Cyril Michael Ooro / Vincent Forsman
+254 716 078473 / +358400585090
Kakuma, Rift Valley Province, Kenya (LWF compound)
Today, there are over 100 million people globally that have been forcibly displaced by war, violence, disaster and persecution. Whenever refugees fleetheir homes, they leave behind their livelihoods and prospects, which are critical for self-reliance. This means refugees often have no choice but to rely on others for, typically, 15-25 years. According to UNHCR.org/ke/livelihoods report as at March 2020 Kakuma Refugee Camp hosts 196,666 registered refugees and asylum seekers (as at 31st March 2020) of which 43.7% of the registered population falls within the productive age of 18-59 yrs old.
According to the phase 1 of the project (evaluation and research on the ability for youth to generate income through formal and non-formal job opportunities - Link to document), it is nearly impossible for refugees at Kakuma settlement to formalize income-generating businesses. The program, therefore, comes to address this critical gap and improve livelihoods and self-reliance of both host community and refugees; this aims to create an enabling environment by building technical capacity and address infrastructural challenges as far as economic growth is concerned. This will be done by investing in people's capabilities by promoting specialized and marketable skills.
LWF, Ambitious.Africa, ALWS and ACT CoS are therefore the organisations which have intentionally come together to merge networks, knowledge, experience and expertise so as to swiftly and effectively address this problem. This collaboration is combining strengths of not only these heterogeneous development organisations, but it is also including private sector organisations in unique ways to create market-based trainings that can set new standards f o r l i v e l i h o o d p r o g r a m s .
Themes such as incorporating highest level of human dignity and restoration as well as experiences of vulnerability and healing into the operations of this developmental program - will impact the participants to be more inclusive in regard to their background, age or gender - but also strengthen the dignified dream of independence, self-efficacy and perceived human value. This program will not only aim to break chains of isolation, but also to build a pathway and a decent opportunity to migrate to a living environment outside ofthe refugee camp.
We are ready to tap into refugees' and host communities' labor and market skills,build their capacity and experience; identify and help overcome barriers to creating opportunities for refugees and their hosts by bridging theexisting gap of online presence and its importance in tailoring The Sustainability program.
Enabling refugees’ participation in the labour market is a necessary step to support refugees through the challenges of being forcibly displaced. It makes them more resilient and at the same time, eases the burden on host communities. However, many refugees face legal barriers in accessing the labour market. 70 percent of refugees live in countries with restricted right to work, with a majority excluded from participating in the formal economy and its related protections (UNHCR Global Livelihoods Survey, 2019).
In Kakuma, a report by UNHCR and the World Bank in collaboration with the KNBS finds that refugees have a significantly lower labour force participation rate, with only 20 percent of working age refugees employed versus 72 percent for nationals. (UNHCR, 2020). It doesn’t have to be like this. Having the opportunity to work and earn a living is one of the most effective ways people can rebuild their lives with dignity.
Our proposed methodology will be guided by our theory of change which identifies the problem that was researched in a series of workshops with local youth at Kakuma in March/April. What was found is that 1) access to relevant equipment, 2) lack of support on income-generating training, 3) lack ofspace to work from and 4) market access were revealed as the ultimate challenges for the local youth.
“How can you become a professional coder without internet access?” is one question asked by a 17-year-old in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Refugees in East Africa faced a reality of digital barriers to access digital livelihoods opportunities. Studies in two refugee settlements in Kenya and Uganda showed that the most significant barriers have proven to be structural inefficiencies of limited awareness about available digital opportunities, poor connectivity and electricity, as well as the high costs of mobile data and devices (ILO, 2021).
Two case studies of digital skills training for refugees – the ReDI School in Germany and the Digital Skills Training (DST) in Lebanon – showcases that a freelance program with relevant equipment and training can provide a valid pathway to livelihoods among refugees. Furthermore, it underlines the strong appeal the technology sector and digital careers have for refugees. It can provide easy access and inclusivity, circumventing conventional barriers to accessing skilled labour markets.
Our program will work towards solving these challenges in innovative ways a s depicted below.
Date it was last updated: 01/10/23