ISSN 1710-6931 February 5, 2010 Issue 150

Building Bridges through Letter Exchange

Donna Graham is a sixth grade teacher in Detroit, Michigan, USA, who, over the past 18 years, has taught in diverse communities. She is teaching world history this year and feels refugee-related subjects would be a good fit to the curriculum.

She found RESPECT International as part of a link from her school website and identified well with the mission of the organization. Donna believes that collaborating with RESPECT and through its letter exchange program she, along with her students, can better learn about refugees, their lives and their issues as well as how local and international policies affect refugees.

Donna's class is participating in a letter exchange program with some Liberian refugee students. According to her, building bridges among young people is very important and she looks forward to having a great relationship with their new pen friends in Liberia. Building Bridges

KANERE – Stepping into A New Year

The Kakuma News Reflector, or KANERE, is an independent news magazine produced by Ethiopian, Congolese, Ugandan, Rwandan, Somali, Sudanese and Kenyan journalists operating in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. It is an independent refugee-run news source which has attracted considerable international attention.

On December 22, 2009, KANERE celebrated its first year of existence. For the past year, the news magazine has done a substantial amount of work in the fields of local news coverage, information sharing and international correspondence. The organization has received encouraging news coverage, archived under KANERE in the News.

In a letter to its readers, the editor of the online magazine stated that there were a few major changes and continuing uncertainty in the Kakuma Refugee Camp during the last six months.

This insecurity is reflected upon in a quote posted on the magazine from M.M., a Darfurian refugee who fled the Kakuma camp and is now in Nairobi: "I fear the man who shot me can still find me in the streets of Nairobi." KANERE


Austin Ngabwe helps children learn despite challenges

Austin W Ngabwe, who was born on March 16, 1977, in Baraka, Democratic Republic of Congo, is a refugee now living in Kenya. Here in Kenya, he is volunteering with refugees from different countries such as D.R. Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan and Burundi.

He is also contact teacher at a school called Elite Friends Academy. Austin thanks Marc Schaeffer, founder and coordinator of RESPECT International, for helping his school to connect with many schools in the world through the letter exchange programme. Austin Ngabwe

Solomon rises above the pain of war in Sierra Leone

Solomon Baimba, a 27-year-old information technology (IT) technician, is eager to take on the responsibility of representing RESPECT in his home country of Sierra Leone. In his current position at Xara Computer Training Institute in the capital city of Freetown, he teaches students about information technology.

As a RESPECT volunteer, he has plans "to expose the work of RESPECT to my country," and to facilitate "active communication" between refugees in Sierra Leone and elsewhere. Though his passions are varied, Solomon has strong emotional ties to refugees and wants "to play a role in helping [them], whatever I do." Solomon Baimba

As in any newsletter or magazine, RESPECT e-zine is committed to striving for interesting articles and announcements concerning refugee issues all around the world.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute an article, contact the e-Zine editor, Angela Carter, at

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