We are helping refugees and internally displaced people (IDP) survive and recover from forced displacement in Kenya. We are doing this in partnership with United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC) - an association of over 160 churches from within Kakuma refugee camp and the surrounding host community.
We break the isolation of our brothers and sisters through regular visits to the camp. We work to connect the refugee churches in Kakuma with the church-at-large in ways that help meet their needs and accomplish their mission. The result is that we are all blessed, challenged and inspired as we partner together.
Located in the remote northwest of Kenya, Kakuma refugee camp was established in 1992 in response to wars and violence in the region. The camp population presently includes around 186,000 women, children and men - most of whom originated from Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, D.R. Congo, Eritrea, Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda. Kakuma is among the largest refugee camps in the world.
In mid 2016, the Kenyan government opened a new refugee settlement called Kalobeyei about 10 miles from Kakuma. With 38,000 refugees, Kalobeyei is officially full.
Turkana West IDP Camp is also located near Kakuma town and is home to over 3,000 people who were displaced by post election violence in Kenya back in 2007-2008. They live in extreme poverty, with no local supply of water and very little support from the government and international community.
The ministries of URHC (our refugee partner) include caring for the most vulnerable people in the region, church planting, youth ministries and a 3 year leadership training school.
We thank God for our close partnership with National Council of Churches, Kenya (NCCK) in Kakuma!
More Information: IAFR Kenya Blog | BBC Country Profile | UNHCR
While life is tough in Kakuma, God is faithful and at work in beautiful ways.
Kakuma refugee camp is host to around 190,000 women, children and men, many of whom are Christians. Few churches in the camp have access to more than a handful of Bibles. We are working to provide at least one Bible for every Christian household in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya.
Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans were displaced by post-election violence in 2007. Over 3,000 of these women, children and men are living in the extremely difficult conditions of Turkana West IDP Camp on the outskirts of the town of Kakuma town in remote northwestern Kenya. They are in desperate need of shelter and a local source of water. We are helping provide both our internally displaced friends in Kakuma, Kenya.
Our refugee partner, United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC), established the Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission (KISOM) back in 1997. KISOM has since graduated over one thousand men and women, most of whom are serving as pastors, evangelists and missionaries today. As it is the only school of its kind in the region, it serves both the refugee and local host population.
We completed phase 1 of the KISOM building project in early 2019. The next phase of the project will include building classrooms.
An IDP camp in Kakuma, Kenya, has no local water supply. They have to walk several miles under the burning sun to fetch water in plastic jerry cans. Not only is it hard work, it is also dangerous for the children who are often given the task. We are working to provide a sustainable source of water for 3,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) living near Kakuma, Kenya. We struck water at 110 meters in February 2019 and are now working on piping the water 4 miles to the IDP camp.
Refugee youth are among the least supported groups in refugee contexts. The UN reports that only 23% of refugee adolescents go to school. This is not because they don't want to go to school. The primary barrier is cost (e.g. school fees, uniforms, books, transportation, etc.). The need is greatest among refugee girls. In Kenya, there are only 4 refugee girls enrolled in secondary school for every 10 refugee boys. [Click here for more related information]
Together we are giving refugee girls the opportunity to get a good secondary school education!
Nicholas is a Kenyan. He was forcibly displaced from his hometown by post election violence in 2007 and ended up in Kakuma, Kenya. He has been serving full-time with URHC for the past 10 years, with no sending agency. He has often made ends meet through the generosity of the refugees he serves. But recent budget cuts have greatly reduced food rations and NGO services in Kakuma. Refugees are no longer able to help Nicholas as they have in the past.
URHC leadership asked IAFR if we would assist them by supporting Nicholas so that he can continue in full-time ministry. As we have already established a long-term relationship of trust with Nicholas and know the critical role he plays in the ministry of URHC, we were happy to agree to help in this way.
Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans were displaced by post-election violence in 2007. 2,000 of these women, children and men are living in the extremely difficult conditions of Turkana West IDP Camp on the outskirts of the town of Kakuma town in remote northwestern Kenya. 25 of the women have formed a co-op as a way of generating income and climbing out of extreme poverty. We are partnering with them to grow their business from 450 to 1,500 chickens. Celebrate with us! This project was completed in 2017.
It is nothing short of traumatic to be forced to flee your home and country. Trauma is often compounded while living in refugee camps, vulnerable and uprooted. Refugee pastors and church leaders need understanding and tools to care for the people within their faith communities that suffer from unresolved trauma.
In partnership with Wheaton College and the Humanitarian Disaster Institute, we trained and equipped refugee pastors and church leaders to better understand and care for traumatized people. The principles taught during the training are being incorporated into the curriculum of KISOM - the refugee-led Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission so that other Christian leaders will be trained in years to come!
Thanks to everyone who supported this project! This project was completed in 2018.
All photos on this website by IAFR.