“Not a burden”: how this refugee-led organization is “cleaning the perception” of refugees everywhere

L'AFRIKANA is carving a way for refugees in Kenya to play an active role in creating their own solutions

Why It Matters

Refugee-led organizations like L’AFRIKANA are able to understand the needs of refugees more intimately than their non-refugee-led counterparts — their story is an opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t.

This journalism is made possible by a partnership with WUSC and the International Forum. See our editorial ethics and standards here.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, refugee organizations all over Kenya were instructed by the country’s government to shut their doors. For refugees living in urban settings outside refugee camps, they had nowhere to go for essentials — whether that be medical support, or food and everyday supplies. 

Biaba Bizo, program coordinator at L’AFRIKANA, a refugee-led organization based in Nairobi, Kenya, says that during the start of COVID-19, refugees could only go to refugee camps to get help. Yet, with most of the roads blocked, it was increasingly difficult for anyone to move from one place t


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