The author of several books, Adam gives the gift of education to asylum seekers through both the educational center and teachers’ training program he founded.
Adam Ahmed is a Darfuri asylum seeker who is passionate about education, a subject that has shaped his life since he started helping both African refugees in Israel and in refugee camps in Africa.
“I believe education can solve many problems”
“I believe education can solve many problems,” Adam says, standing in the Wadi Hawar Community Center, a Sudanese community center for support and education, in South Tel Aviv.
When Adam was forced to flee Sudan and then Egypt, his first country of asylum, he never imagined that he would end up in Israel.
Since he first entered Israel in 2008, Adam’s passion for learning has led to numerous achievements, including the writing of several published books, the establishment of educational centers for Sudanese asylum seekers and their children, and the development of a school charity program for Sudanese refugees living in Chad.
In 2010, while living in Eilat, Adam helped establish “Youngster’s Dreams”, an educational center for Sudanese children. Today, the center runs an afterschool program for children ages 3 to 6 and offers supervised care for children whose parents work late. Additionally, the Center offers classes in English and computer literacy and provides teacher training classes for adults.
In Tel Aviv, Adam now runs the Wadi Hawar Community Center, which is maintained by asylum-seekers, primarily from Darfur. “We contribute a small donation every month and from that donation we pay rent and all our needs,” he explains.
Apart from helping Darfuris in Israel, Adam also provides help to Darfuri refugees and asylum-seekers living abroad or struggling in African refugee camps. “We collected clothes twice and shipped it to Chad to the Darfuri refugees over there,” he notes.
Adam also started the ‘Refugee Dream Project’, funded through his book sales and collections from donation boxes throughout Tel Aviv. The project focuses on training teachers inside the Oure Cassoni refugee camp in Chad, in order to provide better education for the thousands of children living there.
While Adam and his colleagues work to alleviate the difficulties their community faces, they cannot resolve all the issues alone. Adam believes the biggest obstacles facing asylum-seekers is the low rate of granting refugee status in Israel.
“They call us infiltrators”, he says. “We don’t have an ID or documents as a refugee. If someone gets sick, they don’t have an ID and this is a problem. I have a visa, but I still worry all the time. It affects everyone. People have suffering in their faces, and we all suffer with them over the same issue.”
Youngster’s Dreams and the Refugee Dream Project both portray Adam’s devotion to improving the lives of refugees. But he wishes he could do more to heal the pain his fellow Darfuris have suffered.
As he writes at the end of his book, The Nightmare of the Exile, “It has been almost ten years since I have started working with the Darfuri community. I am so happy to be around them and to help them, and I wish to do more for them.”