Life Skills and Training for Refugees and Host Communities

Project description

Title: Life Skills and Training for Refugees and Host Communities in Kenya
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Kenya
Lead executing agency: Refugee Affairs Secretariat 
Overall term: 2019 to 2021


Kakuma in northern Kenya is the country’s second largest refugee camp, currently hosting around 147,500 refugees, mainly from South Sudan and Somalia. The camp has existed for 25 years; many of its child and teenage residents grew up here. In the refugee camp, food and water are in short supply, undernourishment is rife, and medical care and education facilities are inadequate. These problems affect the host communities as well: more than 90% of local people live in poverty and often perceive the assistance provided for the refugees as unfair. Due to the lack of resources and life chances, there are frequent tensions within the refugee community and with locals.

Many of the children and teenagers who live in Turkana West Sub-County and the Kakuma refugee camp are not enrolled in school; many have missed out on schooling altogether. Without a school-leaving certificate, young people have no access to further education and training as a basis for future employment. This problem affects young locals in Turkana West and young refugees wishing to return to their home country. Opportunities for young refugees and locals to gain life skills and thus improve their prospects are extremely limited.


The project aims to give young refugees and local youths in Kakuma life skills and improve their prospects for the future.


In order to improve the opportunities for young refugees and locals to gain life skills, the project develops ICT-based services that deliver formal and, above all, non-formal education. The project focuses on building life skills and ICT proficiency as a future livelihood basis.

The project is designed for 13-24-year-olds who live in the Kakuma camp and Turkana West, with a particular focus on vulnerable teenagers with no access to education, young mothers and disabled youths. In order to avoid discrimination and conflicts, the ‘do no harm’ principle applies: this means building conflict sensitivity into the planning and design of all the services and encouraging participation by young locals and young refugees in this process.

The project focuses on three areas:

  1. Using ICT applications to improve the life skills of young refugees and local youths with no access to education.
  2. Building basic ICT skills and providing more advanced training for young people who show a particular aptitude in this area.
  3. Using interactive audio programmes to provide information for young refugees and assist them to assess their life chances. This enables them to explore options for voluntary return and make sound decisions about their future.