First-ever TEDx event at refugee camp in Kenya

A rare web-streaming TEDx event took place in Kakuma camp in northwest Kenya allowing refugees to share stories of resilience and creativity.

kakuma camp

Kakuma camp, one of the world’s largest refugee camps in Kenya, hosted a web-streaming event last Saturday and brought together current and former refugees with activists and aid workers.

The TEDxKakumaCamp gave them the opportunity to share their experiences in an effort to change perceptions and destroy stereotypes. It was the very first time that TED held an event at a refugee camp.

Speakers included South Sudanese track-and-field athlete Yiech Pur Biel, who represented the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, and Somali American supermodel Halima Aden, who grew up at the Kakuma camp.

Melissa Fleming, the chief spokesperson for the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, and co-host of TEDxKakumaCamp, told Al Jazeera that the event was the “most logistically challenging, but also one of the most moving” staged by the TED organisation.

“Most Europeans, Australians, and Americans think that all the refugees are coming their way, but frankly most of them are in countries like Kenya and yet they’re invisible. We are hoping with this event, we could really illuminate the camp but also the extraordinary refugees, the talents and ideas they have by putting them on as powerful a stage as the TED stage,” said Fleming.

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