Arada, The Big Heart Foundation and UNHCR’s two-year partnership results in 757 new homes and fresh water facilities for refugees in Kenya

Arada, The Big Heart Foundation and UNHCR’s two-year partnership results in 757 new homes and fresh water facilities for refugees in Kenya

News: 4 June 2024
  • ‘Home for a Home’ initiative provides permanent housing for over 440 refugee families
  • The ‘Home for a Home’ campaign funded a home in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp for each home the developer has sold during Ramadan in the last two years

In partnership with The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Arada’s landmark ‘Home for a Home’ initiative has funded the construction of 757 homes that are currently housing 448 families within the Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya.

Launched in 2022, ‘Home for a Home’ has allowed Arada to fund the construction of a home or shelter unit in the Kakuma refugee camp for every home sold at its communities in Sharjah during Ramadan. The initiative has also sponsored the development of water supply infrastructure benefiting more than 43,000 people in Kenya.

Through the provision of cash-for-shelter this initiative has helped refugees from originating countries including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda build their own homes and shelter units, according to their personal preferences and within specific communal guidelines. This approach allows refugees to purchase essential materials like cement and timber from the host communities, thereby also contributing to the local markets.

The first year of the initiative saw the construction of 407 permanent shelters, alongside the provision of equipment to deliver clean water supply to the homes of refugees and the host community with another 350 units constructed in the second year.

Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, Group CEO of Arada, said: “Our collaboration with The Big Heart Foundation and UNHCR has not just provided shelter but also created communities armed with hope and dignity. This first-of-its-kind partnership has directly engaged customers, demonstrating how coordinated efforts can achieve greater impact and scale. Witnessing the real impact of our joint efforts reinforces our commitment to aiding those in need and drives us to continue making a meaningful difference.”

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director General of TBHF, said: “The ‘Home for a Home’ initiative exemplifies TBHF’s strategic vision of fostering long-term, sustainable solutions for vulnerable populations. Through partnerships with Arada and UNHCR, we’ve leveraged our collective strengths to provide immediate housing and build resilient communities with access to essential resources. This initiative underscores the significance of strategic partnerships in addressing complex humanitarian challenges and reaffirms TBHF’s commitment to creating impactful and enduring change.”

Nader El Nakib, UNHCR’s Chief of Private Sector Partnerships in MENA, said: “This partnership exemplifies how collective and innovative action can significantly impact and improve the lives of vulnerable host communities and forcibly displaced people around the world. Together, we can make a real difference in addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of the global refugee crisis.”

Since its inception, Arada has partnered with TBHF as its primary corporate social responsibility (CSR) partner, supporting the Foundation’s mission to empower vulnerable children and families worldwide. Arada has also been partnering with UNHCR since 2022 upon the launch of the first edition of the ‘Home for a Home’ initiative.

The ‘Home for a Home’ initiative aligns with Arada’s commitment for sustainable development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, underscoring the crucial role businesses can play in promoting societal well-being and environmental sustainability. This initiative was recognised at the prestigious 2023 Arabia CSR Awards for its innovative partnership model, which exemplifies the master developer’s commitment to blending corporate responsibility with effective and sustainable initiatives.

The ‘Home for a Home’ campaign has made significant strides in improving the lives of refugees in Kenya, which is home to more than 767,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, making it one of the largest refugee-hosting nations in Africa. Through strategic targeting and rigorous implementation, the project has successfully provided refuge to thousands, reaffirming the crucial role of partnership and humanitarian aid in addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by refugees in Kenya.