UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims successfully raised over 15 million KES in two hours for refugee education in Kenya at their fundraising Iftar dinner attended by dignitaries and business leaders in Nairobi this past Saturday.
“The Iftar dinner was attended by government representatives, members of the diplomatic corps, inter-faith community leaders, and private sector business and community leaders. I was inspired by the refugee youth speakers at the dinner and was incredibly encouraged to see a diverse group of change-makers gather together for one evening to support the plight of people forced to flee by investing in their education,” said Fathiaa Abdalla, UNHCR Representative in Kenya.
The dinner held at the Intercontinental hotel had dignitary speakers including H.E. Ali Bunow Korane, the Governor of Garissa County; Ambassador Mohamed Mahat, SUPKEM Secretary General, and Ambassador Yusuf A. Nzibo, SUPKEM Chairman. The dinner was attended by notables including H.E. Mohamoud Ahmed Nur, Somali Ambassador to Kenya, representatives from embassies of Turkey, Pakistan, Arab League, and the UAE. Also in attendance were representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as County Government of Turkana and County Government of Wajir. IGAD Executive Secretary, Ambassador Mahboub Maalim was also present. Honorable members of Parliament in attendance included Hon. Mohamud Sheikh Mohammed (Wajir South) and Hon. Yusuf Hassan (Kamukunji). From the non-governmental sector was Dr. Abbas Gullet of Kenya Red Cross; Father Joseph Muite, Chair of Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, and Mr. Hashmukh Devani, Chair of Asian Foundation. In attendance from the business community was the Eastleigh Business Community led by the Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Hussein. Other businesses in attendance were Hass Petroleum, Regnol Oil Company, Pronto Restaurant, Freedom Air, Gargar Transporters and Kush Bank among others.
“This fundraising Iftar highlights the unity and community spirit of Kenyans,” said Ambassador Mohamed Affey, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa. “Almost half of refugee school-aged children are not attending school in Kenya. Together, our community responded to this increasing crisis by donating generously to improve refugee access to education.”
“The holy month of Ramadan has brought our community together to support this worthy cause. What we have seen from the UNHCR & SUPKEM Iftar dinner is that we can provide much more than just a meal to needy people – we can invest in their future,” said Dr. Yusuf A. Nzibo, SUPKEM Chairman.
Kenya is host to more than 450,000 refugees, 77 percent of whom are women and children. The majority of refugee children living in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps only have access to primary education. More than two-thirds of refugee school-age children do not have access to secondary school and 87 per cent of refugee youth do not have access to tertiary education.
The Iftar dinner was organized as a part of the greater UNHCR & SUPKEM Ramadan Campaign running for the entire period of Ramadan.