JRS Chad: Young refugee students graduate as certified teachers

26 October 2021

Graduation ceremony of 23 refugee students at the Normal Superior School of Abéché, eastern Chad. Through this UNHCR-JRS scholarship funded by Porticus, LDS and JRS USA, over 60 refugees living in the camps in the East, studied in Abéché and have graduated as teachers, recognized by the Chadian system.

On October 20, 23 Sudanese refugees graduated to become full teachers at the Normal Superior School of Abéché (ENSA in French) through a JRS and UNHCR scholarship, in collaboration with ENSA, and supported by JRS USA and Latter-Day Saint Charities.

Local authorities, representatives of ENSA, NGOs, the students, and their families attended the graduation ceremony, organized by JRS at the Faculty of Medicine of UNABA, Abéché, in Eastern Chad. The event highlighted importance of overcoming barriers to higher education for refugees, to contribute to their own empowerment, inclusion and futures.

Through the opportunity to pursue higher education, Chad, JRS and UNHCR gave us the chance to acquire knowledge that can open the doors to the job market,” said Ibrahim  Mahamat, delegate of the ENSA graduates.

Since the launch of the scholarship in 2015, a total of 65 young refugees from thirteen different refugees camps have already graduated as teachers in geographer, history, and Arabic. The license is also certified by the Chadian system.

“You have now the knowledge, skills, confidence, compassion and ability of a qualified teacher,” explained Abaya Mahamat, Director of Internships and  Continuing Education.

“The Province of Ouaddaï will spare no effort to provide you with its unfailing support in the implementation of educational activities in the refugee camps of the province,” promised Daoud Doungous, Mayor of the city of Abéché.

“It is a moment when we share your joy, when your parents and teachers are proud of you,” said Denis Codjo Houzange, JRS Chad National Director.

People have been wanting women to be a housewife, but not a teacher; a cook, but not a manager, for too long. But we want to open their eyes. I encourage girls to be always at school, not to get married or be at home all the time waiting for the husband. In the future I want to study a masters and a doctorate and help my community,
says Nourassalam, ENSA graduate living in Kounoungou camp, Guéreda.

We faced some difficulties during the course, because the coronavirus affected the academic calendar, but thank goodness we managed at the end. We would like to thank the UNHCR and JRS for the unwavering support, otherwise we would not have made it this far
Brahim, ENSA graduate from Gaga camp.

Studying and taking care of the children was difficult for me, but determination is always rewarding. I was at the end of my third pregnancy when I was doing my internship, it was challenging! It is a pride for me, my family and my husband, because having a child should not be a fundamental obstacle to success,
Aisha Abderrahman, ENSA graduate living in Tredjing camp.