“Education is like water and we are very thirsty”: First Cohort of Refugee Students in Kenya and Jordan Completes Bard–OSUN Certificate
The OSUN program develops work started by Bard College in camp and urban refugee settings since 2015, with the added assistance of local partners, such as Urise Initiative for Africa and Resilience Action International, which are refugee-led organizations in Kakuma Refugee Camp.
The certificate ceremony took place at the Resilience Action International headquarters in Kakuma, with six students participating in person and 13 others joining online from Dadaab, Amman, and Nairobi.
Students Asho Ahmed Abukar from Dadaab and Kocho Ibrahim from Kakuma gave addresses. Both spoke of the life-changing experiences they had while being enrolled in the OSUN Hubs program and gave sound advice to all newly enrolled students in attendance. “Education to refugees is like water and we are very, very thirsty,” said Ibrahim.
Four awards were given to students in recognition of their outstanding efforts and their contributions to their communities through civic engagement projects. Abukar, a student leader who received one of the awards, remarked that “The only way of liberating women in oppressive cultures is through education.”
Jonathan Becker, OSUN vice chancellor, delivered a prerecorded address that encouraged students to keep working hard with a focus on the future. “We hope that you forge meaningful connections with OSUN students in other campuses and that you take advantage of opportunities that OSUN has to offer, including our BA Pathways program,” said Becker.
The OSUN Hubs for Connected Learning Initiatives also supports refugee access to higher education through the Refugee Higher Education Access Program (RhEAP) in cooperation with BRAC’s Center for Peace and Justice, Princeton’s Global History Lab, and Arizona State University by equipping them with the necessary skills and foundational education to qualify for BA degree programs.
OSUN congratulates the 19 awardees for their impressive achievements and is proud to continue upholding the important work the Hubs initiative and its global and local partners are doing to expand access to higher education for those affected by displacement.
Post Date: 03-30-2022