Shining a Spotlight on Refugees and Humanitarian Workers

Every August 19, World Humanitarian Day honors the people who risk their lives to help those impacted by emergencies. These brave women and men go headfirst into war zones, famines, natural disasters, and regions in crisis in order to save lives and alleviate suffering.

Humanitarians help affected people and communities build themselves back up, and pave the way for development actors like FINCA that work to strengthen their resilience. The populations that FINCA works with—those at the base of the economic pyramid—are often the ones most at risk when disasters strike. They bear the brunt of the suffering during and after crises because they lack the resources to cope or recover.

Refugees, people forced to flee their own countries, are some of the most vulnerable and neglected communities in the places where they settle. Here are three ways FINCA is working to brighten up life for refugees and their host communities, complementing the remarkable efforts of humanitarian actors serving these populations.

Providing Clean and Affordable Energy

In Uganda, BrightLife is gearing up to provide clean and affordable energy solutions at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, with support from USAID. With BrightLife’s pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) financing, refugees and their hosts will be able to acquire solar home systems by paying through low, monthly installments. PAYGo is a crucial aspect of the program, as it enables refugees—who often have very little money or possessions—to have access to life-enhancing solar products.

BrightLife Client

Managing Waste and Protecting the Environment

In Kenya, Sanivation—a FINCA Ventures partner—is managing waste in one of the largest refugee camps in Africa. Sanivation provides and services portable, container-based toilets that allow refugees at the Kakuma camp to answer the call of nature safely, conveniently, and with dignity. Sanivation treats and converts the waste into fuel briquettes that are sold as alternatives to charcoal and firewood for cooking and heating, thus helping to save trees and protect the environment.

Sanivation's container-based toilet

Investing in Education

In Jordan, FINCA loans empowered Najla Abu Awejdh to open a school in a Palestinian refugee camp. Najla’s school serves hundreds of refugee children from first to tenth grade, and employs nearly 30 staff members. Najla even plans to open a university in the future.

Through these initiatives, FINCA is playing its part to improve life for refugees and their host communities, shining a spotlight not only on these underserved populations but also on the community of humanitarians who have dedicated their lives and resources to serving them.