Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support

by IsraAID
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support
Kakuma Refugee Camp Holistic Support


IsraAID Kenya's Community Outreach Workers' provide psychosocial support, referrals, and other advice to people living in Kakuma Refugee Camp. This is Regina's story:


My name is Regina and I am Congolese but living in Kakuma Refugee Camp. I am a single mother of eight children, and my eldest daughter recently gave birth. At the time she gave birth to her daughter, she was living outside of the camp. Due to mental health challenges, she was not coping well so left her daughter with me.

Together with seven children and one grandchild we live here in Kakuma and depend on food rations. At first, it was difficult to receive rations for my granddaughter as she was not registered under my care, I tried many different offices but nothing seemed to be helping and I lost hope.

When IsraAID Community Outreach Worker Hussein knocked on my door, I told him he wouldn’t be able to help me because I had already tried in every way to add my granddaughter but didn’t succeed. But Hussein didn’t lose hope and returned another to discuss other possibilities, sharing with me me important information and options. In that moment, I didn't react, but after he left I started to think about everything he had told me and began seeing a possible solution from far. I thought that maybe God sent this person here, but even still, I felt discouraged. On a third visit, Hussein asked me ‘’if not you, who can help this girl?’’ I started crying, and right there and then I decided to try again.

I used the information that Hussein shared with me and eventually was able to finally add the girl to my ration card. After six months of agony, the child can now receive her ration from UNHCR. I thoughts it was a dream and I returned home singing and smiling. The following day, when I saw Hussein coming from afar, I started crying. When he arrived at my home I told him “Hussein, I succeeded. Thank you so much, and thank you IsraAID.”  I cannot donate to others, but I can be an ambassador for IsraAID to my community.


Your donation helped this happen. Thank you. 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

This November, IsraAID's Chief Development and Communications Officer visited IsraAID's team in Kenya:


Last week, I traveled to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, which recently turned 30 years old. Everyone we met spoke of just one thing: The drought.

Heartbreakingly, the Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years. Four failed rainy seasons – with a real worry for a fifth – only exacerbate the dangerous lack of access to safe water in the area, which is home to some 250,000 refugees at the Kakuma camp, as well as a host community of 320,000.

In the camp, where IsraAID has worked for more than a decade, groundwater is accessed through boreholes with a tap attached. The water is turned on two to three days a week, for two to three hours at a time. With no formal water distribution system, the population has no idea when the water will come. When it does flow, they must be ready to queue for hours, and someone must always be available to stand in line. There are only 24 boreholes to serve more than 200,000 people.



Our home visit to Tisha, an intelligent and friendly 14-year-old girl, was interrupted when the neighbor shouted that the water had been switched on. As the designated person staying home on standby – and therefore not at school – Tisha had to drop everything and run.

In the surrounding community of Turkana, the water situation is even more dire. Whereas the refugee community is provided with basic services according to international standards, the host community here does not qualify.

There is no official provision of water. In fact, there are a mere 12 boreholes that serve this entire community, many of which are broken, forcing people to walk for miles to dig into dry seasonal riverbeds. And while waterborne illnesses, such as acute diarrhea, have spiked from drinking untreated water, this is not just about water.

Cases of malnutrition, particularly among children, have skyrocketed. The doctor at the refugee camp said that cases have reached a four-year high, topping 253 acutely malnourished children in one month.

Of course, most of the food rations that refugees receive rely on water to cook – rice, pulses, beans – and due to the drought, rations were cut to 52% of what is needed per household. While world leaders discuss (worthy) long-term fintech solutions for carbon trading over a glass of wine, children across the region are growing increasingly vulnerable.

The drought has caused a significant increase in child protection issues. Caregivers now spend much of their day in pursuit of water. Children are left alone for long periods of time. In other cases, it is the children who walk for hours to find riverbeds. When they travel further afield – often to unfamiliar territory – they face a real risk of sexual violence from predators who wait near water sources.

Organizations, such as ours, are out there, in both the refugee and host communities every day. In arduous conditions, the humanitarian groups are providing transformative psychosocial support and child-friendly spaces that host hundreds of children every day, giving urgently needed respite to parents. And of course, new water programs are being installed, which will go on to provide safe water to thousands.

Our work, however, is but a drop in a very dry ocean. It demands attention. It demands support. As the world’s media obsesses over the suits and the speeches, it’s time to refocus away from the words of tomorrow, and back onto the much-needed actions of today.


Over the past few months, IsraAID Kenya has been expanding our response to the drought, surveying and making plans to drill more boreholes, addressing cases of malnutrition and protection concerns via home visits, as well as continuing our usual activities to offer children and adults skills training, mental health support, and access to medical services.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

For this year's World Refugee Day, we spoke with IsraAID staff members who shared their experiences and hopes for the future. Today, and every day, we acknowledge the strength, resilience, and contribution of our refugee team and community members around the world – from Kenya to Venezuela to Ukraine.



Community Outreach Worker – IsraAID Kenya – from Ethiopia

I come from the Oromo Community in Nagelle Borena, Oromia region of Ethiopia,

Tell us about the community you currently live in and your experience settling in.

Settling into Kakuma/Kalobeyei was very challenging at first because of the harsh weather and shortage of water. To cope, I focused on finding work, first with other organizations, and after five years, with IsraAID.

What are your hopes for the future, yourself, your family, or your community?

I hope to progress in my education and continue gaining more knowledge on how to serve the community, myself, and my family.

What gets you up in the morning?

