June 20 is World Refugee Day. Humanity & Inclusion supports tens of thousands of refugees each year, like Rashid who lives in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.
When Rashid was a baby, he and his family fled violent fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2018. Rashid, now 4, was just a toddler when his mother, Julienne, quickly realized that he had difficulty walking.
“He didn't walk like the other children,” she says. “I couldn’t explain where this comes from because nobody in the family has the same problem."
At the refugee camp, Rashid experienced isolation from other children who didn’t understand his disability. He wasn’t able to play with them.
"The other children rejected him and made fun of him,” Julienne explains.
Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation team at Kakuma camp diagnosed Rashid with a deformity affecting his knee. In September 2021, the boy underwent corrective surgery on his legs at the Kakuma Mission Hospital, which works in collaboration with Humanity & Inclusion. Once his casts were removed, Rashid was able to walk without any difficulty. He’s continuing rehabilitation exercises to strengthen his muscles and improve his mobility.
Julienne is thrilled to see her son’s improved functioning. Rashid has returned to school, where he has made many friends. He is very popular with his teachers, who find him friendly and energetic.
"I'm very happy to stand up without the other kids making fun of me,” Rashid says.
Humanity & Inclusion at Kakuma
Located in northwestern Kenya, Kakuma refugee camp was established in 1992. It hosts over 200,000 refugees from 13 different countries. Over 40% of the refugees are South Sudanese and over 30% are Somalis.
Humanity & Inclusion assists over 15,000 people in Kakuma camp. The organization provides rehabilitation, mental health and psychosocial support. It also runs a child protection program. These actions are funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.