Education is the most neglected sector when it comes to humanitarian response on a global level. It is the most underfunded, yet continues to be one of the most important. The Xavier Project works to provide safe, educational opportunities to refugee children living in urban areas of Kenya and Uganda.
Founded in 2008 by an ambitious young university student in the United Kingdom, the Xavier Project first took off after a 400-person shindig raised 1,500 pounds to help support refugee education in Kenya and Uganda. Since then, the project continues to offer a sustained and individually tailored education program through financial sponsorship, outside support and mentoring.
The project sets its focus on three crucial areas: education, livelihood and media. The education department of Xavier Project aims to increase access to a good formal education for refugee children in Kenya and Uganda. The “Tamuka department” aims to make vocational and life-long learning available to all refugees even in emergency situations.
The education department helps to increase access to education in Kenya and Uganda through sponsorship of refugee children. The sponsorship provides extra-curricular courses and camps, school visits with mobile libraries and teacher training programs, and runs activities to promote the education of refugee girls. Through access to libraries and mobile phone learning opportunities, the project provides refugees with ways of enhancing their learning from home and outside of school.
By paying school fees and through other support Xavier Project is giving 996 refugee children the opportunity to go to school. In Kenya, that is 65 in early childhood development, 592 primary school students and 159 secondary school students. In Uganda, that is 154 primary school students and 26 secondary school students.
Tamuka is the program designed to handle the media side of things within Xavier Project. It is the platform to give refugees an audible voice and let them speak out about the realities of their lives. Refugees are able to publish, learn from and interact with unbiased information anonymously and without necessarily having access to the internet.
The goal of Tamuka is that through an open media, refugees will be able to bring about social change in their host country or country of origin in a gradual and democratic way. Xavier Project wants refugees to be able to tell the rest of the world about their personal experiences. Voicing their stories could lead the international community to question processes and existing policies that they take for granted.
In 2015 Xavier Project’s consolidated income was 350,000 pounds of which 38 percent was unrestricted funding. Since 2008 Xavier Project’s income has increased by at least 50 percent every year. Their initiative to move the gauge forward when it comes to refugee education in Kenya and Uganda has been anything short of successful.
– Keaton McCalla