ProFuturo has taken part in the first Spain #WithRefugees Forum organised by UNHCR in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation on the occasion of #WorldRefugeeDay on Tuesday 20 June. This initiative was an unprecedented meeting prior to the second World Refugee Forum, set to take place in December 2023 in Geneva.
Leticia de Rato Salazar-Simpson, our Global Manager of Partnerships and Institutional Relations, represented ProFuturo on the International Cooperation panel. During her speech, she highlighted the importance of digital education for the future of all children in the world, especially those who have been forced to flee their homes.
“At ProFuturo we firmly believe that education can’t be interrupted, nor can it wait. Digital education is neither a whim nor a privilege, it’s absolutely necessary in the digital and interconnected world that we live in”.
This first Spain #WithRefugees Forum took place at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. Its main objective was to encourage Spanish society to support the inclusion and integration of refugees. To open the forum, UNHCR stunned the participants with the #GuernicaRefugee, an initiative during which art was put at the service of solidarity, seeking to display the parallelism between Picasso’s Guernica, an international anti-war symbol, and the current situation that over 110 million refugees and displaced people live in the world due to war and other catastrophes.
Digital education isn’t a whim, it’s absolutely necessary
Leticia made it clear that refugees who are forced to leave their country, their culture and their language can also go far and achieve their dreams, and that anything is possible with access to quality education. Because all people, especially displaced persons and/or refugees, also have the right to a dignified future.
Leticia also underlined that education shouldn’t be interrupted, because, in addition to a roof to sleep under and access to healthcare, at ProFuturo we believe that education is another basic human need. Going to school is key, urgent and necessary for all children in the world, and even more so for those who have had to leave their homes forcibly.
“Digital education isn’t a whim, it’s absolutely necessary in the digital and interconnected world that we live in. Thanks to ICT, refugee children can explore what’s happening around them and in the world”.
Technology and innovation properly applied to education are reflected in an extremely high level of motivation, providing a much more enjoyable, visual and interactive methodology to enable children to learn basic skills such as mathematics and reading. They can also explore what’s happening around them and in the world.
Another highly positive benefit that Leticia stressed in the need to go to school is that children don’t just study at it, they also enjoy their childhood, play and interact with other children. In short, they connect with a normal life and disconnect from the harsh reality that they face on a daily basis. “At ProFuturo we’re committed to continue striving to improve the future of refugees and we hope that many more will join this cause”; with this phrase, Leticia de Rato Salazar concluded her participation in the first UNHCR Spain #WithRefugees Forum.
ProFuturo and UNHCR Partnership
In order to bring digital education to children and teachers in vulnerable environments and thus narrow the education gap in the world, ProFuturo partners with several local and international entities. Our main partner in this humanitarian context is UNHCR, with which we began to collaborate in 2021 with a project in Rwanda implemented in 15 schools.
One year later, in 2022, we expanded our reach to two new countries, with five schools in Nigeria and four in Zimbabwe. To date, the figures achieved are encouraging; together with UNHCR, we’ve trained 985 teachers, leading to an impact and an improvement in the educational quality of almost 35,000 primary school students in the three countries.
Refugee Week 2023
In addition to our participation in UNHCR’s Spain #WithRefugees Forum, at ProFuturo we’re carrying out more activities and giving greater visibility to #RefugeeDay. Every 20 June, the world celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their countries, escaping from the conflicts that are taking place there.
This year, 2023, we endorse the message launched by UNHCR: “Hope away from home”.
At ProFuturo we always seek to give refugees visibility, but even more so on the occasion of #RefugeeDay, which is why we’ve launched #RefugeeWeek on our social media profiles with information, data, reports and so on. Here’s a selection of some of our activities and contents: