75-year-old Pastor Juba Lungula from the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in Kakuma Refugee camp in 2012, leaving his family back home. It had always been his passion to preach the Gospel.
Pastor takes bicycle to preach Covid-19 awareness by using illustrations around the camp communities/Photo by KANERE
On 12th March 2020 when the President of Kenya announced the first case of Coronavirus Pastor Juba undertook a voluntary initiative to preach a different message. He took up a loudspeaker, fixed it to his bicycle, and cycled through the camp to create awareness about the risks of Covid-19.
Pastor Juba uses illustrations and text to communicate sensible prevention measures against the virus. He is often seen at the market area, or cycling through the back alleys of the communities and at the firewood and food distribution centers where people often gather. At every spot, he pauses for about 30 minutes to make his voice heard and create awareness. Pastor Juba uses 4 days in every week to create public awareness, spending about 8 hours spreading the message on each day.
Aside from the camp, he has also visited Kalobeyei settlement and Kakuma town where Kenyans reside. Osman, a Somali refugee from Kakuma 2 says, “I truly appreciate his efforts and inputs, despite the hard times.”
Pastor Juba says, “The responses I get from my fellow refugees when addressing the public is interesting. Some are supportive, while others criticize me for my work. But that won’t stop me.”
He does get tired moving around the camp in the harsh sun and wind.
Aside from creating awareness about the Coronavirus, the pastor also uses the opportunity to preach the Gospel to Christians in Kakuma. Pastor Juba writes books about religion, mostly in Kiswahili and French, but they are not yet published due to financial limitations.
Pastor Juba earns his living by baking bread and selling to Kakuma residents. Normally, he would move around in the evening, but since the curfew, he has been prevented from selling to customers and has lost a lot of business. In the future, he hopes to train others to bake bread, if he can find financial support.
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