blog posts from GYC's participants, alumni, & staff
By Alain Twagirayezu
“The International Community has rejected us. I don’t even know where I can ask my questions any more.” – A refugee in KIZIBA refugee camp youth during a human rights workshop with Turikumwe participants.
As you may have read in other posts on this blog, The KIZIBA refugee camp is located in Rwanda, Western Province, and is hosting 18,000 refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 1996.
The TURIKUMWE Human Rights Learning and Action Program for Young Leaders, a GYC program in partnership with INALAS, visited the camp on the 5th January 2015, and personally, the situation in the camp gave me inspiration to advocate for refugees in the camp about Human Rights protection and promotion.
During the visit, the Turikumwe participants made debates with the leaders of the youth in the KIZIBA refugee camp on the common understanding on what is Human Rights and what they consider as basic Human Rights are?
Surprisingly to me, all the youth in the camp have the anger against the UN and the international community because all the basic rights are denied to them.
The youth in the camp considered the Right to nationality as the crucial right that they are not enjoying, that they underprivileged as human beings in the camp. Their home country DRC has refused to recognize them as their citizens.
Due to the restriction of the right to nationality the refugees in Kiziba camp have many consequences to access to education and health care.
The refugees in Kiziba camp have deprived the right to access to education. Here the formal education in the camp is problematic. The education in the camp is provided by UNHCR in collaboration with the ADRA and they insure the primary level and the ordinal level only. The rest of their education the refugees struggle to find themselves where to continue their studies outside the camp. As consequences, the youth refugees became prostitutes, thief, drogue takers…; even though the refugees has tried to find their own solution still the implementation of their solution is tricky.
Furthermore the access to health care in the camp is difficult because as I said before the camp is about 18,000 and they have one pitiable hospital. The health care in the camp is provided by UNCHR with the AHA but the capacity of the hospital is too low compared to the capacity of the camp (200 patients /nurse /day).
The youth in Kiziba refugee camp believe that the fact the DRC has not recognizing their right to nationality is the foundation of their dejected life in the camp.
My Conclusions (and please comment to give me feedback):
1. If really the foundation of their miserable life in the camp is the lack of the right to nationality, my suggestion for the refugees is to search for another nationality.
2. The humanitarian NGOs should increase the parternship with the UNHCR to address the problem that they are facing in the camp
3. The refugees should know how to fight for their Human Rights. Peoples should be aware of what is their rights authorizes them to do.