Wednesday, June 21, 2017
I spent World Refugee Day with the Global Friends Coalition in Grand Forks, an organization that brings together individuals and organizations to foster the integration of New Americans into our community. Global Friends hosted a screening and discussion of the documentary Warehoused. Here's the the trailer:
The focus of the movie is what's it like to live in a refugee camp, specifically Dadaab in Kenya. You get a sense of the space - built for 90,000 but currently housing 350,000 though, unofficially, that number might be closer to 600,000. Those hundreds of thousands of refugees at Dadaab live an "extremely restrictive life." They cannot leave the camp and generations may be born and die there without leaving its boundaries. The film also sheds light on schooling, housing, food, water and sanitation within the camp.
The film highlights the "impossible dream" of resettlement in a third country like the United States or Australia. Only 2,000 or so will be resettled each year. Yet the birth rate at the camp is 1,000 a month.
The film is a little over an hour long. And I'll note that it's appropriate for mature children as well as adults. There's little discussion of the violence that leads refugees to seek shelter in Dadaab. It's really more about what it's like to live in a camp, "waiting for resettlement that will never come."