Marriage and birth certificates

Photo: Ethiopian refugee children

We ended our week with a morning of meetings with a select group of refugee women. Professor Kalantzis and Jenny Hwang met with them inside a church in the camp – so I didn’t get any photos of the session 🙁

I enjoyed sitting under the shade of some trees on the compound of the Ethiopian church in the camp and talking with a small group of refugee pastors from DR Congo and Sudan.

Among other things, I learned of the struggle refugees face in getting a government marriage certificate and birth certificates. They told me that many of the children in their churches do not have birth certificates – which puts them in serious danger of becoming stateless. We discussed whether this is also an issue that Catholic churches and Muslims face in the camp – and if so, perhaps considering teaming up together to advocate for all refugees in the camp to have a way to obtain these important certificates locally in Kakuma.

I heard it many times during this visit. “We are not viewed by others as people – human beings.”

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