Emma Yaaka

Our keynote speaker for this year’s SIMUN conference is Emma Yaaka! Emma has graciously agreed to speak on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Emma Yaaka is the Refugee Congress Delegate for Illinois. Emma is originally from Uganda and came to the United States in 2017 after spending 3 years in Nairobi, Kenya. Throughout his time in Kenya, Emma made significant contributions to the healthcare field while serving as a community health navigator, medical interpreter, Paralegal Aide Human Rights Defender, Peer Educator of Infectious Diseases in the LGBTQIA+ and focal point advocate for the LGBTQIA+.

When coming to the U.S., Emma hoped to continue his work in the healthcare field and began working at a hospital. After only around 18 months, he accepted the position of Medical Case Manager/Preferred Community for Heartland Alliance human care services, where his position still remains today.

Emma is committed to advocating for equal medical services for refugees, asylees and immigrants. Fueled by his background in healthcare and personal experience as a refugee, Emma works with healthcare providers to help refugees and immigrants navigate the complexities of the U.S. healthcare system. His voice is heard on various platforms such as YouTube, where he is the director for the WordOut channel.

 For more information about Emma, his work, and the refugee congress, visit: