Perhaps it is not surprise for a refugee to utter words like Protection, Distribution, Care everyday.
Why people discuss resettlement issues is a question of utmost importance. Ask yourself this “If you were given an opportunity to live in a developed country, what will be your reaction?” Sorry!  but only a person who has been a refugee for more than twenty years, someone who has lost everything in his home country,  someone who doesn’t have freedom of movement or someone who is in a cage  can feel it. Hey think of it, Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world currently but who knows what the residents’ situation is…..
Life is beautiful in the refugees if you look at from the angle of peace, free education, food and water supply, not to mention resettlement to a third country. After all UNHCR is there to provide everything to the refugees but always there is that untold story.
Remember when your Facebook profile says “Current city : Nairobi”. The awkward moment when you are telling your fiancée that you are only working in Dadaab while you actually live there. You don’t want anybody to know that you are a refugee. You hate that name.
It is estimated that 90% of the youth in the camp socialize with others on social media pretending to be Kenyans. They feel ashamed for being a refugee.
I don’t want to offend anyone in particular but remember that time you share pictures that are either photoshopped or are took while you were not in the refugees. That is only part of the things you don’t want others to know. You lie about your job, you don’t want anyone to know what you eat. You update your Facebook status “having chicken rice at Walaalaha” while you eating boiled maize.
How do you think a person will develop himself or think independently when his monthly income is less than $100 dollars owing to the fact that UNHCR decided to give a limit on how much a refugee gets as a salary and worse ensure other agencies under it abide by the policy. While in that situation, how will you react if you are told you are going to a place where a normal/regular person can earn more than $10 dollars per hour. This  economic slavery needs to stop, everyone should be free from it.
Some of the youth seek employment in risk places in Somalia while others apply for Kenyan citizenship which in fact denies them all refugee privileges and you don’t need to be told that securing a job in Kenya is highly unthinkable particularly in Dadaab where corruption is becoming order of the day. I don’t know why nobody saw the economic disparity between the refugees and the Kenyans. A refugee worker gets a fraction of what a national staff earns.
You will hear a lot of students drop out of school or opt for drugs and others perform poorly in the national exams but nobody asked them why they don’t value education in the camps. It should be quite clear, they will only get “incentives” when they finish school and secure a job. Besides that, they will not be  able to pursue higher education because of the limited scholarships and the inability to pay fees in Kenyan universities.
What the refugees need is to be independent, they don’t need UNHCR to dictate terms for them but instead help them to be self-reliant.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *