In refugee camps, very few girls have the opportunity to pursue their education beyond primary school and without education these young people have no way out. Girls face many barriers, both institutional and personal; keeping them from advancing to higher education.
Through the Shine a Light campaign and the Kenya Equity in Education Program, WUSC is providing young girls in Kenya and Malawi refugee camps with the skills and resources needed to succeed. It’s not just about providing books and after-school classes, a key part of WUSC’s refugee girls’ education programming is generating parent and community support for girls’ education. This year, the community support is coming from far away as female students sponsored by WUSC are reaching out to girls in the camps through heartfelt letters.
Not long ago, former sponsored students from WUSC’s Student Refugee Program were in the same position as the young girls now in the camps. Through the SRP and their hard work and determination, many have graduated from Canadian post-secondary institutions and have gone on to pursue careers in government, medicine, engineering and international development, just to name a few. Now, they are taking the time to put their thoughts and memories down on paper that will be read to school girls in the camp. Knowing the letters are from women who have gone on to pursue their education and who understand their situation can be a turning point for many of these girls. A realization that they too can achieve their educational goals.
SRP Senior Program Officer Michelle Manks reading a letter from a former sponsored student to the girls at the Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi
WUSC will make the letters available to download for campus members and volunteers. In the lead up to International Women’s Day on March 8th, we encourage you to learn more about WUSC’s work in refugee education and consider making a contribution. With your help we can provide girls in the camps with the tools they need to learn, to strive and to succeed.
Local Committees: Showcase these amazing letters for International Women’s Day!
LCs are encouraged to print out these letters and images and display them as part of their International Women’s Day event on campus or in their community in support of Shine a Light. Click here to learn more.