Nairobi — Refugees living in Kenya have called on host nations to be accommodative and show compassion towards them in their stay even as they seek for a place to call home.
As Kenya joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Refugee Day, refugees who spoke to Capital FM News said their lives too matter and they deserve to be treated with dignity.
Bahati Hategikimana, has been a refugee for the past 22 years called on all refugees to be strong and never allow their situation to define who they are.
She urged non-refugees to show love and care to the refugees without discrimination in spite of of their origin.
"The journey has not been easy, I have faced challenges from time to time and I would like to encourage other refugees to be strong. For non-refugees, please show us love and treat us with respect because it could have been you only that you were lucky," said Bahati.
Nadin Morakatete from Congo and Charles Osborn from Uganda echoed Bahati's sentiments urging their fellow refugees not to feel less of human beings because they can and will rise above their predicaments.
"I will just empower them, tell them they can see tomorrow and they will become who they aspire to be because they are human beings like any other," said Nadin.
Osborn congratulated the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for being a voice for the voiceless and urged all the beneficiaries of their generosity to work hard and give back to their host communities.
"They have equal talents and ability to do everything. Those who have managed to get scholarships like me, I beg them to put more effort and give back to the community," said Osborn.
The United Nations High Commissioner Representative in Kenya, Raouf Mazou said Kenya is the largest host of refugees worldwide with 80,000 new refugees per year since 2014.
All the refugees in Kenya were however assured of their protection by the Ministry of Interior through its Chief Administrative Secretary Patrick Ole Ntutu who graced the event held at University of Nairobi as the chief guest on behalf of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi
A report released by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday, indicates that 68.5 million people were displaced from their country by the end of 2017.