Kakuma Refugee Camp hosts the world’s first TEDx Conference for the first time in its history

June 9th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —– As the world’s first TEDx Conference is being hosted for the first time in Kakuma Refugee Camp in North Western Kenya, East Africa, Yiech Pur Biel, a South Sudanese Refugee Olympian, who stood a chance and participated with his 10 colleagues -as Refugee Olympic Team (ROT),  representing the world’s 65 million Refugees at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, is expected to narrate an inspiring history of perseverance to refugee audience today.FB_IMG_15285214562406325

The world’s first ever TEDx event is taking place here today in Kakuma, Turkana County, Kenya.

The event is expected to bring together many current and former refugees from diaspora alongside keynote speakers and performers to share stories of perseverance and creativity.

The TEDx event hosted today is being attended by donors, journalists, representatives of regional and international organizations, Ambassadors and members of host community.

Yiech Pur Biel, a South Sudanese Refugee athlete, whose life has significantly changed after he was involved as part of the first Refugee Olympic Team in history to compete at the Olympics in 2016, has a remarkable history to tell his former fellow refugees who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of war and conflict from their countries; he will be sharing his past painful history with other refugee communities in the Camp.

At the opening of the International Olympic Sessions in 2016, Pur delivered a message of hope to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members saying:

“We are ambassadors for the other refugees. We cannot forget this chance that you gave us,” Olympian Yiech Pur Biel, a refugee from South Sudan told the IOC members. “We are not bad people. It’s only a name to be a refugee.”

The aim of TEDx event is to steer a way forwards from the one-sided narrative of suffering that are usually told by the international media.

The theme of the event is “THRIVE ”—a way  of showcasing to the world  how refugees can help change not only their lives but the communities and countries in which they come from.

The Global conference, comes as refugees in Kenya continue to face life challenges and dire humanitarian needs.

In 2015 the World Food Programme (WFP) introduced electronic cash transfers in the Kakuma refugee camps. The cash transfers – known as “Bamba chakula” is a form of ‘restricted cash transfer’. The cash, which is sent through a mobile phone, can only be redeemed for food.

As the initiative unfolded, WFP is giving 100 Kenyan shillings (about US$1) per person every month, which replaces part of the monthly food ration that the refugees receive each month.

Since its establishment in 1992, Kakuma has experienced an influx of thousands refugees from South Sudan and it’s also home to more than 185,000 refugees who have fled conflict and disaster in Somalia, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Camp shelters a variety of venomous spiders, snakes, and scorpions, which have posed serous challenges to the refugees.

The area has experienced low rainfall and high temperatures that ranges from 30-40 degree Celsius, water is often accessed mainly from boreholes and distributed to residents via pipelines using diesel generators and a few solar-powered pumps.

Kakuma residents immensely face serious shortages of firewood, which is the primary source for cooking, and it’s usually distributed after three months.

The conference is widely believed to pave the way forward for establishing business engagements in the Camp.

Mr Pur, among others, will be sharing their inspiring stories on stage. The event is a sign that shows that giving opportunities to refugees help them stand a chance to achieve their full potentials.

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