Families of athletes on the Refugee Olympic Team who come from Kenya’s Kakuma settlement have sent prayers and messages of hope to their representatives in Tokyo.
This is their second for the athletes who overcame persecution and conflict. Many of them have trained for years to compete at the Olympics. They made their appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympics where they made history as the first Refugee Olympic Team at the games.
The Kakuma refugee camp is located in the North-western region of Kenya. The camp was established in 1992 following the arrival of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”.
During that year, large groups of Ethiopian refugees fled their country following the fall of the Ethiopian government. Somalia had also experienced high insecurity and civil strife causing people to flee.
The camp is home to 160,000 refugees (January 2021) from South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Uganda. It is located in Turkana County, one of the poorest counties in Kenya.
29 refugee athletes are competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 12 Olympic disciplines.