Dadaab, Kenya, refugee mental health, refugee repatriation, refugee response to repatriation, refugees, refugees in Kenya, Somali refugees, Somalia, The Center for Victims of Torture, UN refugee agency, voluntary repatriation
Last November, the United Nations refugee agency and the governments of Somalia and Kenya signed an agreement to support the voluntary return of Somali refugees. According to the UN, Kenya hosts 470,000 Somali refugees, the majority of whom live in the Dadaab refugee complex.
CVT works in Dadaab providing mental health care to refuges who experienced targeted violence as well as random atrocities of war. Many CVT counselors are refugees who grew up and live in the camps.
Although the UN and Somali and Kenyan governments stress return is voluntary, news of the agreement has caused questions and concern among refugees. Today and tomorrow, we’ll share the stories of two CVT counselors, how they came to Dadaab, and their concerns about returning to their home countries. Sharif and Juda help us understand how these agreements, although voluntary, effect people who experienced war and other violence in their home countries.
Sharif is a psychosocial counselor with the Center for Victims of Torture-Dadaab. He provides mental health care to survivors of torture and war who live in the Dadaab refugee complex.