On 15-17 March UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, hosted a regional workshop on refugee youth education in Almaty. The workshop gathered UNHCR education focal points from 20 Asian countries as well as representatives of UN sister agencies to widen education opportunities for refugee youth, empowering them to contribute to socio-economic development of their host communities.
During the workshop participants shared good models of enhancing refugees access to higher education, overcoming barriers to education for girls, linkages between education and preparation for employment, as well as other livelihood options. They also discussed enhancing UNHCR capacities to offer DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) scholarships to refugees. Supported by Germany, Denmark, the Czech Republic, and private sponsors, DAFI is implemented in 55 countries around the globe, including Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic.
“UNHCR looks forward to strengthening its cooperation with authorities and education institutions in Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic to serve as good models for expanding refugee youth’s access to higher education,” said Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia.
Prior to the workshop, visiting UNHCR education experts met with academic institutions, authorities, refugee students, DAFI scholars, and private sector partners in Almaty. They studied cooperation and scholarship opportunities to enhance refugee youth education and employment prospects also in preparation for the second Global Refugee Forum which will gather at ministerial level in December in Geneva.
Currently 13 refugee students pursue higher education, thanks to DAFI scholarships, in Kazakhstan and six in Kyrgyzstan.
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