Global Refugee Fund

by IsraAID
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund
Global Refugee Fund

Project Report | May 24, 2023
Masika's Story

By IsraAID Staff | IsraAID Kenya

Masika, a 42-year-old married woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a mother of two children residing in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. She joined other refugees from DRC fleeing the civil war and settled in Kakuma in 2015 with her family where she was to begin a new life away from home.  

As Masika settled her family into the camp, she realized that her dreams of a peaceful, fulfilling life with her family were going to be more challenging, quickly understanding that even with a degree from her home country, she would struggle to find employment. With no income, the only source of food for the family of four was the food ration from World Food Program. There was no money to buy the children fresh vegetables and fruits, which were their favorite back in the DRC. 

With a focus on her children’s peace of mind, Masika did not have time to think about herself and the emotional and mental changes that were taking over her life. She stopped going to communal activities and she felt peace around her was elusive. “When this lady wearing a blue T-shirt walked into my house, I did not know what she wanted, all I knew was that I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” she says. The lady in blue turned out to be IsraAID Community Outreach Worker Riziki, who herself is a refugee. Riziki built rapport with Masika and after several visits, she opened up and talked about what she was going through. 

Raziki provided psychosocial support and referred her for further counseling through the referral pathways. During this period, they started exploring the root cause of the mental health problem, and though Masika had accepted the camp as her home, being idle caused her a lot of pain. Together with Riziki, they explored what she might do if she stayed and what activities she could engage in. She decided she wanted to open up a business. They developed a plan with clear timelines on how Masika would execute it. Since she was a member of a local savings group, she planned to take a small loan and repayment of it. This women’s cooperative has a rotating loan to help different group members establish themselves. If not for Riziki, Masika wouldn’t have had the confidence to approach the group for a loan. She received the money and opened a small second-hand clothes stall in the open-air space next to her home, and was later able to buy new clothes to sell. “I am very engaged with this business, and it has grown, I now have a shade over my stall. I have no time to be idle and to stress over things. I get home exhausted from the day’s business… I feel really happy now…” says Masika. She laughs as she says she has hope and a life to live. 

She can now provide fruits and vegetables for her children, and they are happier than they were. The children help her in the shop after school. Today, she gets her stock from Nairobi and has built a shelter for storage. The income meets her family’s needs and they have enough food to eat. Through her business, Masika is able to help other women by offering them a space to sell their goods. She feels that she now has a purpose, her own space, responsibility to customers, and daily social interactions.


Unfortunately, there are many women like Masika in the camp. They face mental health challenges due to their unemployment and inability to meet their family's needs. Through the psychosocial support service provided by IsraAID, the families are able to identify the root cause of their problems and address them which assists in ensuring their mental health status stabilizes. Through the awareness and education provided by the project and the experience they go through, the beneficiaries can ensure early identification of mental health challenges and utilize the coping mechanism they have learned over time.


Thank you for supporting IsraAID's work with refugees around the world.

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Organization Information


Location: Tel Aviv, Merkaz - Israel
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IsraAID
Project Leader:
Tamar Lazarus
Tel Aviv , Merkaz Israel
$24,063 raised of $99,999 goal
413 donations
$75,936 to go
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