Life at the Nguenyyiel Refugee Camp

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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Nguenyyiel Refugee camp shelters 97,949 refugees, the largest of the seven camps in Gambella. The focus of the HelpAge intervention funded by Global Affairs Canada, includes Protection and Inclusion, Health and Nutrition, and Rehabilitation. At the camp, we observed the physiotherapy clinic, the complaint and community accountability programming, inclusive age-friendly paths as well as the elected Older People’s Association who provide the voice for the wider elder population. The interventions that I learned about were life-saving eye surgery clinics, the provision of mobility devices, the distribution of food and nutrition, like much-needed milk powder, blankets, COVID-19 material, mosquito nets, beds, as well as safe, age and mobility-friendly spaces, and a place to let their voices be heard. Without exception, older people noted how they needed so much more, often pointing out their thin physiques, their need for more blankets and nutrition. 

I was able to visit one of the physiotherapy clinics where HelpAge International’s Senior Physiotherapy Officer, Teketele Ermais, prepares Tut Ruot Diang for a prosthetic fitting, who details his gratitude to HelpAge for giving him the opportunity to walk again.


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