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  • Currently, most refugees live in the cities

  • rather than in the refugee camps.

  • We represent over 60 percent

  • of the number of refugees globally.

  • With the majority of refugees living in urban areas,

  • there is a strong need for a paradigm shift and new thinking.

  • Rather than wasting money on building walls,

  • it would be better to spend on programs

  • to help refugees to help themselves.

  • (Applause)

  • We always have to leave behind all our possessions.

  • But not our skills and knowledge.

  • If allowed to live a productive life,

  • refugees can help themselves

  • and contribute to the development of their host country.

  • I was born in the city called Bukavu,

  • South Kivu,

  • in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • I am the fifth-born in a family of 12 children.

  • My father, a mechanic by profession,

  • worked very hard to send me to school.

  • Just like other young people,

  • I had a lot of plans and dreams.

  • I wanted to complete my studies,

  • get a nice job,

  • marry and have my own children

  • and support my family.

  • But this didn't happen.

  • War in my homeland forced me to flee to Uganda in 2008,

  • nine years ago.

  • My family joined a steady exodus of refugees

  • who settled in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

  • In my country,

  • I lived already in the city,

  • and we felt Kampala was much better than a refugee camp.

  • Refugees in the cities

  • have always been denied international assistance,

  • even after their recognition by UNHCR in 1997.

  • In addition to the poverty problem we were confronted with

  • as the local urban poor,

  • we were facing challenges due to our refugee status,

  • such as a language barrier.

  • In Congo, the official language is French.

  • But in Uganda, it is English.

  • We didn't have access to education and health.

  • We were exposed to harassment,

  • exploitation, intimidation and discrimination.

  • Humanitarian organizations mostly focused

  • on the formal settlement in rural areas,

  • and there was nothing in place for us.

  • But we didn't want handouts.

  • We wanted to work and support ourselves.

  • I joined my other two colleagues in exile

  • and set up an organization to support other refugees.

  • YARID -- Young African Refugees for Integral Development --

  • began as a conversation within the Congolese community.

  • We asked the community

  • how they could organize themselves to solve these challenges.

  • The YARID programs for support evolve in stages,

  • progressing from soccer community, to English language

  • to sewing livelihoods.

  • The soccer changed the energy

  • of unemployed youth

  • and connected people from different communities.

  • The free English classes

  • help empower people to engage with the Ugandan community,

  • allowing them to get to know their neighbors and sell wares.

  • The vocational training program offers livelihood skills,

  • and with them, important opportunities for economic self-reliance.

  • We've seen so many families

  • become self-sustaining.

  • We've seen who no longer needs our help.

  • As YARID's programs have expanded,

  • it has included an increasing range of nationalities --

  • Congolese, Rwandan, Burundian,

  • Somalis, Ethiopian, South Sudanese.

  • Today, YARID has supported over 3,000 refugees across Kampala

  • and continues supporting more.

  • (Applause)

  • Refugees want empowerment, not handouts.

  • We know our community better than anyone.

  • We understand the challenges and opportunities we face

  • to become self-reliant.

  • I know better than anyone

  • that initiatives created by refugees work.

  • They need to be internationally recognized and supported.

  • Give us the support we deserve,

  • and we will pay you back with interest.

  • Thank you so much.

  • (Applause)

Currently, most refugees live in the cities

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【TED】Robert Hakiza: Refugees want empowerment, not handouts (Refugees want empowerment, not handouts | Robert Hakiza)

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    Zenn posted on 2018/03/16
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