At present, the camp is home to approximately 85,000 refugees from Somalia, Ehtiopia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Uganda and Rwanda. They are not permitted to grow crops or keep livestock and without these means to earn a livelihood, they depend on food donations from USAID. There are plenty of these sacks at the camp and when Mairo Retief, a Lutheran World Foundation project coordinator working in Kakuma, saw our recycled bags at last year’s Xmasbox fair in Nairobi, it sparked a great idea …
Mairo got in touch with us about collaborating with residents at Kakuma, training them how to make bags out of the USAID sacks. These bags will be sold (including at our boutiques) and provide much-needed incomes for the residents. We did not have any second thoughts about contributing to this great initiative!
Esther and George from our team (above in the black logo t-shirts) recently made the first trip to Kakuma – they braved the gruelling 40 degree weather but had a wonderful time nonetheless. They worked with tailors at Kakuma who were very eager to learn these new skills.
Not only will these new skills help Kakuma residents to earn a livelihood but, the whole experience has also helped to boost morale and give the participants an added sense of purpose.
Stay tuned for updates from our future trips.