When Shukurani Hota Biclere arrived at the Kakuma Refugee Camp as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012, she had little prospects about living a meaningful life. Little did she know that the tailoring skills she had acquired from her home in Uvira, south of Kivu, would come in handy.
Biclere at her tailoring shop in Kakuma
“When I arrived at Kakuma, I initially felt hopeless but made up my mind to adapt to my new situation. To keep my mind off my troubles, I took up tailoring for other established tailors around the camp. I would receive a small commission but soon realized that I could earn a better living by running my own tailoring shop.”
Biclere is one of the 4,385 beneficiaries of AAH-I loans for business start-ups for self-reliance, under the Kakuma Refugee Assistance Project (KRAP) supported by UNHCR. She responded to a call for loan applications and qualified for an advanced loan of KSh100,000 (approximately $1,000) in June 2016. Besides the loans, beneficiaries also received training in entrepreneurship, and were given guidance on business market opportunities. She has been repaying the loan from her business proceeds at KES. 8,300 per month.
Biclere’s business is steadily growing. Almost one year later, she now boasts an average of 40 clients per month, and has employed 7 staff, all refugees, 6 from the Democratic Republic of Congo and 1 from Burundi.
The objective of KRAP is to increase the percentage of the working group (18-59yrs) of refugees, asylum seekers and the host community with their own source of income. The project is supporting financial inclusion for refugees. Under the KRAP to date, at least 4,385 people have been provided with entrepreneurship/business training and given guidance on business market opportunities.
“I am using the business skills I learnt during the training by AAH-I, and I can now make simple weekly and monthly reports. I am happy that I can take care of my family’s basic needs”, she says.
This is what it looks like when development works!