Innocent, 34

Burundi
In Kakuma since July 2013
Diploma in Liberal Studies with JRS-JWL.

I left my home country when I was a pharmacy student, due to a family conflict. I was about to finish my studies and they got scared that I might become some kind of threat to them. They threatened me and I had to leave.
When I arrived, I wanted to keep learning. I was afraid that if I found a job, it would take me away from my studies. Studies are what will truly help me in the long run, not money. The conflicts in my home country happened because people do not have enough education. Also, I wanted to show my family that what they did was wrong and that they should never harm anyone in the same way ever again.

Photo: © 2017 UNHCR/Antoine Tardy, Kenya

But still with my wife we had to sustain ourselves. So we started our own liquid soap business. One part of our house is a little shop, another one is our production space. In front of the house, we’ve planted aloe vera that we use to cure various problems in the community. We sell our soap to locals as well as to schools, etc. My background in pharmacy and chemistry came in handy. I was also trained in Nairobi for two days. That’s where I get the raw material and chemicals from.

When I got here, the first thing I did was to learn English. After that, I joined the JWL Diploma course. My wife also studies. We will both graduate by 2020. Our plan is to go back to Burundi and stay with her family, unless something comes up. You never know.

We go to church every Sunday. Since I arrived here in Kakuma, I’ve met so many people from various countries and backgrounds. Some of them have experienced hardships way bigger than mine. But still they are generous to each other. You see solidarity everywhere. We talk together as equals. This has been a great lesson for me.”

Story provided by: UNHCR