Dreaming of a better future in refugee camps in Africa is now possible, thanks to this initiative

Cover source: Pixabay

Cover source: Pixabay

Fugia is only 15 but she has great ambition. Her dream is to become a doctor and she believes that getting an education is the only way to achieve it.

But where she lives, getting an education isn’t easy. She’s a refugee growing up in Kakuma, a large refugee camp, located in Kenya. Both logistical and cultural obstacles have prevented her from learning.

“This community of ours was not supporting the girls’ education,” she said of the camp, explaining that girls who went to school were often called “prostitutes” who don’t actually learn anything.

But, fortunately, now there is an alternative way to bring her and other refugee children out of the dark: tablets.

A new program by Vodafone Foundation called “Instant Schools for Africa” provided free, unlimited access to online educational materials for young people. The program was launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Tanzania. To allow for widespread access, videos and web pages are all optimized to work over low-bandwidth connections, and will also be available offline when the internet isn’t accessible.

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“From refugee camps to remote parts of Africa with few schools, connectivity gives children the opportunity for a better future,” Andrew Dunnett, director of the Vodafone Foundation, said. “Instant Schools for Africa has the potential to transform the lives of millions of children excluded from education, giving them free access to the same materials used by children in developed markets to help them achieve their ambitions.”

Vodafone released a series of videos to show the impact of the Instant Network Schools program on young people’s lives, including Fugia. “This opportunity is very rare for many people, especially for us here in the camp,” Fugia said in the video. “It’s a right. It's like oxygen for us. A person can never live without oxygen.”