The Kakuma Refugee Camp in northwestern Kenya is home to around 50,000 refugees from Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Uganda and Rwanda.

The camp, managed by The Lutheran World Federation and supported in part by ELCA World Hunger, runs more than 20 schools at Kakuma, providing a basic education and offering 15,000 school meals to children every day.

More importantly, though, the programs at the camp are a source of hope for the residents like Diadem, a young adult who’s been living in Kakuma after being displaced from Congo. “What I want in my life is just to live with my family in peace in a secure place,” she says.

“I know that I’m secure, and I’ll know that no matter what, I’ll just live happily.”

“And I also want to be a superstar in basketball,” Diadem laughs. “I want to be in the NBA.” ELCA World Hunger has provided more than $100,000 to the Kakuma Refugee Camp.

These gifts have provided opportunities to many who would otherwise be uncertain about where they would get their next meal or where they would sleep at night — like Diadem and Ruyika Ibrahim.

Ruyika is originally from Ethiopia but has lived in Kakuma most of her life, “When we do have hope that tomorrow will come and that tomorrow will come with a new change within itself, a new place to build you up, then that gives you hope to carry on.”

Ruyika is studying community development and hopes to someday work as a newscaster for Al Jazeera. Here’s a poem Ruyika has written while living in Kakuma:


Can hear your voice
feel your presence
see your way
but wonder of strength

Came from far
in different paths
swept the wrath
calmed more

Have felt your content
tender can’t mention
you are important
please change my situation

Take my anger to the deep sea
pain to the highest mountain
pleas to the blue skies
and concern to special ones

Cover my cold soul
strengthen weak bones
hold loosen roles
and replace lost hopes

Soon you will go
to where you belong
take me along
if not, promise return.

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