The Punya foundation, Australia based non-profit organization working for empowerment through education, has stepped in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya in October 2012.
PF conducted one day training and workshop in partnership with a refugee journalists-run media KANERE among the sexually abused women in Kakuma refugee camp. Many women and girls are sexually abused, raped and rights denied by the armed group, while the issue of gender based violence is neglected by the UN agency too.
Halima from Somalia said, “I am a victim of rape. I can’t forget what happened to me in this camp.”
She added, “Women do not have right as men do. Everyone wants to exploit us because they take advantage of power they have.”
Another camp resident and a Congolese refugee asked plainly, “I have a large family, and the ration supplied is not enough for us. What can Punya Foundation do to support us?”
The objective of this empowerment program is to enhance awareness on the need to address the daily challenges facing women at risk and provide them with ventilation to their thoughts, writes Quaabata Boru, a journalist in Kenya.
He adds, “The gathering has also given women a chance to air their views freely while some violence is pronounced taboos or cultural norms in some refugee communities. However there are gaps on addressing exploitation and abuse committed by Aid workers on beneficiaries”.
According to Dr. Lakshmi Prasad Dhakal, the Executive Director of Foundation, the Punya Foundation has been able to make it a success to help such refugees in need because of the generous contribution by scholars and volunteers in resettled countries.
“Plans to help the poor children to go to school are in the pipeline, if the funds are available for coming years too”, said Dr. Lakshmi.
This reporting was made possible by contribution of journalist Quaataba Boru from Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. All pictures used are also by journalist Boru.
Video courtesy : Punya Foundation