The Lutheran World Federation Kenya/Djibouti program update from July 2012 gives a good update of what has been going on in the last year since the drought in the Horn of Africa started leading to famine and migrating people, especially in Somalia. Give it a read to get a good update on the situation.

Here is what stuck out to me:

  • The introducation gives a good reminder that each refugee is an individual who prior to disaster had a life and livelihood that would be considered normal in their context. The move to refugee was not an easy or expected one. It drove home for me that in each disaster their is both the objective circumstances of what happened as well as the very real and unique subjective story of each individual affected.
  • The background on what is going on in Kenya at large was a reminder that disasters do not happen in vaccuums. Life, both the positive and the negative, continues on and this continuation affects the response to the disaster. Also, it was a reminder that disasters don’t awknowledge the boundaries between peoples and countries that we create. So in our response there will always be a great need for communication, trust and accountability between varied partners.
  • The overview of Dadaab highlighted the importance of safety in the disaster response and how much effort can at times go into creating a place of peace and security in the midst of chaos. This work has been done in a very creative and effective way in Dadaab through their Community Peace and Secuirty Teams (sometimes labeled Community Peace Protection Teams or CPPT). These teams are made up of refugees living within the camps and are the first line of response to community violence and disputes. This buffering allows for issues to be handled mostly by people speaking the same language, coming from the same cultural background and current life experience. Seeing the need for basic security and peace before humanitarian aid can be properly delivered the ELCA, through its Disaster Response program strong supports this valuable work.

Overall the update gives a good overview of the situation and highlighting how the response of gracious donors the globe over has made a difference and why the need is still their for that response to continue.

Read the entire update: LWF Kenya/Djibouti Program Update.

Gifts to ELCA International Disaster Response allow the church to respond globally in times of need. Donate now.