugee community and non-profits. This gives us shade and helps us escape the hot weather. Q3: What made you choose RAI for your personal and career development? I first heard about RAI in 2016. They ran a Youth Reproductive Health program at my primary school, and I joined it. I was trained to be a peer educator when I was in class 7. RAI's sexual and reproductive health (SRH) program helped me complete my basic education. It taught me about abstinence, self-confidence, and self-understanding as an adolescent. I realised that my life is in my hands, and I have the power to influence it. My strong connection with RAI deepened when its founder, Muzabel Welongo, visited my home in 2016, spoke with my mother, and convinced her to let me join the SRH program and become a peer educator. In 2022, I volunteered with RAI for three months after high school and worked as a Youth Reproductive Health facilitator for another five months. RAI opened my eyes to new career and education opportunities beyond the camp and gave me a deeper understanding of the refugee community and human rights. Q4: How has RAI influenced your thoughts on Climate Migration? RAI has shown me how climate change and women empowerment are connected. I learned that women have more difficulties in coping with and migrating from climate disasters, due to their heavy childcare responsibilities and limited resources. They also face more legal, social, and physical risks when they are displaced by floods or droughts. Therefore, RAI’s sexual education and community campaigns are vital for young women and girls. They teach them their rights, and how to protect themselves and their children in times of crisis. RAI sexual and reproductive health and vocational education keeps girls in school which exposes them to climate action programs such as environmental clubs and leadership labs. This way, they can become future champions in fighting climate change alongside women’s rights. My experience with RAI encouraged me to think creatively and understand that creating a positive impact in society is a collective effort, not an individual one. I believe that global warming, worsened by increased carbon emissions, especially in towns and industrial areas, has contributed to the unpredictable weather patterns we experience today. People should collaborate to plant trees and care for the environment, ensuring a better future where no one is forced to leave their homes. “I believe you can plant a tree but if you don't take good care of the tree, it will die. On the other hand, if you plant a tree and take care of it, it will grow. That is what we as youths, should do.’’ Q5: What efforts do you see the refugee communities and RLOs making in the camp around climate change and mobility and how can the international community support them? The community has been taking various efforts of planting trees in homesteads, next to kiosks or in eateries to keep the area cool, and break strong winds notorious for demolishing rooftops. Some of the tree seedlings come from local CBOs that have nurseries within the area. Also, the RLOs here help us in harvesting rainwater in the dry seasons by training families and kitchen garden owners on the skills and tools needed to make this possible. They have taught us how deforestation can harm us and our environment, and how we can grow crops and trees that prevent soil erosion and keep the river’s tributaries banks from expanding. The international community can support RLOs by working together with them to carry out the ongoing projects in the camp. Great work is being done by refugees, but local initiatives lack the financial muscle to boost the projects. I believe foreigners can benefit and learn from us by working with RLOs’
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Reframe aims to be a solution to multiple challenges refugee-led organisations (RLOs) worldwide are facing.
Through Reframe we want to increase direct funding, raise awareness, build networks and strengthen coordination between RLOs, International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), donors and institutional bodies.