Kenya: Urban refugee girls, women to benefit from e-learning initiative

Urban refugee girls in Kenya are set to benefit from an e-learning and tele-counselling initiative by a conglomerate of community development organisations.

RefuSHE, an East African organization committed to protecting the rights of refugee women and children, has teamed up with Kytabu, an education technology firm, and Wazi, a digital mental health service provider, to develop a tailored curriculum and mental health package for refugee girls and women aged 17 to 40.

Refugee women and girls will be able to overcome barriers to literacy and numeracy skills by accessing information through digital platforms, which may include mobile applications. Owing to a lack of identity papers, they are often shut out of formal learning institutions. 

Ms Rose, senior director of RefuSHE Digital Literacy and Education Innovation, stated that the beneficiaries would be equipped with vocational and entrepreneurship skills, among other things.

They will also have access to counsellors who will provide psychosocial assistance.

“Access to information will not be limited to the refugee girls and women in Nairobi and the peri-urban areas. It will be available to all refugee women and girls across the country,”

The partners are currently packaging the information as advised by the needs evaluation performed on the targeted community with the financial support of the Mastercard Foundation.

Mr Daniel Hailu, regional head of the Mastercard Foundation in Eastern and Southern Africa, exemplified the project as one strategy for building community resilience to economic shocks. 

In a joint statement released on March 25, he said, “Digital technology can enable economic recovery and build the resilience of vulnerable communities,”

“Enabling a large-scale economic rebound requires an integrated and inclusive approach that reaches all MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises),” he added.

Mr Tonee Ndungu, the founder of Kytabu, claimed that the initiative would bridge the knowledge gap among refugee women and chiland girls.

“For the longest time, vulnerable communities like refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been ignored by mainstream education technology solutions…(yet) more than 16 per cent of people in the world are either refugees or IDPs,” he said in the statement.

Wazi, chief executive officer,  Mr Alex Royea said the tailored curriculum and mental health package will be informed by the best practices in mental health, education, and refugee support.

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