Be inclusive of refugees

Staff Reporter

Superstar Herman (in black suit) performs at Tongogara Refugee Camp during International Youth Day this year.

A Chipinge farmer and businessman, Ashirai Mtirikwi Mawere, has urged communities to be inclusive of refugees in development plans.

Mawere became acquainted with youth at Tongogara Refugee Camp when he was the Guest of Honour during International Youth Day celebrations held worldwide on 16 August 2022.

Speaking to this publication yesterday, Mawere indicated that host communities should always consider refugees as family.

“When I look at a refugee, I see a human being. These are our brothers and sisters and we must include them in issues that help uplift their lives. I remember in my previous speech as guest of honour at Tongogara Refugee Camp that I urged the refugee youth to embark on music and film projects.

From left: District Youth Officers Richard Gore, guest of honour Ashirai Mawere, Tongogara Refugee Camp Administrator Johanne Mhlanga and UNHCR Field Officer Amadou Sabi grace International Youth Day celebrations at Tongogara Refugee Camp

“I facilitated that promised that youthful superstar, Herman, get a recording contract to do a song whose proceeds shall go to build a classroom block in the camp. That is inclusivity.

“We have talked to a Nigerian superstar named Enoch to feature in the Herman song and this will help the refugee youth to benefit.

“We hope that the music project that shall go a long way for the refugees and the host communities to interact with musical icons elsewhere. Arts cut across borders. Host communities and other people should embrace and include the refugees in such initiatives,” said Mawere.

Tongogara Refugee Camp is home to more than 15 000 refugees and asylum seekers. About 51.6 percent of the population in Tongogara Refugee Camp comprises of the youth below the youth.

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