The Heart of the Kakuma Block 13 was Buried Yesterday.

She was less than five months old.

Teresa Kuhl
Published in
3 min readSep 19, 2020
Baby Patricia known as Covid.
Photo by Covid’s mother, Kyazike Reginah, and used with permission

LGBTQ refugees are stolen from, beaten, and abused. They are waiting to die.

Her name was Namubiru Patricia Geneva. Everyone called her Covid.

She may look like any other baby, but Baby Covid was set apart. In her short, little life, she endured more than almost any of us. Born in a refugee camp, Kakuma, it’s called, in Kenya. Covid has been attacked since her birth.

She was only three days old when she was hit with tear gas. One hundred forty-nine men, women, children, and yes, babies were assaulted with tear gas. By the humanitarian agency sworn to protect them. The United Nations Refugee Agency.

The residents of Block 13 were there to beg for help. They got tear gas.

The place where Covid lived with her mother, Kyazike Reginah, and many others is not much of a place at all. It is ramshackle and rundown and neglected and ignored. People crowd into a room, huddled together for warmth, maybe comfort, they try to sleep.

But sleep is elusive in Kakuma.

refugee sitting outside tin building in Kakuma
Photo provided by subject, a refugee, used with permission

Their home is part of an area known as Block 13. They are part of a group of people who have been exiled, tossed away like garbage, because of their truth. The community of Block 13 is LGBTQ people and their children. They were put in Block 13 together, with the claims they would be safer.

They are not safe.

There is a great deal of poverty, homelessness, crime, rape, starvation, and illness here. It gets worse every day. The UNHCR has not shown up since they dumped everyone here. The UNHCR or United Nations Refugee Agency is the entity charged with, by their very name, give Refuge.

overflowing crowd at Covid’s funeral
Photo taken by a refugee, used with permissions, subjects not identifiable

There Is No Refuge for…



Teresa Kuhl

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