ProFuturo’s visit to Rwanda on COPE’s La Linterna with Magdalena Brier and José María Gil-Robles


ProFuturo’s visit to Rwanda on COPE’s La Linterna with Magdalena Brier and José María Gil-Robles

There are places where the vulnerability of vulnerability exists: refugee camps. This is where ProFuturo, in partnership with UNHCR, is working to bring quality education to children and teachers who are working for a better future.

On 19 July, Magdalena Brier, our Director General, shared her recent experience in the Mahama refugee camp in Rwanda on the COPE programme La Linterna. Accompanied by José María Gil-Robles, president of the Spanish Committee of UNHCR Brier gave a detailed overview of the impact of their work and the importance of education in emergency contexts.

During their visit to Rwanda, Brier and Gil-Robles had the opportunity to see first-hand the living conditions of the refugees in this camp and to visit the schools where ProFuturo works in partnership with UNHCR. Mahama is home to 64,000 refugees, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, approximately 22,000 of whom are children who have faced hardship and are now seeking safety, education and community. Refugee camps, as Brier stressed, are places of “vulnerability within vulnerability”, where every day is a struggle for survival and dignity.

José María Gil-Robles explained that the UN refugee agency’s mission is to ensure international protection and to seek sustainable solutions for people who are forcibly displaced. In Rwanda, UNHCR focuses on protection, emergency preparedness and the provision of essential services such as clean water, shelter and health. In addition, it develops long-term projects for the economic inclusion and education of the refugee population.

Magdalena explained how in ProFuturo, with the support of Telefónica Foundation and La Caixa” Foundation we work to narrow the educational and digital divide in vulnerable and emergency environments and how, since 2019, we have implemented projects in several refugee camps, currently in countries such as Lebanon, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Rwanda.

In Mahama, we have focused on improving the capacity of teachers through training, providing digital tools such as tablets and computers, and building digitised spaces for education. In addition, we work closely with the Rwandan government on school feeding programmes, which has had a positive impact on student enrolment and retention.

Brier stressed that education is taken very seriously in Rwanda and that it is the Rwandan Ministry of Education which is in charge of assigning the teachers that we support through our programme. “If we don’t collaborate with them on these high-quality education programmes, there is no one else,” Brier said. “We have to work together.

The importance of education in emergency contexts

During the interview, both leaders stressed the importance of education in the lives of refugee children, teachers and families. Gil-Robles mentioned that the youngest children make up 41 per cent of the forcibly displaced population and that education is crucial for their development and protection.

Magdalena shared that, despite the difficult conditions in Mahama refugee camp, education emerges as a ray of hope and a vital tool for the children’s future. Teacher training and access to educational technology have proven to be transformative; empowering students and improving their self-confidence.

Brier expressed optimism after the visit, noting that things seem to be going well. 

“Education is a fundamental right, even in a crisis. It is crucial that we continue to work together to ensure that all children, regardless of their situation, have access to a quality education that allows them to dream and build a better future

Magdalena Brier. Managing Director of ProFuturo

José María Gil-Robles also shared his positive impression, highlighting from his visit the refugees’ evident desire to learn, to use digital and innovative tools in the classroom and, of course, to get ahead. He underlined the importance of international collaboration to offer high quality educational programmes, as without this support, opportunities would be very limited.

At ProFuturo we remain committed to the mission of bringing quality education to the most vulnerable corners of the world, demonstrating that with innovation and technology, it is possible to transform education and offer a future full of hope.

To find out more about the visit we recommend: ProFuturo commemorates Refugee Day by highlighting the programme’s impact on Rwanda’s largest refugee camp


Do you want to know more about ProFuturo’s commitment to education?

Further information available at:

X: @ProFuturo_
IG: @profuturo_
FB: @ProFuturoEducation
YT: ProFuturo
LK: ProFuturoEducation

Subscribe to our newsletter and feel part of the community that believes in the transformational power of education!

You may also be interested