It’s Global Action Week for Education – and the perfect time to tell you about how JRS is actively responding to the need for employment, income generation, and satisfying career paths for young refugees.
Having the chance to work, earn a living, and be self-reliant is one of the most effective ways for refugees to rebuild their lives. Refugees have their dignity and hope reaffirmed when they acquire the means to earn their own living and support their families.
This is Priscilla’s story:
Kakuma is one of the largest and longest-serving refugee camps in the world, home to more than 200,000 refugees, primarily from South Sudan but representing more than 15 nationalities. Generations of children have been born in the camp, and many of them know no other home.
One of these children, Priscilla, arrived in Kakuma in 2001 at two years of age with her mother. She completed pre-primary, primary, and secondary school in the camp and sought every opportunity to further her education. This included taking a two-week basic computer course to familiarize herself with basic digital literacy. A six-month online freelance course followed, and she put her new knowledge to use by starting a profile on LinkedIn and finding her first job online providing consultancy services to a global client.
Her entrepreneurship goals didn’t end there. Priscilla then applied for a JRS social entrepreneurship course in 2020 as part of its Pathfinder program and completed it almost a year later. This two-semester program taught her core skills like accounting and business English that positioned her to start her own small business. After taking out a small loan from a women-led savings group in Kakuma, Priscilla started her own kiosk. Today, she sells basic household goods from her home to her fellow community members. She is the sole breadwinner for her five siblings and mother.
“It’s my turn to do something for my mother,” Priscilla said. “She was the one who did everything for me when we first arrived in Kakuma. She made sure we went to school. I want the opportunity to learn and to be an entrepreneur. If you get knowledge, you can do everything. I would like to be an entrepreneur and expand my business.”
Priscilla’s story is unique among refugees – but it doesn’t have to be. You can learn how governmental and non-governmental organizations alike can help more refugees access post-secondary education here.