Conflicts from Somalia to the Democratic Republic of Congo have forced hundreds of thousands of refugees to seek safe haven in Kenya. HIAS provides services for particularly vulnerable urban refugees in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. Of the 600,000 refugees in Kenya, an estimated 50,000 live in Nairobi.
Many of these refugees are survivors of torture and/or sexual and gender-based violence. HIAS’ focus is to provide safe environments for refugees in which they can stabilize, heal, and rebuild their lives. We operate programs for both refugee and host communities to ensure that the right to security is respected by all.
HIAS operates programs for refugee and host communities to ensure that their rights are respected by all. Urban refugees are increasingly at risk of harassment and extortion, so at HIAS we focus our efforts on vulnerable refugees living in Nairobi by providing legal advice and referrals, including for those arrested and detained.
For refugees at greatest risk, HIAS facilitates resettlement to a third country such as the United States or Canada.
HIAS provides therapy in individual and group settings to help refugees overcome trauma and cope with life in exile. We also provide social assistance that may include emergency safe housing, food assistance, and medical referrals, all of which are facilitated through home visits from social workers. We focus on survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, including women and girls, sexual minorities, and male survivors of rape. We also focus on the needs of groups that are often overlooked in humanitarian programs, including older persons and persons with disabilities.
Self-sufficiency is crucial to helping people overcome trauma and regain their dignity. HIAS is expanding our programs to provide vocational training and employment assistance and to help refugees identify opportunities to build small businesses. When refugees are able to establish stable livelihoods, they have the opportunity to heal, stabilize, and rebuild their lives.