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International Day of the Girl: ‘Education is like oxygen for us’

10 Oct 2019Empowering People
2 minute read

Fugia is determined to overcome gender discrimination and the challenges of living in a refugee camp so she can get an education.

Nine million girls of primary school age will never start school, or set foot in a classroom, compared to about three million boys, according to the latest projections from UNESCO.

Four of those nine million live in sub-Saharan Africa, which has the lowest rate of primary school enrolment globally.

Many live in refugee camps.


Challenging social norms

Fugia lives in the Kakuma refugee camp in north-west Kenya.

She says the community in the camp are not supportive of girls pursuing an education. Fugia’s mother was concerned about what other members of the community were saying about her daughter studying.

She suggested she leave school, but Fugia was determined to continue her studies.

“Not every human being gets a chance of going to school. It’s rare to many people, especially to us here in the camp,” says Fugia.

“But it’s a right. It’s like oxygen for us. A person can never live without oxygen…I want to become a doctor to help people like me, and inspire others to say ‘I’ll be like her’”.

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‘Buddha’ involves Gerry tucking his legs beneath his chest and closing his arms around them while he flies through the air at the top of the pipe, before speeding back down again – backwards. Picture Credit: Vodafone

Access to education

Fugia is one of 86,000 students benefitting from the Vodafone Foundation’s tablet-based learning programme in refugee camps, which includes the Instant Classroom ‘digital school in a box’.

This is a portable case that facilitates quality learning in schools where electricity and internet connectivity are unreliable or non-existent.

Each Instant Classroom is shipped in a secure and robust case that weighs 52kg, and comes equipped with a laptop, 25 tablets pre-loaded with educational software, a projector, a speaker and a hotspot modem with 3G connectivity.

The kit can be charged as a single unit from one power source in 6-8 hours, after which it can be used for an entire day without access to electricity.

The programme is deployed in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Innovation and Education units to 36 schools in eight refugee settlements in Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • Africa
  • Everyone.connected
  • Empowering People
  • Vodafone Foundation

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