Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya

April 22nd 2022
Field research
Social studies

Kakuma Refugee Camp is located in the Northwestern region of Kenya

The camp was established in 1992 following the arrival of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”, a group of young children that fled from the conflict in South Sudan. That same year, large groups of Ethiopian refugees left their country following the fall of the Ethiopian government and most of them settled in Kakuma.
The camp is divided into four areas and hosts a population of over 183,556 refugees (March 2022), from more than 11 countries. South Sudanese refugees account for over 50% of the population followed by refugees from Somalia (22.5%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (8.2%) (UNHCR, 2021).
Refugees have moved from their lands, belongings, traditions, and beliefs to a new territory that, while supposed to be temporary, has become a permanent home for thousands. Young people were born in Kakuma, Kenya, yet their heritage is from another country.

These communities manage to constantly embrace the past, the present and the future at once. Movement is key: movement of people; the very slow movement of the disappearance of rituals and traditional knowledge; and the evolving movement of the local environment in Kakuma, Kenya and South Sudan.
Read more: Total Refugees and Asylum-seekers in Turkana according to UNHCR
Read more: Plan to decongest the Kakuma camp - UNHCR