Photo Essay by Alex Palmer
In the summer of 2010 and winter of 2011, Alex Palmer, a Harvard University student, volunteered and conducted research in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kakuma, Kenya. Set in the barren desert of northwestern Kenya near the Sudanese border, Kakuma was established in 1992 to accommodate refugees from across east and northern Africa. Today, Kakuma is home to almost 80,000 refugees from countries like Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Central African Republic. During his time volunteering in Kakuma, Alex set out to document the strength and resilience of those who call Kakuma home--many of whom have lived their entire lives in the camp and see little hope of ever leaving.
Three siblings in the market outside Kakuma Refugee Camp.
In the preschool classroom at Echami Learning Centre, a student pauses for a moment amid his classmates.
A student at Echami enjoys his recess by playing a game of peekaboo with the photographer
A student takes a drink of water near the end of the school day in Kakuma
A preschool student leads the class in reciting numbers
Two students hold hands as they walk home after school.
A mother stands with her two sons along Kakuma's only paved road.
A young boy plays with his family in their home in the refugee camp.
In Kakuma Town, a young boy takes a break from searching for friends to play with.
A group of preschoolers enjoy their scheduled afternoon nap.
While the rest of the students nap, one child has trouble falling asleep.