United Nations High Commission for Refugees ( UNHCR) has launched the No Child Left Behind campaign to raise funds for learning materials for 150,000 pre-primary and primary students in Kenya’s refugee camps. The campaign aims to address access to adequate and quality education for learners in the camps, which is currently threatened by an acute shortage of learning materials and classroom facilities. This situation becomes even more serious as the roll out of the new curriculum requires all existing learning materials to be replaced.
“Education is vital for the future of refugee children and a key priority for UNHCR. The critical deficit of up to date learning materials has resulted in an average of seven refugee students sharing one schoolbook amongst themselves. We believe that the private sector, including individuals, companies and foundations can play a major role in ensuring that refugees are able to access education so that no child is left behind,” said Fathiaa Abdalla, UNHCR representative in Kenya. Besides the learning materials, there is an urgent need for additional school desks.
Goodwill ambassador Mercy Masika, UNHCR goodwill ambassador, witnessed the state of refugees’ schools during a recent visit to Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana County. “I witnessed firsthand pre-primary classes where pupils were sitting on the classrooms’ floors and taking exams in the open air due to lack of facilities. As a Kenyan who is proud of my country’s commitment to education, I strongly believe we can help these children,” she said. Adding their support to the No Child Left Behind campaign are LuQuLuQu Supporters, Amina Abdi, Pinky Ghelani and Dr. King’ori among others. The campaign aims to raise funds from Kenya’s private sector to provide refugee learners with up to date schoolbooks, school desks, fund teacher training, and improved educational facilities.