My name is Mama Juma*. I’m a Congolese woman from a town called Kalemie. I left Congo in June 2010 and moved to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.
I lived there with my mum’s friend then it got to the point where she was making me do very difficult work in the house. I kept on going because I didn’t have anyone. No brother or sister, nowhere to go. She denied me access to school. She used to say, “how can someone who has given birth go to school?”
I got a husband and I thought that he would protect and take care of me. But I didn’t have my good luck with him. He started to drink alcohol, and whenever I tried to start up my small business, he would take my money. If I went out to look for jobs, he would beat me up when I got home.
Me and my family left Kakuma refugee camp, we came here to Nairobi in 2018. I didn’t have anything at all, not even a place to sleep. The clothes I came with were the ones I wore, along with my children.
I enrolled in RefugePoint’s Urban Refugee Protection Program where I received food assistance, business skills training, and a business grant.
I bought potatoes to prepare and sell chips. That’s how I was able to take my children to school and buy household items. I would like all my children to be educated and not to lack food.
Then my house burned down, I lost everything. I used to think so little of myself. I would ask myself, “Did God create me to come and suffer?” But RefugePoint stood with me. Especially my case worker.
Through those problems, I like to thank RefugePoint. They came to visit me in hospital, I had lost hope whether I can recover well, I couldn’t manage to walk. They supported me, and by the time I was discharged from hospital they started to give me good food, life improved well.
My greatest desire is for my first-born son to study and complete his education. He can continue growing his football talent and finish his studies. That will be my joy. I would like to live a good life. When I’m looking back to where I’m from and when I get to a better place, I’ll be very grateful to God and to RefugePoint for all they have done for me because they have done a lot.
Life is step by step; God will help me one day and I shall be well like others. Sometimes you can see people who have gone through many challenges and later changed. Even me, one day God will change me, either through RefugePoint or through other people.
*Name changed for safety reasons
Download this Peace Mail in PDF here.
Local Partner Profile: RefugePoint Kenya
Act for Peace’s partner RefugePoint in Kenya, supports refugees with emergency food distribution, rent assistance, skills training, counselling and medical care. Currently, your gifts assist with the food distribution element of the program, which is a key element of the wider program that supports refugees to achieve self-reliance. These are vital in providing emergency support when it’s needed the most. RefugePoint identifies and supports some of the most vulnerable refugees living in Nairobi. What makes their approach so innovative is an unwavering dedication to finding personalised, and sustainable solutions.
Mama Juma* is one of the thousands of refugees who have been made vulnerable by the pressures of the urban environment and the emotional and legal barriers of being a refugee, but she is now receiving help from the dedicated staff at RefugePoint.
Act for Peace gratefully acknowledges the support of The Charitable Foundation (TCF).
Your partnership is making a difference!
Last month, Act for Peace Partners like you came together and raised $45,167.64 to support people uprooted by conflict and disaster around the world. Thank you.
- For Mama Juma, and all our local partner staff at RefugePoint in Kenya, who continue to support people uprooted by conflict and disaster.
- For the people of the Republic of the Congo and Kenya, who continue to live in unimaginable environments.
- For the families of those affected by war and unrest, and for the safe and happy futures of those still facing challenges and trauma.