In his passionate drive to advocate for quality higher education for Somali refugees, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Mohamed Affey, visited Dadaab Refugee Camps on 9th and 10th October 2018. He met with refugee youth some of who have completed secondary school, but they have had no access to higher education.
In his interactions with the youth, Ambassador Affey listened to their aspirations, dreams, challenges and needs. He encouraged them to remain positive and use their time in the refugee camps to engage in self-education as they aim for a brighter future.
“Education is the greatest equalizer in life.”
“The day you become educated, you will take care of yourself and your community. You will forget the pain of being a refugee,” Ambassador Affey told the youth.
He urged the refugees in the Dadaab camps to take advantage of the facilities that UNHCR and partner agencies have provided. He also reiterated the importance of advocacy to address key barriers to higher education for the large number of Somali refugee students in Dadaab.
“We are here in Dadaab to do advocacy work for the international community and our partners for continued support to refugee education in Dadaab so that many more can get an opportunity to go to school, to transit from high school to university and from university to the job market around the world as responsible members of the global community,” the envoy said.
Ambassador Affey appealed to the international community, private sector, Somali civil society and Somali business people, Somali government and NGO partners to scale up their support to create additional higher education scholarships for Somali refugees. He observed that education is a key driver in finding durable solutions for refugees in protracted refugee situations. The youth in Dadaab remain expectant that the advocacy efforts by the Special Envoy will increase the number of scholarships programmes for higher education.
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