Uganda: The Power of Classroom Support

21 March 2019

Silvia, Nyakout, and Evaline in Uganda in front of their secondary school. (Jesuit Refugee Service)

Silvia, Nyakouth, and Evaline are classmates in an accelerated learning program hosted at a school in Adjumani, Uganda, where JRS is providing scholarships to some secondary school students. Silvia and Nyakouth are from South Sudan, while Evaline is from Uganda. They have each faced their own challenges in defying their cultures in order to access a secondary education. Now enrolled in school, all three are hopeful that their education can provide a future for them and their families.


Silvia, now 19, spent her childhood in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, returning to South Sudan in 2013. Like many South Sudanese refugees, her family experienced multiple displacements, having to flee their home on more than one occasion due to war and conflict. In 2018, Silvia and her family left South Sudan for the second time, arriving in Uganda. Despite the disruptions she faced in her education, she dreams of going to university and becoming a nurse.


Nyakouth, 24 years old, left South Sudan two years ago with her two young children – ages seven and five years old. She fled South Sudan because of the war and lack of educational opportunities. Her husband died and she is now left alone to care for her children. Yet, she perseveres and relies on a neighbor to watch her children while she goes to school – “I want to be educated so that I can get a job and send my children to school.”

I want to be educated so that I can get a job and send my children to school.


Evaline, 23 years old, is from Uganda. It was difficult for her family to pay for her school fees, so she left school at age 15, married and became pregnant. After the unexpected death of her newborn, she separated from her husband and decided to return to school – “I talk to fellow girls in the class, I tell them my story because it was not easy.”

Read our policy brief, Her Future: Challenges & Recommendations to Increase Education for Refugee Girls that calls for policymakers, donors, and other decision makers to prioritize education for refugee and displaced girls and provides recommendations to improve access.