World Refugee Day: Meet Andhira Kara

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Every 20th June, people around the world gather to commemorate World Refugee Day. This Refugee Day, we caught up with with Andhira Kara, a refugee who has lived in Kakuma. She takes us through her love for giving back and the need to support refugees.

1.How would you best describe Andhira?
I am a self motivated and pro-active woman who works with her community to make it a better place. I strongly believe in all efforts that are geared towards maintaining peace and sustainable development.

2. What was your experience of living in Kakuma?

Kakuma Refugee Camp is defined by harsh climatic conditions, poor infrastructure and minimal access to essential services. Despite the above, Kakuma was peaceful and I called it home because it created hope and security for me. I enrolled in school and that raised my hope for the future.

3. How did reality match with your expectations about coming to and living in Nairobi as a refugee?

Well, the the fast life in Nairobi caught me off guard (lol), though it taught me a good lesson: responsibility. Learning from the aggressiveness of my colleagues at campus enhanced my ability to become a go-getter and work on my dreams. Interaction with people of all walks of life built my self esteem and made me come out my comfort zone and learn how to be independent. The harassment by police because of possession of refugee documentation, which they did due to ignorance, is not appealing at all. The ‘Usalama Watch’ experience was the worst of all.

4. What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working with the Danish Refugee Council Kenya as a Social Media Community Monitor in the livelihood department. I manage the online platform that supports the sell of refugee handmade products. I help all refugees sell their products from bags to artwork online. Check out and like our Facebook page, Pamoja Collectives.

In addition, I’m  a co-founder of an organisation called Nuba Foundation. Nuba Foundation brings together like-minded Nubian students in higher learning institutions, who are determined to be the hope of our community in the next few years. In the past year, we have volunteered and held two projects in Kakuma and Yida Refugee Camps. We ran an advocacy programme that involved peaceful football games that enhanced peace and respect of gender and equality among the Nuba Community of Sudan. Other volunteer activities include collection of both primary and secondary school text books, past papers and other revision books from our host community, friends and other volunteers which we then send to the camps to aid the students. You can join us this refugee day by donating some of the books in your homes which you don’t use.

Some of the Refugee handmade products available at Pamoja Collectives

Some of the Refugee handmade products available at Pamoja Collectives

5. If you were given 100,000 dollars to travel, which destination would you choose and why?

I would go to Finland. This is mainly because it is a country that manages to reconcile good governance at home and treats the rest of the planet and humanity with respect. I would love to learn from their success.

6. If you were to tell the Kenyan government something regarding refugees, what would it be?

I wish the Kenyan government would find provisions to integrate the refugees. I believe we as refugees play a key role in the development of this country’s economy.

 

Happy Refugee Day from Jumia Travel!

 

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