Refugee Stories

Daniel
“Ever since I was young, I loved education. When I met RefugePoint, they helped me to enroll in my final year of primary school. They hadn’t yet started supporting students to attend high school,” Daniel, an unaccompanied minor from the Democratic Republic of Congo, told us. After Daniel completed primary… Read More
Robert
“As a father, when you can’t provide for your family and your children go to beg on the street, it’s a tough and painful place to be as a parent. The thing that gets to you the most is the worry. You worry constantly, and you search for them on… Read More
Maureen
“There are challenges that I face as a lesbian refugee. Where I used to live, they found out that I was a lesbian, and they began abusing me. We shared a common bathroom and toilet and the other people living in the building would lock it and not allow me… Read More
Chris
“I got the idea to start the barbershop after attending the RefugePoint business training. While I was attending the training, I was challenged and motivated to think outside of the box. I decided to pursue my idea of opening a barbershop.” In April 2018, Chris attended RefugePoint’s business training and… Read More
Baati
Baati is a single mother of three who fled from her home country with her children in 2005, after she and her husband were both arrested several times and tortured. Baati’s husband was a teacher and leader who was a very influential person in the community, and Baati worked as… Read More
Moses, Antony, and Vanessa
“RefugePoint gave us medical assistance, and one of the most important things that they provided for us was the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) card. Having that card means that I do not have to pay out of pocket for medical care for my siblings or me when I visit… Read More
Djamaba
When a community joins together to accomplish a shared goal, great things can happen! Djamaba, a refugee from Congo, suffers from a lung disease and requires breathing support through an oxygen concentrator machine. Due to the high cost, Djamaba could not afford the machine that he needed for his home,… Read More
Didier
“I think I have always wanted to become a doctor. When I’m done with my studies, and when I have become a doctor, I want to help the people around me. My main dream is to start a hospital where our patients can get quality healthcare for free. Sometimes when… Read More
Semret
As an artist, Semret works with two mediums – words and wool. Semret began her career as a journalist, but her reporting was one of the reasons that she felt insecure and was forced to flee her home country in 1996. Although Semret continues to write books, and contribute to… Read More
Fawzia
“I want to do this interview in English” Fawzia happily stated. “I have been attending English classes, and now I can speak it with no problem,” she told us, smiling. “When I arrived to Canada for the first time, I didn’t know English. Life was very hard, and the winter… Read More
Ayantu
It is just after 6:00 a.m., and the gates to Burma market, one of Nairobi’s largest meat markets, are about to open. Throughout the day, over 20,000 people – clients from restaurants, butcheries, and individuals, will descend on the market to buy their meat in bulk. Most of the meat… Read More
Angelique, Denisa, Marie, and Sephora
“My personal mantra is ‘If you do good, good things will happen to you in the future’ (‘Ukifanya mazuri, mazuri yatakutendekea mbeleni.’)  that is why I take care of the girls,” Angelique told us. In 2014, Angelique arrived to Kenya alone, after fleeing from her home country of Democratic… Read More
Francis
“At the age of 28, it wasn’t easy for me to accept that I was the head of a household of 11 and that I had to be the breadwinner. It was hard for me to accept that the whole family was looking up to me. I have now accepted… Read More
Edith
What is it like to be a child refugee? Edith, a former child refugee shares her story. In 1994, at the age of three, I was forced to flee my home in Rwanda to escape the Rwandan genocide. I still remember running in the forest as a little girl… Read More
Esther
In 2013, Esther* and her ten children were forced to flee their home country of Congo after her husband, a human rights activist, was abducted, and the rest of the family was brutally attacked. In Nairobi, Esther and her children lived with a friend in a one-room home and were… Read More
Betty
As an integral part of RefugePoint’s program in Nairobi, the counseling team helps to stabilize and empower refugee clients to achieve self-reliance by enhancing their support systems and by strengthening their social networks through individual and group therapy sessions. Group therapy sessions allow members to express themselves in a safe… Read More
Henri
Many refugees emphasize to us their desire to be self-reliant, and request support to get back to their independent lives in their new homes. Henri* is one such client. Henri completed business training and received a small start-up grant of $200 USD. Henri decided to start a business that none… Read More
