ZubaBox Kakuma – Connecting refugees to the World
ICT impacts our lives in many ways, and has had a massive benefits for society, the environment and its future. It would be hard to imagine living in the modern world without it, but for many displaced communities ICT remains entirely unavailable.
Set up in 1992, Kakuma refugee camp is one of the world’s largest refugee camp with nearly 180,000 displaced people living there. It was first established as a temporary “home” for people displaced during conflict in the region. Most residents are entirely disconnected from their families, the outside world and any modern education opportunities. With a population of over 150,000 people (UNHCR, 2014) fleeing from almost 20 different African countries at war, the settlement is located in North-Western Kenya but – as its Swahili name suggests – Kakuma is ‘nowhere’ for the rest of the world and its inhabitants are often forgotten.
Muzabel Welongo is one of them. He has been living on Kakuma Refugee Camp for over 5 years after fleeing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. When first arrived to the camp, having left all his life behind, he could not find any hope for his future. But after being selected to join a program offering university studies via internet and being able to connect with professors based in the U.S. on a daily basis he completed a diploma in Liberal Arts and now he has become a leader for his community.
Muzabel runs SAVIC, an educative program for local refugees in fast-track learning, literacy, vocational skills and family planning. Just has he experienced being in a classroom through a computer in Kakuma’s camp, he wants to combine SAVIC’s program with technology to extend to the community the same life-changing benefits that he received by having access to ICT and breaking the cycle of dependency from the humanitarian support.
By installing a ZubaBox – our solar internet library – in the camp, Computer Aid and SAVIC, would give thousands of displaced people a chance to reach out to the rest of the world, access online training and education courses and begin to rebuild their life and prospects of finding work once outside the camp.
We need your help to directly impact the lives of young displaced people within Kakuma Refugee Camp, to turn it from ‘nowhere’ in the world into ‘somewhere’ where people can be seen and heard from.