Members of EDCP have just returned from Dadaab Refugee Camps in Northeast Kenya, the largest refugee camp in the world (close to 400,000 people). Dr. Samson Nashon, Dr. Karen Meyer, Dr. Lisa Loutzenheiser, Dr. Marina Milner-Bolotin and Dr. Cynthia Nicol are working on an exciting project with teams from UBC’s Faculty of Education, Moi University in Kenya, Windle Trust-Kenya and teachers in Dadaab Refugee Camps to design and offer a two-year diploma program for refugee teachers.
EDCP members were part of the team that travelled to Dadaab to meet with refugee teachers, students, administrators, parents, and community members before planning the content and structure of the diploma program–a program to be offered (funding dependent) in the camps by spring/fall 2012.
The EDCP team found refugee teachers excited about the possible program and keen to begin as soon as possible. They were inspired by refugee secondary school students who were motivated to work towards and receive the best education possible and with high hopes of education providing improved opportunities for themselves and their families. The team found themselves questioning their own assumptions about teaching, learning, and culture. For EDCP members the experience was life changing, humbling and inspiring.
Observing the enormous difficulties students and teachers face on a daily basis and their desire for greater educational opportunities, the team became increasingly aware of the urgency to make this program a reality.
Now back at UBC the team, along with others in the faculty, plan to form ongoing study groups where questions related to culture, health, food security, security, neo-colonization, participation, equity, gender education, peace education and leadership will be explored as they continue to grapple with issues of teaching others’ children while teaching beyond borders.
To learn more about Dadaab in northeast Kenya and the crisis of famine and political unrest in southern Somalia, as well as education in Dadaab visit:
Windle Trust International http://www.windle.org.uk/
and World University Service of Canada http://www.wusc.ca/en/?language=en§ion=