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April 21, 10

NEWS / UN-backed scholarship recipients reach out to fellow Somali refugees

21 April 2010 – After graduating from a teacher training college in Kenya thanks to a United Nations-backed scholarship scheme, three Somali men are returning to the refugee camp they grew up in to help the next generation of children.

Aden Yusef Mohamed, Ahmed Aden Hasa and Hish Mohamed Maow ranked in the top 20 among the 500 students they graduated from the two-year programme at the Nakuru Teachers Training College.

They are now working in schools in the sprawling and crowded Dabaab refugee complex in northeast Kenya, home to nearly 300,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia. The three young men completed their primary and secondary education in the camp.

“Our education does not only help us, but also our community and the community hosting us,” said Mr. Mohamed, voicing hope that he can “contribute to a better future for Somalis and Somalia.”

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 1.4 million people are internally displaced in Somalia, which has been devastated by factional fighting and without a functioning central government since 1991, owing to escalating violence and a worsening humanitarian situation.

In addition, some 560,000 Somalis live as refugees in Kenya and other neighbouring countries, including Yemen and Ethiopia.

The Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative, or DAFI, is funded by Germany, is supported by UNHCR. The programme supports the agency’s broader strategy of promoting self-reliance and durable solutions for refugees.

Some 12,000 refugees have benefited from DAFI scholarships since their inception in 1992, studying a wide range of subjects in more than 30 host countries.

In 2008, the scheme began offering educational assistance in their home countries to refugees considering repatriation.




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