Joseph & Beatrice
“Let me tell you about when I started selling milk. When I started out I would sell only one crate of milk, which would only give me 18 shillings (about 18 cents). I did this everyday and it was discouraging because I had so many children to take care of,… Read More
Zakuani & Nyantabara
Hitching rides on long-distance trucks, and walking for many miles during the day, our client Zakuani* and his wife Nyantabara*, fled from Congo and arrived to Nairobi, Kenya in December 2014. Zakuani and his family fled Congo due to war waged by MaiMai militia after he witnessed the merciless killing… Read More
David & Family
In 2002, after suffering severe torture and violence at the hands of rebels, David* and his family fled the Congo and vowed never to return. After a harrowing journey through Rwanda and Uganda, the family arrived in Nairobi. Initially, life in Nairobi was better for David and his family, but… Read More
Monica
Monica*, a single mother of seven, arrived in Kenya as a refugee after fleeing Congo in November 2014. Monica was separated from her husband during the family’s flight and had to begin supporting her family financially. With two of her children experiencing serious medical conditions, Monica’s family slept hungry most… Read More
Yadasa
“My name is Yadasa, and I am a former refugee who was resettled to Australia through RefugePoint. I am from the Ethiopian Oromo community, and I left Ethiopia after facing a lot of political persecution. In 2001, when I fled to Nairobi, Kenya, I was a young university student. In… Read More
Rose
Rose is a refugee from the Congo who has lived in Nairobi, with her three children, for two-and-a-half years. “Initially, my life was quite difficult. I would wake up in the morning, and I did not know where I would get a single cent for the day, or how to… Read More
Bien
Bien is a 30-year-old Congolese man who, fearing for his life in the midst of heavy fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), fled his home country and arrived to Nairobi, Kenya in March 2009. Beginning a new life in the city, without resources or connections was not easy… Read More
David
David* leads the RefugePoint Livelihoods team across a hallway in his building to a very small, unlit, and windowless room, filled with cooking smoke. “Before I met RefugePoint, I was here in this single room, with my family of eight – my six children and my wife and I were… Read More
Belvie
When I first came to Kenya I was so withdrawn, I didn’t speak, I had no thoughts of the future. Now I am able to think about the future. Since coming to RefugePoint, that has been the biggest change for me. – Belvie,* RefugePoint client Pictured here, a family… Read More
Annalie
To her neighbors in Nairobi, Annalie, a mother of three, is a successful and skilled tailor. However, few know about her struggles as a refugee. During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Annalie and her husband fled to Kenya, where they experienced extreme hardship. “We experienced dire poverty in Kenya – the… Read More
Mercy
Mercy* received a Livelihoods business grant, which helped her repair a broken grinding machine for use in her peanut butter business. Through this business, Mercy has managed to send her children to school and can afford housing and food. Mercy also attended RefugePoint’s group counseling sessions for women, which she… Read More
Irene
The truck driver covered us with goods so we could pass through the border undetected. We have not seen or heard from our parents or siblings since. – Irene, age 14 At age 14, as Irene* cared for several family members in her village in eastern Democratic Republic of… Read More
Joy
Joy is a Congolese refugee and former RefugePoint client who was resettled to the U.S. in July 2016. When she became involved in the women’s movement in her country, Joy and her family were persecuted and Joy was violently attacked. After fleeing to Kenya with her daughter, Praise, RefugePoint assisted… Read More
Musa
Musa*, age 11, was among the last unaccompanied minors to arrive in the U.S. before the suspension of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, and was certainly one of the last to arrive from such a life-threatening situation. At age 8, Musa was chased from his home in the Democratic Republic… Read More
Julie
In her home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Julie* was a successful farmer and her future was bright. Like many young women her age, Julie longed for marriage and a family of her own. All of that drastically changed on the day that the Mai Mai brutally attacked… Read More
Abal
Abal*, a 32-year old refugee, lived in Kenya for four years. Abal’s elder brother was an active member of an opposition group in their country (which we will not name due to ongoing sensitivity). His family was constantly harassed and his father died after being detained. Abal himself was accused… Read More