Kalobeyei, Kenya, May 2018—A representative of the government of Japan Yo Ito, alongside County and National Government officials officially opened the community center aimed at integrating refugees community with host community at the Kalobeyei refugee centre.
There were about 60 participants in total from both communities, including the members who participated in the planning process.
UN-Habitat has supported integrated settlement of refugee and host communities in Kalobeyei, Kenya since 2016, with support from the Government of Japan. Through the spatial planning framework, UN-Habitat initiated planning and construction of a community center to integrate refugees community with host community to bring peaceful coexistence and support both communities in seizing opportunities together from the development of Kalobeyei settlement. Youth have been involved in the designing of the community center based on the ideas and preferences from both the host and refugee communities, through participatory process.
Construction was done in partnership with Association for Aid and Relief Japan ( AAR Japan). The center consists of three rooms; a hall, a computer lab and a library.
The representative from the Government of Japan was well pleased with the presentation of the host and refugee communities leaders. The communities will establish a management board which will consist of the leaders who participated in planning and construction of the center, as suggested by UN-Habitat representative. The refugee leaders and the host community leaders were happy with the community center design and commit to work together and share ideas by imparting computer knowledge to those with no skills. They suggested if each and every partner can adopt UN-Habitat participatory approach, they will be having smooth running of activities and the aspect of integration will be accelerated.