From Dreams to Reality: How a Study Tour to Nairobi Has Inspired and Empowered Freelancers from Dada
Updated: Mar 25
Living in a refugee camp for an extended period can have a profound effect on a person’s physical and emotional health. The sense of uncertainty and lack of control can be overwhelming, leading to feelings of hopelessness, desperate and despair. For refugees living in the Dadaab camp in Kenya, the lack of opportunity to see the world beyond the camp only adds to the mental health burden. However, for a group of freelancers from the Dadaab collective freelancing Agency got an opportunity to go out of the camp and see the world. A recent study tour to Nairobi conducted by NRC/eMobilis has offered them a glimmer of hope and a chance to break free from their mental disability and see where they never dreamt of seeing.
The Dadaab Collective Freelancing Agency was established to provide refugees in the Dadaab camp with the opportunity to work remotely and earn an income in their comfort zone. However, the agency faced challenges in accessing training and resources to enhance its skills. For a number of years, many of the freelancers had been living in the camp, seeing only one door and feeling trapped. The confinement can have severe mental health implications, leading to depression, anxiety, loneliness, and a shuttered hope.
“The experience was a dream come true for me, I had never thought I was going to leave the camp and see places I had never imagined. I had no words to describe how happy I was. Seeing beautiful infrastructures, historical sites and technological advances was just something unimaginable.” Said Habiba who had lived in the refugee camp for so long and was her first time of going outside of it.
Because of the study tour to Nairobi, Habiba was able to experience many things. She had always dreamed of seeing the beautiful infrastructures, such as roads, tall buildings, diverse cultures and many technological advances, but because of her situation, she never imagined it was possible. The study tour to Nairobi provided her with a chance to leave the refugee camp, where she had lived for a long time, and experience the outside world.
She not only saw the outside world but also met and networked with online professionals and talented freelancers in Nairobi by experiencing diverse cultures and visiting historical sites that she would never have imagined seeing, she learned about different ways of life and broadened her understanding of the world.
“For me, it was a learning opportunity, I gathered valuable information and networking resources I didn't expect to gather, and the tour was informative and interactive," Said Osman Abdullahi, a full-time freelancer who generated more income from the online industry.
It was during the tour that Osman gained insight into the latest trends and developments in the online industry. This knowledge is critical for freelancers to remain competitive in an ever-changing market. In addition to improving his work and skills, Osman learned new tools and techniques that could help him improve his work and deliver better service to his clients.
In general, freelancers found the study tour to Nairobi to be both educational and interactive. They gained new insights into the latest trends in the industry, connect with other freelance gurus and experts, and found inspiration and motivation for their jobs that have completely changed their mentality of being refugees and not moving anywhere. Indeed, it was a valuable experience that could help them advance their freelancing career.