NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – Kenyans Sunday morning joined hundreds of refugees from 13 African countries in a walk dubbed “Step for Safety” to highlight the dire living conditions of populations displaced by conflict and natural calamities across Africa.
The walk organised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees under its LuQuLuQu campaign seeks to harness Africa’s time-honoured traditions of hospitality and brotherhood to provide safety nets for vulnerable groups like refugees.
UNHCR Country Representative Raouf Mazou said they are struggling to keep pace with the growing needs in humanitarian emergencies.
“I have witnessed first-hand the resilience of refugees and the generosity of African communities who’ve received families forced to flee as their brothers and sisters, often for decades.”
“The ‘Step for Safety’ walk is another way Kenyans will show solidarity with refugees who take long, difficult steps to secure their safety every day while supporting the empowerment of refugees themselves. This is the spirit of the LuQuLuQu initiative,” said Mazou.
He said the LuQuLuQu campaign seeks to create a community of supporters, a tribe who signed up to work towards promoting donations to the cause of refugees and displaced communities to provide solutions to refugees that promoted self-reliance and independence, and in so doing empowered refugees.
UNHCR Head of Private Sector Partnership Needa Jehu Hoyah said that participants will have an opportunity to walk the steps of displaced persons at an experimental simulation centre where registration, distribution of food and shelter is conducted.
Kenya alone hosts an estimated 450,000 refugees who have fled turmoil and natural disasters in the neighbouring countries.