The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a new campaign dubbed “LuQuLuQu” to encourage Africans to take ownership of their local refugee and displacement problems through donations.
“LuQuLuQu”, literally meaning “caring and sharing” is centered on the African philosophy of “Yi bi ma”, “Ubuntu” or Ujama” that promotes the principles and values of shared responsibilities, shared resources and caring for one another, inherent to African culture and belief.
The campaign asked the hundreds of millions of people on the continent, or connected to Africa, to take ownership of their local refugee and displacement problems through everyday philanthropic actions.
According to the UNHCR there were over 20 million displaced people in Africa, some 13,352 refugees and asylum seekers in Ghana, out of that 76 per cent were women and children, 57 per cent were under 18 years of age.
Ms Needa Jehu-Mazou, Spokesperson for UNHCR, addressing a press conference in Accra to introduce the Campaign, said in Ghana UNHCR needed 8.87 million dollars to provide for refuges, but only three per cent had been funded.
She said the “LuQuLuQu” campaign seeks to create a community of supporters, a tribe who signed up to work towards promoting donations to the cause of refugees and displaced communities to provide solutions to refugees that promoted self-reliance and independence, and in so doing empowered refugees.
“With a goal to change the narrative and conversation around the fate of the displaced in Africa, the aim is to demonstrates that Africans can play a transformative role in changing lives of refugees and the uprooted,” she added.
She said in the face of continuous dwindling donor support for African refugees, the initiative would engage ordinary citizens and corporate organisations to scrap the existing image of Africa’s displacement crisis, and co-create with the UN Refugee Agency, a new image of the African refugee.
The goal, she said was to move away from the image of dependence and powerlessness to that of self-reliance, empowerment and inclusion of refugees and displaced persons into the mainstream.
Ms Jehu-Mazou said if every Ghanaian could donate five Ghana cedis a month, that amount would be enough to empower a refugee attain certain height of education to help humanity.
She said the LuQuLuQu campaign would be led by a number of Ghana’s high level influencers, celebrities and personalities.
These personalities would work to mobilise public support for the campaign through strategic engagements and activities with the public, showing Ghanaians what kind of everyday philanthropic actions they could undertake to be part of the movement, and bring solutions for refugees.
She said corporate and private enterprises were also invited to take part through new and innovative donations channels.
The public could donate through an MTN Mobile Money Transfer by dialing *170# then press the pay bill button and go to general payment, then, payment code “UNHCR” and then Enter Amount or visit donate.unhcr.org/luquluqu.
Ms Jehu-Mazou noted that using social media as a galvanising tool to build a groundswell, the #doitLuQuLuQu movement challenges Ghanaians to become part of a home ground solutions approach, rooted in the sense of neighbourliness and hospitality that was typically Ghanaian.
That also, she said gave Ghanaians a chance to come to the donor table as a collective and be part of reshaping the narrative on Africa and its refugees.
Starting here in Ghana on November 4, 2017 at the Accra Mall, the campaign will be rolled out initially in six countries in Africa including Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.