UN launches campaign to help students in Kenyan refugee camps

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-04 21:57:33|Editor: xuxin
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NAIROBI, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said Monday it has launched a campaign to raise funds for learning materials for some 150,000 pre-primary and primary students in Kenya's refugee camps.

Fathiaa Abdalla, UNHCR representative in Kenya, said the drive dubbed "No Child Left Behind" aims to provide adequate and quality education for learners in the camps, which is currently threatened by an acute lack of learning materials and classroom facilities.

"We believe that the private sector, including individuals, companies, and foundations, can play a large role in ensuring refugees' access to education so that no child is left behind," Abdalla said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

"This situation becomes even more serious as the rollout of the new curriculum requires all existing learning materials to be replaced," she added.

The UNHCR said the campaign aims to raise funds from Kenya's private sector to provide refugee students with up to date schoolbooks, school desks, fund teacher training, and improve educational facilities.

The UN refugee agency said there is an urgent need for additional school desks aside from learning materials.

"Education is vital for the future of refugee children and a key priority for UNHCR. The critical deficit of up to date learning materials has resulted in an average of seven refugee students sharing one schoolbook amongst themselves," Abdalla said.

Mercy Masika, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, said she saw the state of schools during a recent visit to Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana county.

"I witnessed firsthand pre-primary classes where schoolchildren were sitting on the classroom floor and primary students were taking exams outside in the open air due to lack of facilities. As a Kenyan who's proud of my country's commitment to education, I strongly believe we can help these young refugee children," she said.