Rei GOTO from the AAR Kakuma Office in Kenya reports on the Sporting Event that was held in April.
|Women’s basketball participants with Rei GOTO (front row, right end) and Saki KOMAHASHI (front row, second from the left) of AAR Japan (April 6th, 2019)|
Reducing the friction with the local residentsThe Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement was established in 2015 after the Kakuma Refugee Camp, 40km away in the Turkana District, became overpopulated. Many people in this region live a nomadic lifestyle, and with the semidesert environment not suited for agriculture, this area is also one of Kenya’s most impoverished regions. The area often experiences droughts and faces many issues such as the lack of food, water, infrastructure and opportunities for education.
There are local residents in Kalobeyei who feel a sense of unfairness at the support being provided by aid organizations to the refugees that have flowed into the area. As the civil war stretches on and their lives as refugees is prolonged, there is a need to reduce the friction between the refugees and the local residents and keep it possible for the two communities to live side-by-side.
As part of this effort, AAR Japan is assisting with the building and managing of a community center where both local residents and refugees can use and interact with each other. Representatives from the local residents and the refugees are elected democratically to be closely involved with the planning of the community center. From planning out what type of facility will be built, to managing it once it’s completed, they are involved throughout the entire process. So far, a multi-purpose hall, an internet café, a cafeteria, and a commissary has been built and is being used by both communities.
Sporting Event with Joint Teams of the Refugees and Local Residents
|One of the players during a basketball game (April 6th, 2019)|
|A soccer team working on their strategy during half-time (April 6th, 2019)|
The power of sports to bring people together
|Rei GOTO of AAR Japan (right) listening to Lokiru(left), a Kenyan, and Mesfin (middle), a South Sudanese refugee who both participated in the sporting event.|