Leading in Education in Nairobi

16 April 2024|Rozine Irabaruta

Related: Education, Kenya

As JRS in Nairobi, one of our major projects is to support youth’s secondary and tertiary education. 

Many refugees think that education is a luxury to them that might never happen, a dream for only the luckiest ones. That is why JRS has been pursuing the mission to bring education to these refugee youth in Nairobi. To make this unachievable dream a reality and a right.  

Most of the time, organizations do not go beyond knowing how the students are doing in their respective schools: they are okay since they are in school and studying. Sometimes, these students face discrimination for many reasons: sometimes because other students know they are on scholarships, because of their skin color, because of being refugees…  

As JRS, however, our mission goes beyond just paying the school fees for these youths. Our goal is accompanying these students. We visit their respective schools to know how they are doing, we hold regular meetings to follow up on them, not inly in their school performance but also they personal life. By conducting such meetings, we can identify areas where there is a need for improvement and further support, beyond the fee’s payment.  

And this kind of accompaniment and follow-up has proved very valuable to our students! 

When we visited some of the secondary schools in Nairobi, it was great to see that many of our beneficiaries are leaders and prefects in their schools and most of them are among the top-scoring students!

Mary Gatbel is studying at Blessed Hands High School, and she is among the beneficiaries who had challenges in her previous school. We followed up with her and we saw the need to refer her to a better school, since the conditions in her previous center were not helping her perform. In her new school she is now doing great! She is a head girl, a top student, and teachers were concerned that when she finishes, they won’t have such a student to even use as an example to others.  

Education is the key to change. It is important for a student to also understand his/her rights and responsibilities when it comes to education, which also improves a person’s ability to view the world differently. 

Through education, some of the beneficiaries have formed strong bonds among themselves hence sharing similar experiences in school. They also tend to support each other with their studies to be the top students leaving no one behind.

Sebare Belle, Joyce Kirabo, and Moise Aristote are good examples of students who are in the same secondary school and assisting each other. Joyce Kirabo is also a prefect in the school, and they are all doing great in school. 

With education, we see that we have not only given refugees the right to education but also confidence. Education has given them a place to also lead others despite the challenges of being a refugee. 

Education is a source of hope as it gives the desire for a better life. Even in the lives of refugees. 

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