UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, 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 lack 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 large role in ensuring refugee access to education so that no child is left behind,” said Fathiaa Abdalla, UNHCR Representative in Kenya.
Aside from learning materials, there is an urgent need for additional school desks. Mercy Masika, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, saw the state of schools during a recent visit to Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana county.
“I witnessed firsthand pre-primary classes where schoolchildren were sitting on the classroom floor and primary students were taking exams outside in the open air due to lack of facilities. As a Kenyan who’s proud of my country’s commitment to education, I strongly believe we can help these young refugee children,” she said.
Adding their support to the No Child Left Behind campaign are LuQuLuQu Supporters, Amina Abdi, Pinky Ghelani, Dr. King’ori and others.
The campaign aims to raise funds from Kenya’s private sector to provide refugee students with up to date schoolbooks, school desks, fund teacher training, and improve educational facilities.