HIJRA has maintained presence in Kenya since 2007.
HIJRA Kenya works to coordinate our response in the region and address the needs of the growing refugee population. Since 2010 our programs have worked to empower schools ensuring access to quality education for the Somali refugees in Nairobi and its environs.
Together with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), fellow members of the Urban Refugee Protection Network (URPN) and the Kenyan Ministry of Education (MOE), HIJRA works to guarantee that each child has the supplies, the space and the attention to perform in an appropriate learning environment.
The Kenyan education initiative works to address the combined issues of protection, nutrition, sanitation and access through the provision of basic education materials, hygiene supplies and infrastructure rehabilitation.
HIJRA's activities in Kenya have been developed to address and positively contribute to the achievement of 3 Millennium Development Goals; MDG 1 – Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, MDG 2 – Universal Primary Education, MDG 3 – Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women.
The Conflict Effect; The Urbanization of Refugees
20 Years of civil strife have seen Somalia at the forefront of the one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Since the 1991 collapse of the government Somalia has been in a complete state of emergency. The absence of a functioning government, years of brutal insurgency, famine and natural disaster have had devastating effects on the countries populations. To date 1.2 million Somalis have been displaced and hundreds of thousands have been forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries and abroad.
The situation in 2010 was further exacerbated by the resurgence of violence seeing 5,000 Somali refugees migrating into Kenya monthly, making it home to the largest population 332,000 (UNHCR) Somalis outside of Somalia today.
The resulting influx of professionals, skill practitioners and entrepreneurs has seen a shift in refugee movements. A growing trend towards settlement in urban areas spawned by a desire for the more dynamic social and economic environment offered with in a capital city has led to the urbanization of today’s refugees.
The realities for refugees upon relocation to Nairobi, a city where 40% of the population is unemployed, 50% live below the poverty line and another 60% are accommodated in slums, are often far removed from the glamorous vision of “big city life”. Without the protection offered inside the traditional refugee camps many find themselves victims of xenophobic attacks, corruption and lacking access to essential social services.
HIJRA's presence in Nairobi therefore works to provide space for integration through advocacy, community sensitization and education.
Today, official estimates show 46,000 Somali refugees have relocated and registered in Nairobi while another 11,000 await their Mandate Refugee Certificate (MRC) status.
Areas of Operation in Kenya
- Kayole (Nairobi)
- Eastleigh (Nairobi)
- Komarocks (Nairobi)