Kenya: Fighting for a Future During COVID-19

16 April 2020

JRS’s post-secondary education programme in partnership with the Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) gives refugee students like Rozine the possibility to pursue a college degree online.

Rozine is a 21-year-old refugee from Rwanda and currently living in Nairobi with her family. She is one of the young refugees participating in JRS’s post-secondary education program in partnership with the Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), which gives refugee students the possibility to pursue a college degree online.

JRS is cognizant of the challenges online learning may present and the importance of providing the proper and necessary conditions to ensure that every student can focus and fully participate throughout their course. Caring for the students’ psychosocial and emotional wellbeing is crucial to achieving this, and JRS staff takes every opportunity to make the students feel supported. Refugees meet daily at the JRS compound in Nairobi, where they can find support by our program managers, as well as a conducive atmosphere to study, regardless of their conditions at home.

Refugee girls particularly face disproportionate barriers in accessing and sustaining their education. Rozine is particularly aware of the need to empower women and the importance to grant them equal opportunities as are given to her male peers. “As women we should understand that we were created for such a critical time as this, so we should do everything to achieve what we want in life.” She chose to study Communications to achieve her dream of becoming a journalist.

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world, and the resulting measure to close the JRS premise in Nairobi, we are exploring alternative solutions for our students to continue their studies and keep building their futures. Thanks to our partnership with SNHU, we were quickly able to distribute laptops, modems, and data bundles so that the students are able to connect and continue their studies from home.

COVID-19 will not stop students like Rozine from developing their talents, and we look forward to the day she will become a great journalist.