Working with Refugee Women with Disabilities

The refugee workshop took place on 9th and 10th of June 2016 at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in Nairobi. Following a conference of Network of African Women with Disabilities held in February 2016, Women Challenged to Challenge (WCC) identified a few gaps among refugee women with disabilities living in Kenya who attended the conference. The gaps were; lack of legal status, lack of guided community integration, low self-esteem, lack of information and access on available services like reproductive health.

As a result, WCC organized a two day workshop whereby we were able to train women on entrepreneurship, reproductive health issues and self-esteem matters. In addition WCC involved personnel from HIAS and UNHCR who educated the refugee women on the services available and how to access the same. All these was made possible through a partnership with the Network of African Women with Disabilities (NAWWD) and Women Refugee Commission (WRC)

Workshop Goal

The man goal was to bring together refugee women with disabilities and help them find assistance to challenges they face as women with disabilities living in a foreign country.

Objectives

  1. To brainstorm on the needs and challenges of refugee women with disabilities
  2. Bring together refugee women with disabilities to share their experiences
  3. Identify gaps in service delivery for refugee women with disabilities
  4. Identify business needs of refugee women with disabilities

 Challenges faced by the refugee women include;

  • Lack of documents like mandate
  • The waiting time for documents to be approved was too long
  • Lack of information on the services available for them and institutions and organization offering the same. E.g. medical services, gender based violence services
  • Lack of finances to pay for school fees, rent and medical services
  • Self-esteem issues- accepting their disabilities
  • Minimal awareness on the procedures of acquiring the proper documents

Recommendations and way forward

  1. Formation of support groups
  2. Follow-up on individual issues with HIAS and UNHCR

 

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