“Shukri and her neighbors are earnestly waiting for something more, a new life in the United States.”

Photo: Annie Griffiths/Ripple Effect Images

A Refugee’s Hopes for the Future

Since before daybreak, Shukri has been waiting to fill her family’s water jugs. Only 20 years old, she stands in line with the other women of the Kakuma Refugee Camp to ensure her three siblings and her parents will have enough for the week to come. The life-sustaining water that comes from these faucets is only turned on periodically, and the community in Kakuma has learned to make each drop last.

Only two years ago this community water faucet would have been a mile beyond the outskirts of the expanding refugee camp. Now it is the center of homes that provide shelter for more than 2,000 refugees, including Shukri and her family. Shukri and all the residents of this area of the Kakuma Refugee Camp are now part of a program that resettles refugees to the United States.

Shukri and her family arrived in the Dadaab Refugee Camp along the border with Somalia only a few years ago. They entered a camp that to this day remains the largest in the world with almost half a million people spread across the arid terrain of northeast Kenya. After a few years in Dadaab, Shukri was transferred to the Kakuma Refugee Camp on the other side of Kenya. In Kakuma, she now has the chance to be interviewed and seen by caseworkers from the CWS administered Resettlement Support Center Africa.

While Shukri fled her native Somalia only a few years ago, many of her neighbors have been living as refugees in Kenya for more than 20 years. While they all wait for water this morning, Shukri and her neighbors are earnestly waiting for something more, a new life in the United States. CWS is there to help make this dream a reality, and drastically change each refugee’s hopes for the future.