Creating Sustainable Futures through Action for Refugee Life (AReL)
The story of refugees can often be one of despair and lost opportunities. However, with initiatives like Action for Refugee Life (AReL), a ray of hope has been ignited in the Kakuma refugee camp, providing refugees with skills, support, and sustainable futures.
Kakuma camp and the nearby Kalobeyei settlement have a combined population of 248,929 refugees.
Our Groundbreaking Pilot Program
AReL was founded in 2022 to locate gifted refugees, equip them with marketable skills, and facilitate remote job opportunities, empowering them to become self-reliant and active participants in economically and socially viable lives. The first milestone of our journey is establishing our pilot program, focusing on our Digital Marketing course, enriched with the renowned Hubspot Digital Marketing curriculum.
The center, equipped with solar electricity, can accommodate 20 to 25 students and power 15 to 20 laptops, with internet connectivity for 10 to 15 devices. This infrastructure, complemented by our rich curriculum and hands-on exercises, provides refugees with a comprehensive learning experience in digital marketing. We invite international expert guest instructors to share industry insights, contributing to a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
In this article, we'll share our journey to establish a center and provide some spoilers for how well the program is performing.
Challenges: Overcoming Challenges with Resolve and Support
Setting up this initiative took a lot of work. Our CEO, Kiza Mauridi, recalls having to use every resource at his disposal to launch this program. "I had to use every coin I owned to ensure everything ran smoothly in running the project's pilot. With the support of some of my team members and a friend called Iwein, we renovated the room we are presently using, bought furniture, three solar panels, two batteries, an inverter, and extension cables, and subscribed to the Airtel internet. I had to use my network to see who would be the instructors with expertise in Digital marketing, data analysis, and web development. I met with David, Anselm, and Amisi, who are ready to volunteer to instruct our refugee students."
With support from the AReL team, Kiza renovated a room, installed solar panels, and set up internet connectivity. His network of connections was vital in finding qualified instructors to deliver the course.
Our Operations Assistant, Yaredi Eninga, recounts what started as a casual idea that soon revealed the challenges of creating an organization in a refugee camp from scratch. Despite initial hurdles and newly formed roles, the team's dedication and readiness to learn have set AReL on the path to achieving its missions and goals.
Successes: Charting Success and Transforming Lives
The efforts and investments have started bearing fruit. As per Kiza, the success of AReL's program is evident in three measurable dimensions; we will share our data in an upcoming performance report. Among the KPIs is the number of refugees acquiring marketable on-job skills.
We receive regular positive feedback from students and their active engagement in the program, from attending classes to completing assignments. When Kiza asks the students how the lessons are going, they always respond, "We are enjoying it and have started acquiring knowledge in Content Marketing and Web design."
"I have seen others coming to the center to do their assignment when there are no classes," Kiza notes. And "others organize one-on-one meetings with the instructor. And all these are signs the project is filling a gap that has existed for years."
Yaredi notes the high demand for learning from the refugee and host community as a significant success.
"The center, open from Monday to Friday, is bustling with students eager to learn and grow, emphasizing the impact of AReL's program."
In the brief span since its inception, Action for Refugee Life (AReL) has embarked on an inspiring journey of social transformation in the Kakuma refugee camp. What started as an ambitious vision in 2022 to empower refugees with sustainable skills and opportunities has taken tangible form today in the pilot training program.
The road, however, was filled with trials. Our founder, Kiza, spearheaded the efforts to get the project off the ground, leveraging every resource at his disposal. Despite the lack of adequate funds, our team's unwavering commitment resulted in the renovation of a classroom, installing solar panels for electricity, and establishing internet connectivity. We even successfully enlisted the help of global professionals and expert instructors to deliver a robust and practical curriculum that aims to prepare them for the international and cross-border experience in the market.
And as we began to settle into the rhythm of our operations, the fruits of our labor became increasingly evident. Our pilot program, focusing on Digital Marketing, has seen enthusiastic participation from the refugee communities. We are moved by the diligence and motivation of our students, who engage in their lessons and assignments with an energy that speaks volumes about their hunger for knowledge and their aspirations for a better future.
This is merely the first step in our journey of transforming lives. We are hopeful and excited about the many possibilities for the refugee community in Kakuma camp and beyond. We anticipate the challenges we'll face, but we also look forward to celebrating the triumphs that will inevitably come our way.
We will begin registration for our first training course in Digital Marketing. Students will then be assessed for program placement and enrolled into either a morning or afternoon cohort.
We are committed to updating you on our progress as we continue this journey. We believe in the power of community and collective effort to make a lasting impact. Therefore, we invite you to join us, to follow our story, to learn about our successes and the obstacles we overcome. Your engagement, be it moral, monetary, or voluntary, can help shape the trajectory of our mission and amplify the social impact we strive to make.
Visit our "Join Us" webpage to discover how you can participate in this transformative journey and create sustainable and self-reliant futures for the refugee community. Let's create a world where refugees are not merely surviving but thriving.
To discover ways to get involved with us, visit our "Join Us"webpage today.