The knowledge that it is a new day and I can help the community, especially the children who are in need of learning materials. I know through my own experiences what it feels like to not have any support in your childhood years.



Community Outreach Worker – IsraAID Kenya – from the Democratic Republic of Congo


Tell us about yourself and the community you are from and the community you currently live in.

I am Sadiki Chance, born in 1985 in a place called Lemera in Uvira/Sud-Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. I have been in Kakuma Camp, Kenya since June 2010. I came after war erupted in my home country, in which my both my parents died. My community in DRC is called Bafuliru. We are farmers, pastoralists, and hunters.

When I first reached Kakuma, language was a barrier as I didn’t speak Kiswahili or English. I immediately learned English, and I now speak French, Kiswahili, English, and my mother tongue Lingala Kifuliru. The climate is also very different here. It is extremely hot and dusty, however because of the situation in my home country I can not go back.

I came to Kakuma a single man but now I am married with two children.

What are your hopes for the future, yourself, your family, or your community?

My hopes are in God, as the longer I am alive, the brighter my life becomes. My experience working with IsraAID has ignited my passion for supporting the community and now I want to establish my own community-based organization. My lack of academic education affects the opportunities available to me, so I am currently studying for a Diploma in Social Work, which I will finish this year. I hope to then further my education at the degree level.


IsraAID is currently working with refugees, migrants, and internally displaced people in Albania, Colombia, Kenya, Moldova, Romania, South Sudan, Uganda, and Ukraine. 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

It’s been more than two years since COVID-19 upended the world. Not a single country was spared, and especially not the 83 million refugees across the world. IsraAID has been at the forefront of responding to this crisis, including in Kakuma and Kalobeyei Refugee Camps in Kenya.

In order to bridge the gap between the community’s needs and IsraAID’s capability amid COVID-19 restrictions, the IsraAID Kenya team had to derive new ways to continue reaching the communities we work within, despite the constantly changing restrictions.

What was meant to be a roaming Child Friendly Space allowing facilitators to meet children and their families across the region, launched in another format - as home visits. Through at-home activities, the children continued to receive support in developing their creativity, decision-making skills, resilience, and managing stress.

During door-to-door activities, facilitators have been able to make stronger connections with not only the children, but also their families. Improving relationships with parents and caregivers maximizes the benefits of the CFS activities. Facilitators can educate the adults on how to ensure the children’s physical and emotional needs are met, and can provide COVID-19 messaging and stress management skills which are just as important for caregivers as the children. 

As COVID-19 restrictions eased, our team was able to return to regular CFS activities, reaching thousands of children, but even after larger group activities were able to resume, the team continued their door-to-door visits to ensure no child was left out, especially children living with illnesses or disabilities. We expanded our Protection activities through increased door-to-door visits and mobile CFS activities, creating the opportunity for facilitators to notice additional issues at home that may not have previously been addressed, to be referred for additional services. We also increased community awareness of referral pathways at household and school level.

To support our growth in the Protection sector, consultants offered refresher Child Protection, safeguarding, case management, and stress management training, ensuring all staff who are in contact with the community are prepared to identify and respond to protection issues, as well as manage themselves and their mental health in difficult situations.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

As COVID-19 restrictions have eased since the summer, we’ve run regular Child Friendly Space (CFS) activities at 7 sites, serving 2,137 children. We’ve reached 176 children with disabilities through door-to-door play activities. We also engaged 10,575 caregivers, focusing on stress management.

We’ve made significant progress on our Protection agenda. In addition to identifying cases through door-to-door and mobile CFS activities, we’ve increased awareness of referral pathways at household and school levels, and built relationships between key agencies, driving more effective follow-up. In the last six months, 111 cases have been identified, referred, and followed up, including 28 by community leaders; previously, only 17 cases had been referred, without follow-up. We’re also engaging adolescents as school MHPSS Champions: 8 teachers and 52 students from 4 schools are participating in structured sessions to strengthen their resilience and facilitation skills. Teachers are also covering child protection (CP), stress management, and self-care.

Lastly, we’re strengthening our organization through consultants. 36 field staff have been newly trained in mobile data collection, and had refresher training on CP, safeguarding, sexual and gender-based violence, case management, and stress management.


Key successes include:

  • Identifying and referring 111 CP cases, securing necessary assistance for affected children.
  • Supporting 176 children with disabilities through door-to-door engagements, who may not have reached without the shift to mobile CFS services.
  • Engaging two teachers (1 male, 1 female) from each of the 6 schools with on-site CFSs, and 4 facilitators from UCCK Church (the 7th site) as CFS volunteers, increasing communal involvement.
  • Responding to dynamics in the field to improve service quality: as field social workers encountered increasing cases that required immediate intervention, we provided training on basic counselling and MHPSS support, and how to refer cases requiring specialized care. After one recent capacity-building session, staff demonstrated a 60% improvement in understanding key aspects of stress management and child safeguarding.
  • Identifying and reporting CP cases in the host community; bridging gaps between CP services and the community by educating on referral pathways and services.
  • Mentoring 8 teachers and 52 adolescents on MHPSS, embedding knowledge in the community that they are sharing with others.
  • Holding 3 dialogue forums in the refugee community and 1 in the host community, involving the Area Advisory Council, to discuss challenges to CP in the community and discuss how to mitigate these.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information


Location: Tel Aviv, Merkaz - Israel
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IsraAID
Project Leader:
Molly Bernstein
Tel Aviv , Merkaz Israel
$3,393 raised of $99,000 goal
72 donations
$95,607 to go
Donate Now

Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG26126

Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

IsraAID has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.