Education Above All Launches Multi-Sector Education Project in Kenyan Refugee Camp
Project to be based on the concept of lifelong learning
As part of its ongoing effort to address barriers to education worldwide, Education Above All (EAA) today announced with UNHCR, the launch of a four-year, holistic education pilot project in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Education Above All, participated in the launch.
During a visit to the Kakuma Refugee Camp in October 2012, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser saw firsthand the scope and scale of education challenges facing displaced children and their families, and the pressure on aid in a protracted refugee situation. Her Highness subsequently offered to lend UNHCR her support for the establishment of a model education programme in Kakuma. The EAA Kakuma Project is the result, after careful development and collaboration with private and public sector stakeholders.
Working closely with UNHCR (the UN's refugee agency) and the Kenyan Government, the EAA Kakuma Project will seek to address all of the factors that currently prevent refugee camp residents from receiving an education-such as health and nutrition, livelihood, food security, water and sanitation and energy-effecting changes that will positively impact the community as a whole. It is estimated that the project will reach more than 70,000 individuals. In addition to targeting refugees, the project also seeks to promote the education and development of the surrounding Kenyan host community. The launch took place on the sidelines of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha, where EAA and its partners attended and signed the agreement.
Leonardo Pinheiro, Director of Strategy, Policy and Research for EAA, said: "The Kakuma Project represents an innovative approach to providing education in a conflict-affected community. Not a relief effort, the EAA Kakuma Project focuses on improving camp infrastructure and providing educational opportunities to residents of all ages in order to give them the confidence, skills and knowledge necessary for self-reliance. Together with our partners, EAA seeks to give the residents of the Kakuma Refugee Camp the tools and agency they need to create a better future for themselves."
Commenting on the project, UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner Janet Lim said: "Education is often a vital lifeline to a future for a refugee. It's a crucial part of restoring hope and purpose for people living in incredibly difficult circumstances. We're both grateful for and excited to see this project taking off."
EAA, which is funding the project, will coordinate the efforts of a wide range of industry partners, including experts in construction, project management, solar technology, sports, and water and sanitation, to create a multi-sector ecosystem conducive to the provision and sustainability of quality education.
The project, which is centered on the concept of lifelong learning, will offer educational interventions from early childhood education to vocational training and literacy classesthat are designed to meet the learning needs of each individual regardless of age, background or special need. The project will also feature peace education programmes, sports and extra-curricular activities to benefit both refugees and Kenyan nationals in the surrounding community, further solidifying peaceful coexistence and enhancing protection in the region.
UNHCR Representative in Kenya, Raouf Mazou, said that: "Addressing education in a comprehensive manner goes beyond having children attend schools. It aims at ensuring that learners access knowledge in good health and nutrition status and remain on a lifelong learning path. The ultimate purpose being to support self-reliance and nurture talent while in exile or in preparation for any durable solution."
About the Kakuma Refugee Camp
Established in 1992 by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Government of Kenya, the Kakuma Refugee Camp occupies approximately 12 square kilometres in northwestern Kenya. It is one of the largest refugee camps in the world, serving more than 170,000 refugees who fled from neighbouring countries due to dire circumstances.
About Education Above All
Education Above All (EAA) is a global initiative founded in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar. EAA's aim is to build a global movement that contributes to human, social and economic development through quality education and other welfare programmes and initiatives. With a particular focus on areas affected by poverty, conflict and disaster, EAA champions the needs of children and youth and empower them to be active members of their communities. By meeting the demand for education, EAA equips them to support sustainable development and to nurture environments of peace, security, justice and prosperity. EAA is the umbrella organisation overseeing three core programmes: Educate A Child, Al Fakhoora and Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC), as well as one special project, the Kakuma Project.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, also known as the UN refugee agency, was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. UNHCR safeguards the rights and well-being of refugees. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of refugees restart their lives. It also has a mandate to help people who have become forcibly displaced inside their own countries, stateless persons, returnees and asylum seekers. UNHCR is on the front lines of the world's major humanitarian crises, including Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, and countless other emergencies (read more at www.unhcr.org).
UNHCR works in partnership with the Government of Kenya to support refugees and host communities in Kakuma and the rest of the country. Since a joint visit to Kakuma refugee camp in 2012 between High Commissioner António Guterres and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar, UNHCR has also partnered with Education Above All Foundation (EAA). The aim is to develop an innovative model programme that represents a significant shift in the way education is provided in humanitarian contexts. The implementation of this four-year programme will start in early 2015. The lessons and good practices that will result from this model programme will serve to inform how UNHCR supports education globally.
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