ProFuturo and UNHCR to bring digital education to primary schools in Rwanda’s refugee camps


ProFuturo and UNHCR to bring digital education to primary schools in Rwanda’s refugee camps

The partnership between ProFuturo and the Spanish Committee of UNHCR will directly benefit 17,569 children in 2021 and train 373 teachers in digital skills

ProFuturo and the Spanish Committee of UNHCR have signed an agreement to implement a digital education project in 9 schools located in 6 refugee camps in Rwanda, in the regions of Mahama, Kigeme, Mugombwa, Nyabiheke, Gihembe and Kiziba

The partnership, which aims to improve the quality of education and facilitate the integration of refugee children into the national education system, also includes access to a safe place to learn and will work to help improve student motivation and community participation in the day-to-day life of schools and education centres.

Educational context in Rwanda

According to UNHCR (2021), of the 133,054 refugees living in Rwanda, about 49% are aged 0-17 years, or 65,196. There are 12,648 girls aged 5-11, or primary school age, and 9,996 aged 12-17. 

The transition from primary to secondary school is a challenge for some refugee youth and retaining these students is an even greater challenge. Many children drop out of upper primary school to support their families, engaging in child labour to earn an income to survive. Girls in particular face enormous obstacles to staying in school. The lack of appropriate facilities for menstruating girls or early marriages is a glaring reality.

7,548 Burundian refugee students are enrolled in primary school in Rwanda compared to only 2,849 enrolled in secondary school (with 49% of all being girls). This situation improves for refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo: of the 7,615 girls and 7,790 boys aged 5-11 years and of the 6,434 girls and 6,394 boys aged 12-17 years, 94.5% of them continue to attend classes daily in both primary and secondary education. 

Photographer: Mikel Prieto | Image: ACNUR

Education in emergencies: our commitment to refugees 

In 2017 ProFuturo began adapting its digital education programme to emergency contexts. The intervention, in line with the principles of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), was born with the objective of facilitating access to quality digital education for forcibly displaced children in camps or in informal settlements in urban or rural areas. 

ProFuturo’s work with refugee children in Lebanon, Malawi and Jordan, joined by Tanzania in 2021, is now being extended to Rwanda through this agreement with the Spanish Committee of UNHCR.

This new commitment of ProFuturo, which is part of the Global Compact on Refugees approved by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018, was announced by ProFuturo during the meeting “Looking back, moving forward – private sector support for refugees”, convened by UNHCR on 5 May 2021.

The event, an assessment and follow-up meeting for businesses, was part of the Global Refugee Forum, held in 2019, which brought together the international community to demonstrate its commitment to the world’s refugees and the countries and communities that host them.

Photographer: Mikel Prieto | Image: ACNUR

You may also be interested