Emerimana Daniel Christian
In today’s world, even a blind man is able to see challenges facing refugees. Many of the refugee populations are young people who are living a miserable life with no way out of their agony. In the essence of trying to understand why do refugee communities remain in the though poverty? Why do young refugees do not get a chance of accessing opportunities which can enable them to find a meaning in life; we-young refugees from kakuma refugee camp—thought of introducing an initiative (URISE Initiative for Africa) that looks at empowering young refugees with TechPeace skills. URISE Initiative for Africa is a refugee run community based organisation that seeks to intervene in finding meaning of refugee life through youth empowerment. We use technology to train young refugees with relevant ICT skills that they can apply in real life to build their social and economic value. We merge the use of technology and peace education to instil the spirit of peace-making to young refugee generation. We believe in the power we have as young refugees to rebuild our broken countries and as well as our refugee communities. Therefore, TechPeace training centre intend to facilitate creativity, innovation, Team work, collaboration and Trust among young refugees whom we believe are in need of life change. URISE believes that today’s young refugees can be at the forefront of social and economic change through a sustainable youth empowerment program built on strengthening mutual cross-cultural understanding, then enhance collaboration among different communities. At URISE Initiative for Africa, we believe that access to relevant information, backed with relevant infrastructure and services, cannot only allow young refugees to improve their quality of life but also upgrade their existing sources of incomes in a sustainable way. Access to information and services like, e-fundraising, peace education, education, news, e-RefugeeLearn, etc through infrastructure, can provide refugees in kakuma with a solid foundation for social and economic prosperity. Problem Statement Kakuma refugee camp is a home to thousands of displaced people from more than 20 countries. The estimated population living in the camp is 180,000 refugees among which the majority are from South Sudan (86,800), Somalia (55,825), Sudan (9,150) and DRC (8,800). The largest number of this refugee population are young people whose future is at risk because of the lack of access to opportunities. While the Camp is managed by various organizations which serve to protect and provide services to its residents, there is still a need of empowerment for young refugees. Refugee incomes are low due to the fact that there is less income generating opportunities available for them. This leads to inability to access relevant information, knowledge, services which can enable them to earn a living. In this case, refugee’s unproductivity can be attributed to lack of access to three most important elements necessary for social and economic development and those are: information, infrastructure, and services. Today, the situation is changing to the extent that there is shortage of funding for refugees’ programs. It is also possible for many of this young refugee generation to be repatriated back to their home countries if the UNHCR continues to experience shortage of funding. What life will look like in a place they left many years ago? How will they copy-up with the situation at hand? As there are few higher education opportunities found in refugee camps, the TechPeace empower refugees with relevant ICT skills and encourage them to be more open to, and consider, continued learning experiences including additional MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that offer additional skills and knowledge. Which they can use even when they leave the camp going back to their country. It will be source of income and still the skills can be used to educate the upcoming generation. Thus preventing idealness that can led to propaganda which might cause war again. Justification In a context of ever increasing number of displaced people around the world, refugees in camp are mostly not lucky to be assisted with resettlement to third countries where seems to be opportunities to re-build their future. With that in mind, URISE Initiative for Africa thought of this TechPeace project with an aim at replying to requests for assistance from many young refugees who are eager to make differences in their life starting at refugee camps, a place where they call home. The project will be implemented by URISE Initiative for Africa in partnership with Tunapanda Institute to enhance creativity and to build refugee’s confidence in the use of ICTs applications. Target Area & Beneficiaries Our project’s beneficiaries are kakuma young refugees aged between 16-35, motivated to pursue a learning program that seeks to build capacity of young refugees as for them to be able to solve their own problems. Goal The ultimate goal of the URISE Tech Project is to build a sustainable innovation Center that will provide young refugees with entrepreneurial, ICT, peace/conflict resolution skills and intellectually empower them to develop a belief in their own ways of doing things. We want to help young refugees with access to relevant TechPeace skills and catalyse social change through the use of modern technologies. The empowerment we mean here is all about facilitating the development of capacity among young refugees and instil in them the will of leading the social changes that they want to see in their refugee communities and as well, their countries of origin. Vision The vision of this specific URISE project is to use ICT training as a catalyst of sustainable peace and social development in kakuma refugee camp and as well in our countries of origin by equipping young refugees—regardless their nationalities—with the skills they need to co-create jobs for themselves in their communities.
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