The Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN) hosted the “The Voices Rising: Refugee-Led Solutions” webinar on February 9, 2024. It served as an illuminating recap of the Voices Rising: Refugee-Led Solutions Conference 2023, a landmark event hosted in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. Organized by refugees themselves, this conference convened stakeholders to explore sustainable solutions for displaced populations. Panelists Edith Ingutia, Pascal Zigashane, Amin Bolis, Deline Ramiro, and Geofrey Ochala, with moderation by Rai Friedman, enriched the discussions with their expertise and insights, shedding light on various aspects of refugee-led solutions and the importance of collaborative efforts. Moreover, the webinar boasted an impressive attendance of 100 viewers from diverse regions including East Africa, Europe, North America, and South America, reflecting the global interest and commitment to refugee issues.

Throughout the webinar, key insights emerged, notably emphasizing the pivotal role of mutual support for Refugee-Led Organizations (RLOs) from various partner entities, including UN bodies, international and non-governmental organizations (I/NGOs), governments, and others. Discussions encompassed not only local challenges but also broader global perspectives on addressing refugee issues, underlining the necessity for collaboration and resource mobilization to support RLO interventions effectively. The webinar further delved into the specific challenges encountered in refugee camps like Kakuma and the Kalobeyei settlement, emphasizing the urgency of tailored solutions and direct engagement with affected communities.

Reflecting on the Voices Rising: Refugee-Led Solutions Conference 2023, the importance of refugee-led organizations emerged as a central theme. The conference provided a platform for these organizations to showcase their expertise and foster collaboration with stakeholders, emphasizing the significance of partnerships and meaningful engagement with INGOs, NGOs, and the government of Kenya. Furthermore, discussions highlighted the multifaceted challenges faced by refugees, ranging from access to education and healthcare to economic opportunities. Sustainable solutions addressing these root causes were underscored as imperative for long-term impact.

As the webinar concluded, a clear call to action resonated: continued support and collaboration are vital to empower RLOs and to address the underlying challenges faced by refugees. Meaningful engagement, capacity building, and resource mobilization were identified as key components for sustainable impact. In summary, the Voices Rising: Refugee-Led Solutions Webinar provided invaluable insights into the critical importance of refugee-led initiatives and the collaborative efforts required to address refugee challenges effectively.

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Webinar report prepared by: Georgiana Ghitau, Knowledge Mobilization & Translation Officer, LERRN