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Kenya: sewing machines help refugees set up in business

 A group of 60 Somali refugee families from the Somali Christian minority group, based in Kenya were given electric sewing machines yesterday, at an ecumenical service held at the All Africa Conference of Churches, AACC as part of events for World Refugee Day. Some of the refugees are Catholic. Originating from the southern part of Somalia, they fled persecution from Islamic fundamentalists after the 1991 overthrow of the centrist government of Siad Barre in Mogadishu. Other groups included a womens' group of refugees from Rwanda, Burundi and Congo DRC, based in Nairobi's Kangemi slums. Speaking at the function, representatives of the two refugee groups thanked the AACC for its timely gesture of the electrical sewing machines They said the gift will go a long way to help them get ahead in new small businesses through tailoring and dress making. The AACC director for finance and administration, Mr Bright Mawudor, told the gathering the AACC has a history of accompanying African refugees for many years. He assured the refugees that the pan African church organization will continue to undertake this mission of service among the refugees and internally displaced persons on the African continent. During the event, Kenyan church minister, Dr Julius Karanja urged the African government to keep peace and unity to avert civil conflicts, which he said was the cause of many of the refugees problems.