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Refugees want empowerment, not handouts

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    Currently, most refugees
    live in the cities
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    rather than in the refugee camps.
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    We represent over 60 percent
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    of the number of refugees globally.
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    With the majority of refugees
    living in urban areas,
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    there is a strong need
    for a paradigm shift and new thinking.
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    Rather than wasting money
    on building walls,
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    it would be better to spend on programs
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    to help refugees to help themselves.
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    (Applause)
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    We always have to leave behind
    all our possessions.
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    But not our skills and knowledge.
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    If allowed to live a productive life,
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    refugees can help themselves
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    and contribute to the development
    of their host country.
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    I was born in the city called Bukavu,
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    South Kivu,
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    in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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    I am the fifth-born
    in a family of 12 children.
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    My father, a mechanic by profession,
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    worked very hard to send me to school.
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    Just like other young people,
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    I had a lot of plans and dreams.
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    I wanted to complete my studies,
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    get a nice job,
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    marry and have my own children
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    and support my family.
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    But this didn't happen.
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    War in my homeland forced me
    to flee to Uganda in 2008,
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    nine years ago.
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    My family joined
    a steady exodus of refugees
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    who settled in Uganda's capital, Kampala.
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    In my country,
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    I lived already in the city,
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    and we felt Kampala was much better
    than a refugee camp.
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    Refugees in the cities
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    have always been denied
    international assistance,
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    even after their recognition
    by UNHCR in 1997.
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    In addition to the poverty problem
    we were confronted with
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    as the local urban poor,
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    we were facing challenges
    due to our refugee status,
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    such as a language barrier.
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    In Congo, the official language is French.
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    But in Uganda, it is English.
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    We didn't have access
    to education and health.
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    We were exposed to harassment,
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    exploitation, intimidation
    and discrimination.
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    Humanitarian organizations mostly focused
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    on the formal settlement in rural areas,
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    and there was nothing in place for us.
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    But we didn't want handouts.
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    We wanted to work and support ourselves.
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    I joined my other two colleagues in exile
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    and set up an organization
    to support other refugees.
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    YARID -- Young African Refugees
    for Integral Development --
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    began as a conversation
    within the Congolese community.
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    We asked the community
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    how they could organize themselves
    to solve these challenges.
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    The YARID programs for support
    evolve in stages,
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    progressing from soccer community,
    to English language
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    to sewing livelihoods.
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    The soccer changed the energy
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    of unemployed youth
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    and connected people
    from different communities.
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    The free English classes
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    help empower people to engage
    with the Ugandan community,
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    allowing them to get to know
    their neighbors and sell wares.
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    The vocational training program
    offers livelihood skills,
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    and with them, important opportunities
    for economic self-reliance.
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    We've seen so many families
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    become self-sustaining.
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    We've seen who no longer needs our help.
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    As YARID's programs have expanded,
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    it has included an increasing
    range of nationalities --
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    Congolese, Rwandan, Burundian,
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    Somalis, Ethiopian, South Sudanese.
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    Today, YARID has supported
    over 3,000 refugees across Kampala
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    and continues supporting more.
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    (Applause)
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    Refugees want empowerment, not handouts.
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    We know our community better than anyone.
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    We understand the challenges
    and opportunities we face
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    to become self-reliant.
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    I know better than anyone
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    that initiatives created by refugees work.
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    They need to be internationally
    recognized and supported.
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    Give us the support we deserve,
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    and we will pay you back with interest.
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    Thank you so much.
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    (Applause)
Titel:
Refugees want empowerment, not handouts
Sprecher:
Robert Hakiza
Beschreibung:

The prevailing image of where refugees live is of massive, temporary camps in remote areas -- but in reality, nearly 60 percent of refugees worldwide end up in urban areas. TED Fellow Robert Hakiza takes us inside the lives of urban refugees -- and shows us how organizations like the one that he started can provide them with the skills they need to ultimately become self-sufficient.

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Video Language:
English
Team:
closed TED
Projekt:
TEDTalks
Duration:
06:45

Untertitel in English

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