My Start - From Kakuma to London

My Start Project - Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya


My Start is a collaborative, creative Arts project working with Film Aid International. Since August 2012 My Start has run a series of Art, photography and film workshops in refugee camps each summer. These workshops encourage young refugees to share their experiences through the arts. The workshops teach practical skills, encourage creative expression and bring together the various ethnic and tribal refugee and host communities to work in a fun and dynamic way. 

Kakuma workshop

Kakuma workshop

Kakuma workshop

Kakuma workshop

United Kingdom

The art work produced at the camp is then exhibited in London schools. It acts as a powerful, visual resource that can be used across the curriculum to support learning on global issues. Issues such as conflict and conflict resolution, displacement and migration as well as promoting peace, tolerance and empathy. The exhibition encourages British students to share and discuss their own views on immigration, forced migration and refugees and challenges misconceptions and existing perspectives.

The student response was fantastic and thoroughly engaging
— Alex Costello, Art teacher, Park View School, UK.
                                                 London workshop

                                                 London workshop

The British schools are encouraged to create response work including their own visual diaries and messages for the refugees at Kakuma. This work is then taken back and exhibited at the camp the following summer.  My Start is an inspiring project that brings local and international communities together through the arts.

Creating the Mural - Kakuma Refugee Camp

If you would like to support the work of My Start and their projects with FilmAid International then please contact Tania and Amy or visit My Start's Facebook page.

tania@emmanueljal.com; campbellgoldingamy@googlemail.com




Light in the Shadows - By Hannah Kendi. FilmAid Kenya, Finance Officer

It's my third week in Kakuma and I am loving it. I have always wanted to be a humanitarian; it has always been like a thirst and something I felt I needed to do. I never really knew why, until FilmAid, actually, until I went to Kakuma. This is when I understood the real meaning behind what I do, why FilmAid works here, and why I needed to be a part of an organization like FilmAid. 

Hannah Kendi, Kakuma 2015

Hannah Kendi, Kakuma 2015

February 17, 2015: Field trip day.

Our first stop was the new arrivals camp. The first thing I noticed was that the facilitators were refugees themselves.  Here my colleagues and outreach facilitators were showing a film to a group of extremely attentive women on HIV and AIDS and thereafter conducting an amazing question and answer session.  My love story with FilmAid was just beginning. 

Issuing certificates to a women's group after completing a Health Course, Kakuma 2015

Issuing certificates to a women's group after completing a Health Course, Kakuma 2015

The second stop on our tour of Kakuma was a FilmAid journalism class.  FilmAid had a trainer taking these young men and women through the basics of journalism. I felt the hope in that class, the curiosity and the hunger for more knowledge. I am very passionate about the youth and education and it brought me to tears. It was amazing to learn that the journalism class gets fully involved in ideas and stories for FilmAid’s ‘The Refugee Magazine’.  I was completely blown away.

Next we visited a children’s event and screening.  A screen was set up showing cartoons to around two hundred excited children. This was probably the first chance for many of the children to watch cartoons. In some instances the first time in their lives.  It was wonderful to see their excited faces, hear their laughter and see the enthusiasm in answering questions after the screening. FilmAid gives the chance of normalcy to refugees at every opportunity.

February 29, 2015: My first evening screening.

A huge truck with a screen attached projected a children’s cartoon followed by a story about Cholera. The story was so simple yet so effective in its message. After this a movie was shown that was clearly enjoyed by everyone judging from the laugher and cheers in the nighttime crowds. Education, laughter, hope, teamwork and inspiration all rolled into one. There was literally light in the shadows.

Chivas Regal 

Chivas Regal 

FilmAid -  Projecting Hope, Changing lives. Using the power of film in promoting health, strengthening communities and enriching lives.

