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Kakuma review (2018)

We hope that you will watch this and be encouraged - and then share it with others!

Let's do this!

We hope that you will watch this 1 minute video and share it with others!

Progress!

2018 12 13 KISOM 900x

Photo: The KISOM Building (12/19/2018)

We are happy to say that the KISOM Building Project (Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission) is in full swing and on schedule to complete phase 1 by early January!

KISOM was established in 1997 by our refugee partner agency (United Refugee and Host Churches - URHC) and has functioned for the past 20 years without a building of their own. They will soon be able to move out of the condemned and abandoned refugee primary school in the camp (see photo below) and begin to meet in their new building!

KISOM has graduated over 1000 students since its founding. We are grateful for the privilege of partnering with God in his answer to the prayers of our refugee brothers and sisters for a school building. We are thankful for each financial partner (e.g. church, person and foundation) that has made this a reality!

Click here to learn more about this remarkable project.

2018 old KISOM bldg

Above: The old KISOM building in the refugee camp - a condemned and abandoned refugee primary school.

-by Tom Albinson

A Gift from a Friend

2018 12 11shoes from a Syrian friend

Refugees are more than people in need.

This is one of the phrases we at IAFR repeat the most when speaking to churches or groups about caring for refugees and other displaced people. While many displaced people live in a state of great vulnerability and have very real needs, they are not just refugees. They are people made in the image of God, with gifts and blessings to offer and so much to teach us about faithfulness, hope, and loving our neighbors.

For those of us who because of economics or cultural dominance are used to being in the position of 'helper', it can take a lot of work to reorient our posture from rescuer and 'meeter-of-needs' to someone who is also a learner, friend, and a person looking to come alongside and behind the dreams and solutions of refugees themselves.

One step in this direction in daily life is to allow the displaced people we long to help to see and meet our needs. Engaging in this kind of reciprocal relationship can be very uncomfortable for people who are used to seeing themselves as the helpers and refugees as the hopefully grateful recipients of their charity.

On a recent trip I heard a beautiful story of an American working with refugees who is living out this kind of authentic, reciprocal relationship. He has a Syrian friend who survives by rifling through dumpsters in Istanbul looking for usable goods or things that could be sold. One day while digging through others’ trash, the Syrian man found a small pair of shoes and realized the size looked just about right for his American friend’s young son. So he cleaned them up and brought them, these shoes from a dumpster, to the young boy.

Thankfully, the boy received the shoes with gratitude, regularly wearing them for months to come – this precious gift from their Syrian friend. And thankfully his parents weren’t too proud to receive the hospitality of the Syrian man expressed in this unusual gift. Instead they gave their heartfelt thanks and allowed this person -- who the much of the world sees as a burden or something to be cast away, like so many of the items in the dumpsters -- to be a source of blessing to them.

 -by Rachel Uthmann

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