Kiziba Refugee Camp, Rwanda
Kiziba Refugee Camp is the first of five Congolese refugee camps that were established in Rwanda since 1996. Its current population is approximately 17,000 people, half of whom are under the age of 18. For many years, students in this camp did not have access to secondary education, which left thousands of youth idle. You can imagine the results of this -- increased crime, drug use, and teen pregnancy – and the effects on many families that already live a desperate life.
Soki, one of the supervisors at the Library
But there is good news in all of this! Earlier this year, the Rwanda Ministry of Education authorised the existing school in the camp to start offering upper secondary level (the last 3 years of high school). For many families, this is the beginning of hope for their children’s future. It is also a dream turned reality for a group of educated young refugees who have worked so hard to try to solve this problem by holding informal classes with very little support.
Children in the Library
This will be the first time that refugee students in Kiziba camp will have access to a full high school education right where they live. This has the potential to dramatically transform the lives of the many thousands living in the camp. Unfortunately most parents cannot even afford the basic school supplies for their children. They rely on Iteams Rwanda and other partner organizations to support them. ITeams Rwanda built a library in the camp which has greatly contributed to education. This facility hosts English classes, Bible school classes and other activities designed to positively occupy many children, youth and adults who have nothing else to do. The library serves also as a resource center for teachers.