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Kakuma, Kenya in 1 week

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope that I can write as much as possible when I am in Kakuma, of course it depends on if I have reasonable access to the internet! Please also keep in contact with me GoFundMe.

I wanted to share info that I gathered about where I am traveling. On Friday, Marti and I will be flying from Houston; to Minnesota (for fresh air); to Amsterdam; to Nairobi, Kenya.

We will be staying in Nairobi a day or so before flying to Kakuma.

From there instruction on the Literacy Through Photography curriculum, photographing and storytelling will begin!

So tell me about Kakuma

(all info and text from this website)

*Kakuma Refugee Camp is located in northwestern Kenya

*Serves refugees who have been forcibly displaced from their home countries due to war or persecution.

*Established in 1992 for Sudanese refugees

*Currently it houses refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Uganda, and Rwanda

*Population: 180,000 refugees.

*UNHCR is assisted in its duties by a wide range of organizations including Film Aid (who I will be working with)

*Area is semi-arid desert

*The area has its problems: dust storms, high temperatures, poisonous spiders, snakes, and scorpions, outbreaks of malaria, cholera

*Average daily temp: 104 degrees Fahrenheit

*Kakuma Camp is a “small city” of thatched roof huts, tents, and mud abodes. Living inside the camp is equally prison and exile.

*Once admitted, refugees do not have freedom to move about the country but are required to obtain Movement Passes -“Essentially, the refugees are confined to the Kakuma camp area: they are not allowed to move freely outside of it, and they may not seek education or employment outside of it” (Jamal 2000, pp. 7-8). Inside this small city at the edge of the desert, children age into adulthood and hope fades to resignation.

Basic Info on My Project

written for my GoFundMe page

Hello! I am overjoyed for this opportunity to bridge diverse communities and share stories of those in the Kakuma refugee camp with our students in Houston. Please support my travels to bring FotoFest's Literacy Through Photography learning to the refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. My name is Rebecca j. Hopp , am a passionate supporter of arts-based education and integration and I have witnessed first-hand the power of the arts to engage students in understanding themselves and the world around them. I am raising money for my travel to a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. I will be traveling with Houston refugee photographer, Marti Corn (image above). At the camp I will be instructing high school students and staff in the Literacy Through Photography (LTP) curriculum. By doing this, I am empowering these young adults and influential staff members to share their important and unique stories through the four pillars of LTP: SELF, FAMILY, COMMUNITY and DREAMS. I truly feel that through learning how to share their stories these refugee students can in turn teach others, giving an powerful voice to this unique community. I will gather their stories and images in order to teach youth in Houston about the lives of refugees. These conversations, images, and ideas will begin to build bridges across communities and cultures creating a sense of global citizenship in students on both continents. We at LTP are currently creating a curriculum for the 2016-17 school year to share these images and stories with schools in Houston in order to connect the two communities, create awareness, understanding and acceptance. The money raised will be used to cover flight costs (estimated $2,150), hotels en route to Kakuma ($350), ground transportation ($200), food ($350), visa & exit costs ($200). Thanks to the generous support of other organizations my stay at the refugee camp has been covered. Student work and interactions from Kakuma and Houston will be displayed at FotoFinish 2017 in May at a FotoFest gallery. I am thrilled to share the power of photography to illuminate oneself and strengthen communities. I look forward to meeting students and staff in Kakuma and bringing their words and images back to students in Houston. Thank you for your support, I am truly humbled by the opportunity to share my students' stories with you.

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