Burundian/South Sudanese in one-on-one discussion with a Congolese woman talking

with a South Sudanese man. This workshop occurred after ten people were killed during a

conflict between the South Sudanese and the Burundian/Congolese refugees at the

Kakuma Refugee Camp.


Double your contribution

to Kakuma Refugee Camp, Healing and Reconciliation

on World Refugee Day, Wednesday, June 20.

Global Giving is matching the first $100,000 in donations for selected refugee programs.

TCSC’s goal is $4,000 in donations.

To donate, go to http://goto.gg/33132


Bonus Day for Innovations in Peacemaking – Burundi

Wednesday, June 20, is also the bonus day for the

Global Giving’ Accelerator Campaign for IPB.

All donations will be given a bonus of up to 10%.

To donate, go to  http://goto.gg/33287


Global Giving’s Accelerator Innovations in Peacemaking – Burundi Campaign Update through June 14.

Organization Donations     Donors  
     Raised Remaining   Number Remaining
Innovations in Peacemaking — Burundi     $560   $4440        7         33

Please forward this email to those whom you know who might want to contribute.

Donors with access to M-pesa may send funds to my M-pesa account at

 +254 726 590 783 and I’ll forward the funds from my US credit card.

To receive matching or bonus amounts from Global Giving, the donation must be through the internet (debit/credit card, PayPal) between midnight to midnight on June 20, Eastern Daylight Time.


  

This map of Kenya showing the Kakuma Refugee Camp explains why people there call the rest of Kenya “down Kenya.” “Kakuma” means “nowhere.”

We’ve gone to a lot of peacebuilding trainings in the camp but the uniqueness of AVP and how it recognizes the good in everyone gives us new insight on our negative judgment and perception of labeling others as more violent and forgetting to see the violence in us. I have learnt to be safe and peaceful here because violence displaced me from my home country.” Ecibe W’ecibe Tshi-Tshi from DRC.

I visited the Kakuma Refugee Camp in September 2013. It is a bleak, semi-arid place. The average high temperature is 40 degrees centigrade (104 degrees fahrenheit). There is no grass so there are no cows as the local Turkana people live on camels, goats, and sheep. When I visited there in 2013, the camp population was 123,000 refugees. Today there are 185,500 refugees or an increase of 62,500 (34%) in the last five years. Since this region has many deadly conflicts, there are refugees from South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) plus smaller numbers from other countries. Another aspect of the camp is that it is an open-air prison. Refugees cannot leave the camp to travel elsewhere in Kenya without permission from the camp authorities; they cannot own land, cultivate (which is impossible in the Kakuma semi-arid environment), nor even own animals.

Etienne Paul Mugombe, a refugee Quaker pastor from South Kivu, DRC, started the Kakuma Friends Church in the camp. It is through this church that Transforming Community for Social Change and Friends Church Peace Teams became involved in Kakuma Refugee Camp in 2013. Last year Etienne Paul and his family were given asylum in Canada, but our peacemaking work continues. Each year less than 1% of the refugees are given asylum in other counties including South Africa, Australia, Canada, the European Union, but not the United States (the eyes of the Statue of Liberty were  shut even before the advent of Donald Trump).

 

Peter Serete leading an Alternatives to Violence workshop at Kakuma Friends Church with Burundian, Congolese, and a few South Sudanese refugees. Notice that basic construction of the church.

Because the various nationalities in the camp frequently had conflicts, even deadly conflicts, we began by introducing the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP). Initially we had to send facilitators from “down” Kenya, as they call it, to conduct the workshops, but over time we implemented basic, advanced, training for facilitators, and apprentice workshops until a good number of refugees became experienced AVP facilitators.

Subsequently since everyone in the camp fled their home country experienced traumatic experiences and then received more traumatic events while living in the bleak refugee camp, we introduced the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) program. Again we now have many trained experienced HROC refugee facilitators from most of the major nationalities at the camp.

Role play at a workshop on the problems of being a refugee.

As the camp has expanded to well over its capacity, in 2015, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) began developing a new camp called Kalobeyei, about 40 kilometers (25 mile) to the northwest. Unlike Kakuma, this camp is open. Refugees are given small plots of land; they can go where they like; they are expected to interact with the local Turkana community; but unlike Etienne they do not have the option of asylum in another country. The camp already has 40,000 refugees in three settlements.

Our goal with the funds raised through Global Giving is to first bring AVP and HROC to the new Kalobeyei Refugee Camp and then to expand to the local Turkana community. The local people feel that the refugees are given preferential treatment and are destroying the poor environment that there is, for example, by cutting down all the trees and bushes for firewood. When we have facilitated with both communities, we plan on bringing then together. Both AVP and HROC workshops are intimate so that participants soon learn about the other people in the workshops and therefore become “friends.” When issues then arise, there is personal connections between the opposing communities who know and trust each other so that the problems can be addressed without violence.

If on June 20 we can raise the $4,000 goal plus the match of $4,000, this total will allow us to make a significant start in accomplishing this long range plan of conflict resolution, healing, and reconciliation. We will appreciate whatever contribution you can make on that day.

To donate, go to http://goto.gg/33132

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To be added to or removed from this listserve, please send your name and email address to davidzarembka@gmail.com.

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DONATE

To make a tax deductible (US) or gift aid eligible (UK) donation through Global Giving,

For Transforming Community for Social Change (TCSC), go to http://goto.gg/31755

For Reconciliation on Mt Elgon, go to http://goto.gg/32883

For Kakuma Refugee Camp, go to http://goto.gg/33132

For the Friends Women’s Association, go to http://goto.gg/31891

To support Building FWA’s Maternity Ward, go to http://goto.gg/32980

For Innovations in Peacemaking – Burundi, go to  http://goto.gg/33287

__________________________________________________

David Zarembka

Transforming Community for Social Change (TCSC)

Phone 254 (0)726 590 783
Reports from Kenya: www.davidzarembka.com/

Email: davidzarembka@gmail.com

Webpages: healingandrebuildingourcommunitiesinternational.wordpress.com/

transformingcommunityforsocialchange.wordpress.com/ (Kenya)

innovationsinpeacemakingburundi.wordpress.com/ (Burundi)

www.fwaburundi.com/ Burundi

healingandrebuildingourcommunities.org (Rwanda)

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