The UN Refugee Agency Annual NGO Consultations are over. It was good to bring a faith-based (Christian) presence and voice to the gathering.
The workshop dedicated to the role of faith in humanitarian response strongly confirmed the UN’s respect and appreciation for faith based communities and their unique contributions to helping people survive and recover from forced displacement.
I look forward to reading this new book published with the intent to help secular agencies understand how to partner with local faith based communities. While it is clear that we do not always understand each other, we can still appreciate and value the contributions each brings to humanitarian crises.
Meetings upon meetings. It’s been good to be here in Geneva for the UN Consultations. It’s helpful to hear the perspectives of the UN and some of the big players on the Refugee Highway. I’ve had some good personal encounters as well between meetings.
Today the former director of the Red Cross in Ethiopia gave me a gift bag with a large container of Ethiopian honey and Ethiopian coffee beans (best coffee on the planet). Amazing hospitality and kindness.
The Ethiopian Relief an development agency on whose board he now sits would like IAFR to see some of their work and explore opportunities for partnership. I told him that we are stretched pretty thin at the moment and can’t expand – but hopefully we will increase our capacity in the future to take him up on his offer.
Heading to Geneva, Switzerland, today for the annual UN Refugee Agency’s NGO Consultations is his week.
I will be wearing my Ambassadors for Refugees hat (World Evangelical Alliance). I’m especially looking forward to a day of meetings related to partnering with leaders from the refugee and host communities. That is one of IAFR’s sweet spots and I think we have some meaningful contributions to make.
Please pray for me and my IAFR colleague Tim Barnes as we participate in these meetings.
How cool. A friend of ours in Kakuma refugee camp is featured in a UN news report. She and her family (2 kids) are refugees from DR Congo. I see her on nearly every visit to Kakuma as she often translates for me when I visit a Somali friend, Mama Fartun.
When I told her about the report via Facebook, she replied: “I like what I’m seeing right now! I can’t believe this!” I’m sure it was nice to get some good news today 🙂
Click here to read the UN report about her and how innovative and hard working many refugees are when it comes to starting businesses in refugee camps like Kakuma.