Special care for elderly refugees in Kenya

Hassan and his carer in their shelter at the Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya. The LWF works to ease the burden for elderly in Dadaab. Photo: LWF Kenya
Hassan and his carer in their shelter at the Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya. The LWF works to ease the burden for elderly in Dadaab. Photo: LWF Kenya

LWF Kenya provides relief goods, food and psychosocial support

(LWI) – Being old is not easy, Hassan can attest to that. “You to need struggle each day to feed your family,” he says. The refugee from Somalia is 100 years old and lives in Kambioos Refugee Camp, one of the five camps that make up the Dadaab camp complex. When he came to Dadaab in 1992, he was 77 years old.

Hassan and his family fled from Kismayu, Somalia,soon after war broke out. They crossed the border to Kenya to seek refuge, and he and his family were accorded refugee status by the UNHCR and the Kenyan Government. Now he lives with his sister, son and grandchildren in an extended family of 10 people.

When asked about going back to Kismayu, his home, he says: “No. I would rather die here than go back. My son listens to radio news every evening and tells me all about the insecurity in Somalia.”

Like many elderly people, Hassan faces challenges in life. He is bedridden, almost blind in one eye and has difficulty hearing. He is also starting to suffer from pressure sores. Because he has lost almost all his teeth, he can no longer eat solid food and mostly drinks milk. The food provided to refugees by the World Food Program is not appropriate for his condition and he says it lacks essential nutrients for elderly.

In Kambioos, Hassan is among the many elderly whom The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Kenya has supported with material items and psychosocial sessions. Together with 81 other elderly people, he has been provided a thick mattress, kitchen utensils and a solar lamp. He has also been enrolled in a voucher program so he can buy fresh food. “This is a God send. The voucher came at a time where I needed it most,” Hassan says.

LWF is providing, among other things, food vouchers and relief goods, as well as psychosocial aid to vulnerable people in Dadaab.

 

By Omar Dahir, LWF social worker and Vitalis Koskei, LWF head of community services, in Kenya

LWF News

15 August 2019
NADAPAL, Kenya/GENEVA
15 June 2018
KAKUMA, Kenya/GENEVA