The strategies used by state and non state actors in empowering the refugees in Kenya: a case study of tushirikiane afrika (TUSA)
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Refugees from war-torn countries in the Great Lakes Region (GLR) have been exposed to traumatic and unspeakable circumstances as a result of their forced displacement. War, ethnic cleansing, and other forms of violence have forced them to undertake unplanned and dangerous journeys to seek safety. Feelings of profound loss due to the death of or the separation from parents and other family members are deep and common. Many have spent protracted periods in refugee camps or in slum-like conditions in towns, deprived of adequate food, shelter, health and education. On arrival in Kenya they are faced with new settlement pressures including learning English, settling into homes, enrolling in schools and adjusting to a very different way of life. Various organizations and agencies which are state and non state have taken steps to empower the refugees who have resettled in Kenya in order to improve their livelihoods. The aim of the study is to establish the refugee empowerment strategies by state and non-state actors in Kenya. This study was conducted as a descriptive survey since the researcher intends to obtain information that better describes refugee empowerment by both state and non state actors. The population of the study is the refugees from the GLR living in Nairobi who are members of Tushirikiane Afrika Trust (TUSA). According to the TUSA‘s report at the end of November 2012, its refugee population counted a total of 4,555 distributed in 887 households with 52 Burundians, 509 Congolese, and 326 Rwandans.Stratified Sampling Method was used to sample the refugees who participated in this study. The sample was stratified according to refugees‘ countries of origin. Taking 20% of the population in each population stratum enabled the researcher to achieve a desired representation from the groups in the population strata and also to ensure greater accuracy in the findings. The sampling technique produced estimates of overall population parameters with greater precision. The sample size consisted of a total of 177 refugees supported by TUSA Program. The program directors were purposively sampled since they are involved in refugee empowerment programs and hence have valuable information on the strategies used to empower the refugees; a total of 10 program directors participated in this study. The data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 17.0 and then presented in the report in the form of tables and graphs. The findings revealed that TUSA is working towards active participation of refugees at all levels/structures during the identification of their needs, the planning of activities, the execution and evaluation of the program as a strategy to empower the refugees from the GLR living in Nairobi. This is being achieved by the organization through encouraging the refugees to occupy leadership positions and also motivating them to look for local solutions within the community before looking for outside solutions to their problems. Tushirikiane Afrika provides spiritual support to the refugees that entail human resources, finance and mobilization of the refugee community. This spiritual support is offered through meetings, sessions, trainings, and religious masses and mostly during the social and sports events organized by Tushirikiane Afrika Trust.
University of Nairobi