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Permanent emergency in the Dadaab refugee camp

Kenya

In July 2011, Handicap International launched its emergency operations in eastern Kenya in response to a massive influx of refugees from Somalia. Fleeing drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, hundreds of thousands of people settled in the Dadaab camp. With a population of 450,000 people, it became the world’s largest refugee camp. Still present in the field, Handicap International provided assistance to 12,000 people in 2015.

A child with his father doing puzzle during a session of psychomotor development in the Dadaab camp

A child with his father doing puzzle during a session of psychomotor development in the Dadaab camp | © Handicap International

Handicap International had already been working in Dadaab for five years before this new crisis arose. The organisation immediately set up mobile teams to identify people with disabilities, to direct them to existing basic services and to make sure they received the aid they needed. Three Disability and Vulnerability Focal Points were used to provide them with rehabilitation care and advice, as a place to do practical exercises, and to distribute crutches, wheelchairs, etc.

For more than three years, the organisation has trained refugees to conduct physiotherapy sessions and to reproduce basic movements with patients at home. It raises the awareness of humanitarian organisations on the rights and needs of people with disabilities and provides them with technical support to conduct actions that take into account the needs of people with disabilities. This includes ensuring latrines and water distribution ramps are accessible to people in wheelchairs. It also combats violence towards people with disabilities by recording incidents and providing victims with legal, psychological and medical follow-up.

Handicap International remains committed to the welfare of children with disabilities and organises fun activities for them, such as making Lego models, completing puzzles, putting objects in a bucket, etc., to promote their psychomotor development.

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Hope at Last: Malyun's Story in Kenya
© Humanity & Inclusion
Inclusion Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

Hope at Last: Malyun's Story in Kenya

Malyun, now 18, grew up in Somalia. At the age of five, she was playing with her friends in a field near her home when she swallowed an unknown metal fragment. She immediately fell to the ground. When her father came to her aid, he tried to hold her hand to make her stand, but her legs would not hold. The family sought medical treatment in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, but all treatments failed. They were then sent to Kenya for further specialist treatment. It was on arrival at the hospital that Malyun was diagnosed with lower limb paralysis.

Accessing education, against all odds
© Humanity & Inclusion
Inclusion Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

Accessing education, against all odds

Kassim Mohammed, 14, is a Somali refugee living in Dagahaley camp in Daadab, Kenya. His daily life is not always easy, but Kassim also faces a different situation from other refugees his age, as he is visually impaired and has a disability in one leg! Despite this, Kassim shows determination and goes to school every day, where he is now in grade 7.

Living with paralysis, Imani opens store in refugee camp
© Humanity & Inclusion
Inclusion Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

Living with paralysis, Imani opens store in refugee camp

Imani, 29, lives with her mother and five siblings in Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, she had to flee the country because of numerous raids against her tribe. Unfortunately, during her journey she was involved in a traffic accident that caused a spinal cord injury, paralyzing both her legs.