Lives on Hold


South Sudan refugee children line up at the reception center in Kakuma, Kenya, to receive porridge that is served for breakfast.

Mamia, 15, fled fighting in South Sudan and has struggled to adjust to life as a refugee. She and her family settled in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya’s arid Turkana region. For a time, the poor conditions of their classrooms at Kakuma Camp discouraged Mamia and her friends. The heat, wind, and thick dust kept them from focusing on their exercises. She got headaches from the stifling heat inside the tents.

“We preferred going to collect food at the distribution centers, rather than going to school," Mamia says.

World Vision recently finished replacing the tent classrooms with 16 permanent classrooms. Enrollment has increased since then, and Mamia’s mother says the youth are more motivated to attend school. This gave Mamia the hope she needed to resist the pull of an idle life in the camp. 

“The classrooms are so nice and cool,” Mamia says.

 Photo©2015 Lucy Murunga/World Vision

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