Today, 20th June is the World Refugee day. This is the day when the world commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.
Kenya hosts almost half a million refugees. Over 20,000 children are unaccompanied or separated from their families or caregivers after they have fled conflict and drought in the region.
The good news is, UNICEF Kenya and the European Union will work together to provide child protection and education services that will benefit refuge children in Dadaab and Kakuma Refugee Camps.
The European Union has committed €800,000 for UNICEF’s humanitarian response programmes to help refugee children in Kenya. The funding will support humanitarian child protection and education services for children in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps.
The Representative of UNICEF in Kenya, Werner Schultink said, “We are grateful to the EU for this generous funding that will help strengthen our education and child protection activities in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps. The support will greatly enrich our work with UNHCR and other partners, in building the much needed resilience and social well-being of every refugee child in the camps”.
Children living in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee Camps face many challenges. Insufficient basic services and overcrowding have worsened an already stressful environment for children. Moreover, these children are vulnerable to numerous forms of violence and abuse. Without education and its support, these children are at risk of further violence and losing hope – undermining their own future and that of their community.
Through the EU grant, UNICEF plans to reach 25,000 children, half of whom are girls, with education and child protection interventions. Furthermore, the EU humanitarian aid will enable at least 2,000 out of school children, who have recently arrived to enroll in primary and pre-school education. An additional 16,500 learners will also benefit from the provision of teaching and learning materials, and 420 primary school teachers will receive training on basic teaching skills, with a focus on teaching in situations of crisis.
With this support from the European Commission, UNICEF will continue to strengthen all-inclusive education and child protection services that cater to the immediate needs of refugee children and their communities.