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Building Bridges: Nairobi City County’s Visionary Refugee Integration and Community Building Strategy

Nairobi 7th December 2023

Nairobi City County Executive for Talents, Skills Development and Care Ms. Rosemary Kariuki together with her counterpart County Executive for Inclusivity Public Participation and Customer Service Dr. Anastasia Nyalita attended a breakfast meeting to discuss Nairobi County Refugee Integration and Community building Strategy.

Said the County Executive “Nairobi much like many urban areas across the globe, is home to a significant number of refugees who have sought sanctuary within our borders. About 96,348 refugees and asylum seekers live in Nairobi and other urban areas. Their stories are a testament to human resilience and the pursuit of a better life. However, for this pursuit to be fruitful, it is essential that we provide an environment where refugees and host communities can coexist harmoniously, contributing to the social fabric and economic vitality of our county.
Bridges1“Nairobi is ready and I call upon partners and donors, to join hands with us in realizing a vision of inclusivity, prosperity, and unity through development and implementation of a groundbreaking initiative – the Nairobi County Refugee Integration and Community Building Strategy. This Strategy should be a holistic approach that recognizes the potential of every individual, irrespective of their background. Its aim to foster a sense of belonging, unlock economic opportunities, and build bridges of understanding between refugees and host communities.”

The County Executive said “The strategy should not just a plan on paper; but a commitment to creating a future where diversity is our strength, and every member of our community can thrive. The key objectives should encompass enhancing economic opportunities, promoting social cohesion, improving access to basic services, and fostering cultural exchange and understanding. Investing in these fundamental pillars, we can create a resilient and interconnected community that stands as a model for the rest of the world.”
Bridges2 1Dr. Nyalita County Executive for Inclusivity Public Participation and Customer Service Said “Public Participation is a forum we can have discussions with the refugees and get them involved in County programs we encourage them to get involved. Nairobi County encourages cultural exchange programs, dialogue forums, and community events to bridge the gap between locals and refugees, nurturing understanding and fostering a sense of shared identity. In implementing this strategy, collaboration is paramount. We call upon international organizations, local businesses, and civil society to join hands in realizing our vision. Together, we can turn challenges into opportunities, transforming Nairobi into a beacon of hope and unity.”

County Chief Officer for Youth, Talent and Sports Mr. Oscar Igaida said Through skill-building programs and employment opportunities, we aim to empower refugees to contribute meaningfully to the local economy, fostering self-reliance and reducing dependency on aid. the Refugee Integration and Community Building Strategy is crucial initiative in Nairobi County – In a world marked by displacement and hardship, Nairobi has undertaken a commendable effort to foster inclusivity and unity.
Bridges14Chief Officer Social Services Mr. George Mutiso said “Nairobi County has made significant progress in implementing the pledges it made at Global Refugee Forum (GRF). The pledges made at GRF (2023) carry the weight of collective responsibility. As we discuss strategies, let us not forget that behind every statistic is a story, a tale of resilience, courage and the pursuit of a better life. Nairobi City County government plays a critical role in this regard. Integration of Refugees in Nairobi is taking shape and we have made new pledges that will be presented in Geneva this month at the Global Refugee Forum”

Chief Officer for Early Childhood Education Development and Vocational Training Mr. Ahmed Abdi Said “Our strategy revolves around three pillars: education, economic empowerment, and social cohesion. Education is the foundation upon which brighter futures are built. Nairobi is investing in accessible schooling for refugee children, recognizing that education transcends borders and is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Economic empowerment is the engine of sustainable integration.”
Bridges11Let us be the architects of a community where every individual, regardless of origin, is embraced, and where diversity is not only accepted but cherished. The Refugee Integration and Community Building Strategy is not just a plan; it is a testament to our shared humanity and the belief that, together, we can build a brighter future for all.

Present were representatives from Save the Children, International Refugees Committee (IRC), GRS, American Embassy, Swiss Embassy, among others.


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