Gospel singer Mercy Masika has been appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador (Kenya).
Speaking after she landed the job, Mercy said,
It is a great honour and joy to be given this appointment. I intend to utilize my role as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador by relying on my faith as a child of God and my commitment to support people forced to flee.
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The Mwema hitmaker served as UNHCR’s High Profile Supporter, championing its LuQuLuQu campaign to change the narrative of the African refugee.
Through my involvement with the LuQuLuQu campaign, I have had the opportunity to meet with people who have been forced to flee and who, despite having lost everything, show unwavering resilience to overcome their circumstances to rebuild their lives,’ she said.
The singer-cum-pastor added that,
Refugees are just like you and me – they could in fact be any of us. I believe as an African community we have a responsibility to invoke the spirit of Ubuntu – that we carry each other’s burdens by showing our warm heartedness in the face of a refugee’s struggle.
Since her involvement with the LuQuLuQu campaign, Masika has advocated for and supported UNHCR’s work in protecting people forced to flee. This has included supporting public engagement and fundraising campaigns such as the launch of the LuQuLuQu campaign in Kenya, the Step for Safety public charity walks held across Africa, and performing at the first ever TEDx event held in a refugee camp – TEDxKakumaCamp. This past December, Masika participated in UNHCR’s Christmas campaign calling on public support for refugees across Africa.
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Mercy Masika takes on her role as a Goodwill Ambassador during a time when the world faces unprecedented forced displacement. Kenya currently hosts close to 480,000 refugees and asylum seekers with 78 per cent of them being women and children.
Being a Christian and a child of God I feel the scripture says many times take care of the foreigner among you and so that drew me very much to working with UNCHR.
When I visited Kakuma refugee camp, I had the opportunity to spend time with the refugee families living there. I am inspired by the strength of the refugee women, many of whom have undergone traumatic ordeals. One woman shared with me her personal story of escaping violence in her village to find safety in Kenya. It is listening to these experiences that motivates me to advocate for their wellbeing.