INVITATION: Join us for a Panel Discussion on Girls’ Education

Join World University Service of Canada as we celebrate our new girls’ education program in Kenya with a panel discussion entitled “Stepping up to the Challenge: Education for Refugee Girls

Meet and hear panelists:

Patricia Buck: Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Bates College

Patricia Buck is an educational anthropologist whose current work examines cultural transformations that occur at the intersection of humanitarian aid policy, gender, and schooling.

Her most recent publications include Educated for Change?: Muslim Refugee Women in the West (2012) and forthcoming pieces in Comparative Education Review and Leslie Barlett and Ameena Gaffar-Kucher’s (Eds) Lives in Motion: Migration and Schooling in the Global South (Eds.). Her work also appears in Brad Levinson and Doyle Stevick’s (Eds.) Advancing Democracy Through Education?: U.S. Influence Abroad and Domestic Practiceand Luis Moll’s Funds of Knowledge: Theorizing Practice in Households, Communities, and Classrooms.

Patricia is co-founder and President of the Board of Directors of Matawi Inc., a nonprofit organization that works to increase educational opportunities for refugee girls and women and has served as Educational Programs Consultant to CARE Canada. Patricia teaches Globalization and Education, Community Education/Community Action, Gender Issues in Education, and Ethnographic Approaches to Schooling.


Dahabo-Noor Abdi: Former Sponsored Student through WUSC’s Student Refugee Program

Dahabo Noor Abdi is originally from Somalia and was sponsored by WUSC’s Student Refugee Program while living in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Dahabo completed her secondary education in Kakuma and in 2004 was sponsored by the WUSC Brandon Local Committee in Manitoba. She then moved to Ottawa and completed her undergraduate program at Carleton University with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biology Major and minor in Chemistry. Currently, Dahabo is qualifying for a Bachelor of Education at Western University.

In 2008 she returned to Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camp as part of the WUSC Refugee Study Seminar to mentor and encourage young girls about the prospects of pursing higher education. Dehabo’s presence in the camps played an important role with girls who are in schools and was catalyst in encouraging parents to see the benefits of providing the girl child with an opportunity to stay in school.


Julia Dicum: Acting Team Leader, Education, Canadian International Development Agency

A federal public servant since March 2007, Julia Dicum has been the A/Team Leader, Education in CIDA’s Strategic Policy and Performance Branch since August, 2012. Together, she and her team are responsible for advancing CIDA's engagement in education policy in Canada and globally. Dr. Dicum has a PhD in Comparative International Development Education from OISE at the University of Toronto focusing on learner experiences of the curriculum during war and migration.

She has published in the field of education on community-based refugee education and the use of ICTs in emergency education and education in developing contexts. Earlier in her career, she taught ESL overseas and later managed a variety of aid programs targeting refugees, rural populations and girls. 


Accessing a quality education in much of sub-Saharan Africa is a challenge for boys and girls, but especially for girls. 

On average, girls have lower test scores, higher drop -out rates and their overall completion rates are lower than boys. Fewer girls graduate from primary school than boys and that number drops significantly at the secondary level.

Reasons are rooted in poverty, cultural factors and related societal limitations which disadvantage girls, leaving them with more domestic burdens, less time for schoolwork and fewer opportunities to attend class than boys.

 In refugee camps and villages, girls and women are disproportionately marginalised and face gender barriers preventing them from attending school. Better access and quality of education for these marginalised communities is essential to improve their life chances.

The panel will discuss the many challenges in improving access to quality education, including lack of resources, training and employment opportunities. What can be done to create educational opportunities for girls? Are the challenges greater in refugee communities? What are the roles for boys and men?



Thursday April 18, 2013
5 – 7pm 


Sheraton Hotel - Rideau Room (2ndfloor)

150 Albert St.
Ottawa, ON
K1P 5G2

Light refreshments and cash bar

RSVP to or 613-761-3675/1-800-267-8699 ext. 3675 before April 12th, 2013. Please indicate if you are bringing a guest.


About WUSC’s New Education Program

WUSC’s Kenya Equity in Education Project (KEEP) will help improve the access and quality of education for refugee and non-refugee girls in northern Kenya. The project will work towards building girl-friendly school environments, supporting female students and generating community support for girls’ education.

Since 2007, WUSC has been working in refugee camps in Kenya providing resources and after-school programs to help refugee girls stay in school and achieve their educational goals. With this new program, WUSC can continue to improve the lives and livelihoods of girls and other youth in some of the world’s most marginalised communities.



WUSC’s Kenya Equity in Education Project (KEEP) is funded by the UK Government. The project will be jointly implemented with Windle Trust Kenya.


Funded by: 

Funded by UK AID

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