Education  Kenya Project #21350

Academic schooling in a refugee camp in Kenya.

by IsraAID
Academic schooling in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Academic schooling in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Academic schooling in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Academic schooling in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Academic schooling in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Academic schooling in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Academic schooling in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Academic schooling in a refugee camp in Kenya.

Kakuma refugee camp is home to nearly 187,000 refugees coming from 15 different countries.

Kakuma refugee camp is a place of relative comfort and safety for the refugees, as the UN and its supporting agencies fulfil the basic needs of the refugees – namely water, food, shelter, safety, and education. However, programming for tertiary education still has a significant gap. The result is that refugees who finish secondary school are mostly left without options for further formal education development.

Many in the camp and the community look for ways to improve themselves and build a future for them and their families, and education is a vital part of it. Making tertiary education available is the best way to increase motivation and encourage hard working in the young population. 

The Turkana County is of the poorest counties in Kenya, and educational options are slim. For refugees, with the situation in their countries of origin not seeming to change, they do not have other options for education and have to rely on the possibilities available in Kakuma camp.


IsraAID Response

The B.A program provided by University of the people is completely online and requires only exam fees at 100$ per exam. It takes 40 exams to complete a bachelor's degree and 20 exams to complete an associate's degree. There are no tuition fees at any point. However, as there is no internet access in the camp and no computer centres in the community, even something that seems universally accessible like an online program can be challenging for people in this community.

IsraAID has been working in Kakuma refugee camp since the year 2012, providing psychosocial programs, WASH trainings, and a health program in the camp and the adjacent host community. In August 2014, IsraAID initiated a project designed to make tertiary education an achievable goal for members of the camp and residents of the host community.

After a screening process, meant to make sure applicants have all of the necessary requirements, a cohort of 17 students applied and were accepted into University of the People. They look forward to beginning their studies as soon as their exam fees can be funded.

IsraAID is working towards creating a long lasting solution in the camp that will allow the students to study in a flexible time schedule in order to accommodate their needs. The students will be able to study in a computer classroom equipped with computers and internet connection. These tools will help the students in achieving the most from their work as IsraAID is working towards creating a long lasting and sustainable process.


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In Kakuma refugee camp refugees are provided with primary and secondary education options, but higher education is a privilege most do not have. The same applies to the Turkana community. The B.A. program offered by University of People gives the refugees and host community the ability to acquire a B.A., with American accreditation, in either computer science or business administration, free of any school fees except for exams fees. The program is online and does not require them to travel or purchase any books or materials. The program requires regular access to a computer and internet connection, in order to participate in lectures, assignments and exams. IsraAID has helped 17 students (14 refugee and 3 host community) apply and be accepted at University of the people. IsraAID continues to seek funding to equip a computer lab with internet access, and source for scholarships to enable these students to pay their exam fees before their window to begin classes ends in July 2016. 

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Organization Information


Location: Tel Aviv, Merkaz - Israel
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IsraAID
Project Leader:
Navonel (Voni) Glick
Deputy Director / COO
Be'er Sheva , Be'er Sheva Israel

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