Kenya: Intel uses education as a force for change in Kakuma refugee camp

In a tin-roofed classroom where solar-powered ceiling fans provide some respite from the sweltering heat of northern Kenya, we watch a group of elementary school teachers enthusiastically work on their laptops to learn from ‘an instructor from all over the world.

We are in Kakuma Refugee Camp to see firsthand the multiplier effect of technology on a revolutionary teacher training program developed by Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL). The Internationally Accredited Learning Facilitator course is delivered by faculty from local and global universities, online tutors, as well as onsite facilitators through a blended learning approach.

The course was developed in response to the overwhelming need for learning and education at all levels within refugee communities and other marginalized communities. Among other course content, the training incorporates the Intel® Skills for Innovation framework that helps educators use technology to adopt new teaching methods from any location and adapt instructional technology to meet future needs.

Educators like Israel, a South Sudanese national who has lived in Kakuma refugee camp for thirteen years, initially hoped to become a professional footballer, but discovered a new passion as an educator. The poet William Yeats once said: “Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire”. This fire manifests itself in the readiness of teachers to pass it on to the next generation of learners.

Education is a transforming force for good. Matthew, 30, also from South Sudan, explains that education is a force for peace and stability. He postulates that their people are fighting for the lack of education and in areas where education rates are high, conflicts are fewer and less explosive.

Education also serves to put human rights, inclusion and social justice at the forefront. Anyeth, 20, a teacher at Kadugli refugee camp, explains that with inclusive education, marginalized women like her have a voice in the community and the opportunity to make their dreams come true.

These young people have access to higher education in the best universities in the world, directly from the Kakuma refugee camp. In the past 6 months, 100 teachers from 26 local schools in marginalized communities of Kalobeyei and Kakuma have benefited from the free teacher training program offered by JWL and Intel Corporation through the Intel RISE Technology Initiative (IRTI) . The company has partnered with organizations around the world to apply technological solutions and expertise to unique geographic problems as well as global challenges.

Kenyan teachers in Kakuma refugee camp also benefit from the training program accredited by the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt.

Intel’s role has been to provide the learning devices, connectivity to partner universities while JWL developed the program, managed its delivery, and provided field support to Kakuma. It’s a glimpse into what can be achieved through technology, strategic partnerships, and a collective desire to do good.

Watch our experience in Kakuma refugee camp as we spoke to beneficiaries of this program.

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