Every day I am in awe of the FilmAid team. Everyone is working so hard, co-operating, always on the move. My heart melts every time I watch our incentive staff in action. Talent, passion, hard work, energy and the biggest smiles on their faces. They work hard every day with over fifty activities every week and still, they love it. It’s about the impact, and FilmAid giving them the opportunity to showcase their excellence despite everything they have gone through. This is what Hope is about.

I hear the heat will go to my head soon and that this spark in my eyes will fade eventually. I doubt it. The spark appeared in my heart the minute I landed here in Kakuma. I am too busy falling in love with my job that I don’t even think about the heat. I walk around like a girl with new found love. Completely dazed. 


If you'd like to support FilmAid's training courses, media projects and mobile cinema screenings you can donate here.

Engaging Men in the Fight Against Violence on Women in Kakuma

While official camp health statistics report low cases of Gender-Based Violence, mostly against women and girls in the Kakuma camp, it is widely recognized that a significant amount of unreported Gender-Based Violence continues to occur. It is on this backdrop that FilmAid and partner humanitarian agencies, among them UNHCRLutheran World FederationInternational Rescue CommitteeNorwegian Refugee Council and National Council of Churches of Kenya based in Kakuma refugee camp have organized a one day event to create awareness on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) against women and girls in the camp, focusing on engaging men in the fight against this outrageous act.

The event, dubbed “Do Good Feel Good” Campaign will be held at Malakal in Kakuma, bringing together men, women, girls and boys  from  Burundi, Congo, Somalia and Sudan communities to discuss the role of men in the fight against SGBV on women and girls, most of whom went through traumatizing situations in their war-torn countries and had to flee to seek refuge here. 

“The fight against GBV should involve both the victims and the perpetrators of the act,” said Eddie Musoke, Outreach Facilitator at FilmAid, Kakuma refugee camp.

According to a UNHCR report on gender-based violence, the thought of involving men in the fight against GBV is as result of the realization that the fight against this outrageous act can only be defeated by the involvement of both men and women in such campaigns. Living in unprotected and congested settlements such as refugee camps, women and girls are particularly exposed to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and in such environments, the perpetrators of this outrageous acts go unpunished due to weak justice system.

The Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) report indicates that 90% of violence against women are perpetrated by men. Culture has been pointed out as the main contributor to violence against women as most men still subscribe to wife battering as a way of discipline. Alcoholism and financial insecurity among the men are the other reasons contributing to violence against women.

IRC reports, one out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime. The International Rescue Committee helps survivors to heal, delivering care to victims of sexual assault, and by bringing women together for mutual support. Through innovative skills programs, IRC help women gain economic independence.

Event organizers have also lined-up fun-filled activities including; the first edition of the coveted Miss Malakal beauty pageant competitions, music performance by rising refugee artists including; King Moses, Smart and Bolingo and traditional dances.

The event is sponsored by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration comes as the world prepares to mark 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence starting November 25th to December 10th.

FilmAid Asia visits Island School

Yesterday afternoon, FilmAid Asia visited Island School in order to engage with sixth form students seeking projects for the Creativity, Action and Service element of their International Baccalaureate programmes.

FilmAid Co-Chair Magdalena Corso was assisted by three FilmAid student volunteers who shared FilmAid's role in Asia with their peers.

Students were inspired by the recently produced Tread Carefully, a video on landmine awareness, which was on display at the FilmAid Asia booth, and enthusiastically shared their own ideas in impromptu brainstorming sessions.An impressive 40 students opted to sign up to FilmAid!

With recent FilmAid events attracting a dedicated teenage following, we are thrilled to continue working with our younger supporters and sharing their projects in the near future!

Kakuma: Unveiling The Refugee Newsletter

FilmAid Kenya has unveiled first edition of The Refugee Newsletter for Kakuma Refugee community. The newsletter provides a platform for the refugee community to tell their stories, showcase their talents as well as receive news and other stories from all around the camp.Most of the stories have been written by refugee student journalists on FilmAid`s Journalism Training Program.

The Refugee will initially be produced every three months with an aim of producing it on monthly basis in future.