x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Thrive

This event occurred on
June 9, 2018
10:00am - 4:00pm EAT
(UTC +3hrs)
Kakuma Town, Rift Valley

TEDxKakumaCamp offers a different lens into the reality of life as a refugee, away from the images of devastation and suffering, and towards stories of resilience, of contribution, of creativity.
Stories that uplift and inspire not just the communities that host them but the entire world. The theme, Thrive, supports our belief that empowered refugees can shape a peaceful and tolerant future of our world.
Speakers will include current and former Kakuma Camp refugees as well as international experts and artists who wish to make the world a better place for people forced to flee their homes. TEDxKakumaCamp will be the first TEDx event hosted in a refugee camp, with refugees, and also for refugees.

Kakuma Refugee Camp
Kakuma Town, Turkana
Kakuma Town, Rift Valley, 00100
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Aminah Rwimo

Aminah Rwimo, is an award winning filmmaker. As a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, she uses the power of film to tell refugee stories. She tackles tough issues affecting women, most recently addressing the physical and emotional impact of female genital mutilation.

Apurva Sanghi

Apurva Sanghi is the World Bank's former lead economist for four countries in East Africa. He spearheaded a ground-breaking study. "Yes" in My Backyard? The Economics of Refugees and Their Social Dynamics in Kakuma, Kenya. This study has also been instrumental in the planning and implementing of the new Kalobeyei settlement for refugees and their host community.

Emi Mahmoud

Sudanese-American Slam Poet and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Emi Mahmoud uses evocative spoken word poetry to build compassion for refugees. An activist, author, a graduate from Yale University and once a refugee herself, Emi was recently appointed as Goodwill Ambassador to the UNHCR. Her new book Sisters’ Entrance, a book of poetry, is challenging perceptions across the world.

Georgina Goodwin

Georgina Goodwin is an award-winning Kenyan documentary photographer specializing in social and environmental issues in Africa. Her work focuses on shining a light on people who are invisible to the world.

Halima Aden

20-year-old Halima Aden was born in Kakuma refugee camp, and was resettled to the United States at 7-years-old, growing up in Minnesota. Today she is a successful high-fashion model living in the United States, and a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. She travels internationally, speaking at universities and various events about the importance of inclusion and acceptance.

Henok Ochalla

Henok Ochalla was the project manager for the development of Kalobeyei settlement in Kakuma and has been a humanitarian worker for The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR for more than 20 years, serving in five African countries. He believes moving from the dependency of the camp model to an integrated settlement approach fostering self-reliance is the future for empowering refugees.

Henry "Octopizzo" Ohanga

Hip-hop artist and activist, Octopizzo, works with refugee artists in Kenya and the region to highlight their capabilities and showcasing their talents. His “Refugeenius” project featured a collaboration with over 20 Refugees from Kakuma & Dadaab Refugee camps.

Josphat Nanok

Governor Josphat Nanok, who also chairs Kenya's Council of Governors, is changing the narrative on hosting refugees. For him, welcoming refugees is not just the right thing to do, but also smart. He sees refugees as an opportunity – to stimulate economic growth, attract development and create vibrant, multicultural societies. He has evidence in his own Turkana county to prove his model works.

Mary Maker

Mary Maker is South Sudanese refugee who is both a former teacher and current student on a path to university. She is a firm believer in the power of education as a transformative tool for peace-building and rebuilding lives. After fleeing South Sudan’s conflict as a child, she found solace and hope in education.

Mercy Akuot

When she was only 15, South Sudanese refugee Mercy Akuot was married off against her will, to an elderly man. She escaped the forced union and now advocates for women’s rights and supervises a women and girls empowerment program in the camp.

Mercy Masika

Renowned Gospel musician, Mercy Masika, uses her talent to advocate for more support for Africa's displaced. She is a supporter of UNHCR's LuQuLuQu campaign.

Nomzamo Mbatha

Nomzamo Mbatha is a South African actress, activist, television and film producer, brand ambassador and model. Famous for playing "Moratiwa" in the South African romantic comedy: “ Tell Me Sweet Something”, she is using her platforms to advocate for refugees in Africa and beyond as High-Profile Supporter of the UNHCR LuQuLuQu campaign.

Paul Slovic

Paul Slovic is a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, where he studies what he calls the “arithmetic of compassion and the psychology of risk. His recent work examines "psychic numbing" and the chronic failure og governments and the public to respond to mass human tragedies.

Pur Biel

Pur Biel fled to Kenya at age nine and grew up in Kakuma camp. He competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janiero, as a member of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team, running in the 800-meter event. His inspiring story illustrates the resilience, talent and determination of refugees.

Riya Yuyada

Riya Yuyada is a young South Sudanese woman with a big passion for gender equality and peace in South Sudan. A former refugee, she returned to South Sudan and founded “Crown the Woman-South Sudan,” an organization whose mission is to empower girls and women. She is also a co-founder of “Play for Peace South Sudan,” an initiative promoting peace through games.

Organizing team


Nairobi, Kenya


New York, NY, United States