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Scholarships in Dadaab: Educating Somali refugees out of poverty

Danish Refugee Council
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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Somali refugees in Dadaab live far from universities and education opportunities. Instead, they end in unemployment or are forced to take on unskilled jobs in the camps to make a living. To address the growing unemployment rates and needs to empower Somali youths, a project offering scholarships has been launched by Danish Refugee Council in the world’s largest refugee camp.

Scholarships to youths and vocational trainings to adult Somali refugees is the latest of a series of initiatives launched by Danish Refugee Council in Dadaab. The new UNHCR funded project offers educational and training opportunities to around 2,450 Somalis in the world’s largest refugee camp.

Today, an estimated more than 425,000 Somali refugees reside in the five settlements located in North Eastern Kenya. There, two out of five Somali refugee are between the ages of 18-59 and unemployment rates are high. By offering a series of training and education opportunities, Danish Refugee Council aims at reducing vulnerability among refugee families, to improve protection, reduce dependency on aid and provide the youth with vocational and technical skills.

‘With new skills and education Somali refugees will be able to pursue income generating activities whether through employment or as business entrepreneurs. This is of crucial importance whether in Kenya, during resettlement and even more importantly in the reconstruction of Somalia in the event of repatriation,’ says David Kang’ethe, Director for Danish Refugee Council’s Kenya programme.

The UNHCR funded project run by Danish Refugee Council in Dadaab named ‘Improving Resilience and Livelihood Opportunities for Refugees in Dadaab’ aims to improve the refugee empowerment and self-reliance through practical livelihood interventions in three camps, namely Ifo, Ifo 2 and Dagahaley. More than 1,087 Somali refugees will be offered courses ranging from basic vocational trainings to advanced academic and technical courses in nursing, nutrition and public health. Another nearly 1,365 refugees will be supported through microfinance revolving funds as well as cash and in-kind grants.

‘Many Somali refugees in Dadaab have completed basic education but most of them have no hope of getting higher education. Financial constraints keep the refugees from studying further. Some will make a living from small businesses, but the rest are left with only unskilled labor jobs and this is what we want to address through this project,’ tells Firas Budeiri, Danish Refugee Council’s Area Manager in Dadaab, Kenya.

Somali refugees will be sent to institutions of higher learning in Kenya such as the Kenyatta University, Kenya Institute of Social work and developmental studies (KISWD), Mombasa Industrial Training College (MITC), North Coast Medical Training College, and the Technical University of Mombasa.

The students studying at the North Coast medical training college, Mombasa industrial training college and Technical university of Mombasa will be attending full time classes. Those receiving scholarships for Kenyatta University and the Kenya Institute of Social Work and Developmental studies (KISWD) will participate in the courses at the camps through a distance learning module.

For more information see: https://drc.dk/news/news/artikel/scholarships-in-dadaab-educating-somali-refugees-out-of-poverty/

Contact: Regional Information and Communications Adviser Alexandra Strand Holm | [email protected] | +254 71 77 22 351



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