When refugee children are forced to flee for their lives, they leave everything behind but their dreams. Despite the uncertainties that lie ahead, they hold onto the hope of one day becoming doctors, astronauts, football players and teachers. All refugee children deserve to dream big.
UNHCR and the Vodafone Foundation are partnering to ensure that all refugee children have a chance to reach their dreams by providing them with quality education through the Instant Network Schools (INS) program. Learn more about how refugee students, teachers and community members are benefiting from the INS program and how you can contribute to their success too.
John Sabit Ali, an 18-year-old refugee from South Sudan, was forced to flee his home due to conflict. Now, he is inspiring other young refugees in the Kakuma refugee camp where he lives with his family. More than half of all refugees in Kenya are children under 18, but many are unable to attend school due to supply issues, socio-economic factors and other obstacles to accessing education.
As a student at an INS in Kenya, John learned invaluable digital skills and gained the confidence to participate in the INS Dreamball Competition held each year by UNHCR and the Vodafone Foundation. John’s drawing was chosen from over 800 submissions and his winning design was turned into a football hand stitched by refugees and host community members in Kenya. He is filled with pride knowing that proceeds from the sale of his football will be used to support sports programs for refugees like those in his community.
Try to imagine for a moment a high school without books or a library. For Doriane, a high school student in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this was reality. Every day, Doriane attends classes with other Congolese students and refugees from the Central African Republic. Since 2013, Doriane’s community has been a welcoming safe haven for refugees. But as new refugees arrive, there are more students to teach and resources are stretched thin.
In schools with little or no resources, an INS program has a lifechanging impact.
Doriane is ecstatic her high school has been transformed into an INS. She and her friends are now receiving a quality education. She can now pursue research and effectively prepare for classes thanks to all the online resources available to her.
Adham is a 14-year-old student from Egypt and attends one of the 18 Instant Network Schools in the greater Cairo area. Adham is one of nearly 40,000 students enrolled in Instant Network Schools throughout Egypt.
Adham’s big dream is to one day be a famous Sanda (Chinese kickboxing) professional. He’s already won two competitions and studying at the Instant Network School helps him stay connected to opportunities that allow him to grow as an athlete and student. “I like the Instant Network School classroom because it is very useful, and I benefit a lot from it,” Adham shares. “It allows me to gather useful information about knowledge and advanced technology.”
Jospin is a young refugee who was forced to flee his home in the Central African Republic. His family found refuge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and fortunately for Jospin he was able to enroll in an Instant Network School.
Jospin is ambitious and determined to one day return to the Central African Republic and help rebuild his country.
At the Instant Network School, Jospin has the technology and support he needs to push him one step closer towards achieving his dream of becoming a civil engineer. With the help of his INS teachers and new resources accessible to him at the touch of a button, his aspirations for the future can climb as tall as the infrastructure he hopes to build one day.
Pascal’s life changed in the blink of an eye when his entire family was killed by conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was forced to flee home at a young age and found refuge at a refugee camp in Mozambique. Despite the challenges and trauma endured, he never forgot his family or lost sight of his dreams for the future.
"My father always told me that education was the key to life. I always wanted to fulfill my father's dream of seeing me study and finish."
Now, Pascal has a family of his own and is ensuring his children will grow up with the quality education his father once dreamed of for him. As an Instant Network Schools Coach, Pascal is training teachers and inspiring a new generation of students to use technology to achieve their dreams.
How to help…
Over half of the world’s refugees are children. Many will spend their entire childhoods away from home, sometimes separated from their families and all too often without access to education. Help expand the Instant Network Schools program and ensure that all refugee children can dream big and receive the quality education they need and deserve by making a compassionate gift today.