First ever TEDx Event in a Refugee Camp

The world’s first TEDx event in a refugee camp will take place at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in the Kenyan northern county of Turkana on June 9. The TEDx event is part of an ongoing 30 million SEK collaboration between UNHCR and H&M Foundation, supporting half a million refugee children with the school supplies they need to attend school in Chad, Ethiopia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sudan, South-Sudan, Syria, Uganda and Yemen.

We’ve all seen them. Inspiring Ted Talks with big names like Ingrid Betancourt, Pope Franciscus, Sheryl Sandberg, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. But this Ted Talk will be a little bit different. For the first time, in June 2018, a TEDx Talk was arranged in one of the largest refugee camps in the world, Kakuma Camp in Kenya – home to 185,000 refugees.

“By supporting the arrangement of the world’s first Tedx in a refugee camp, we wanted to take part and highlight perspectives and stories from people with their own experience of being on the run. It is crucial to counter prejudice and contribute to important knowledge – needed now more than ever,” said Diana AminiGlobal Manager at H&M Foundation.

“Highlighting perspectives and stories from people with their own experience is crucial to counter prejudice and contribute to important knowledge – needed now more than ever.”

— Diana Amini, Global Manager at H&M Foundation

TEDxKakumaCamp offered a different lens into the reality of life as a refugee, away from the images of devastation and suffering, and towards stories of resilience, of contribution, of creativity.

Speakers included current and former Kakuma Camp refugees such as Pur Biel who grew up in Kakuma Camp and in 2016 competed at the Summer Olympics as a member of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team. Supermodel Halima Aden was also a speaker, born and raised in a refugee camp in northeastern Kenya and today a supermodel and the first to wear hijab.

Behind The Scenes – The Making Of TEDx Kakuma Camp

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Education for refugee children

Over half of all refugees are children. When children are forced to flee, they often miss out on years of schooling, which is crucial to help children build better future for themselves and their families. This is why the H&M Foundation and UNHCR joined forces in a project supporting refugee children with the school supplies they need to attend school.