Teachers from Kakuma refugee camp successfully complete their teacher training at UCJC

Foundation University Camilo José Cela and the Women for Africa Foundation have presented today the results of the ‘Sabias de Kakuma’ project. A pioneering educational training programme in Spain aimed at women who work as teachers in one of the largest refugee camps in the world, Kakuma in Kenya, with the objective of promoting the quality of the education that refugee children receive and giving opportunities for the teachers themselves.

Rehema Sango, Martha Korok and Elizabeth Kitulo are three of the over 150,000 people living in the Kakuma refugee camp, one of the largest in the world, located in northern Kenya. There they work as teachers in three of the 26 schools where children in this camp study. The Kakuma refugee camp has 21 primary and 5 secondary schools, with 96% academic success rates, the highest in Kenyan county. The current challenge in Kakuma is to increase the enrolment rate in secondary education, which is now only 2%.

Nieves Segovia, at the opening of the event, confirmed that this project will continue in the future with more teachers taking part. The president of SEK Education Group – to which University Camilo José Cela belongs – said that “one in five children do not have access to education” and called for more teacher training. “We need 70 million teachers in the world in the coming 10 years to reach all children.”

The three women, between 20 and 31 years old, have taken part in the ‘Sabias de Kakuma’ project, a three-month academic training programme at University Camilo José Cela, finishing by working as trainee teachers at SEK International School El Castillo.

“88% of teachers in Kakuma are refugees, only 10% are women, and 80% have no training” explained Elizabeth Kitulo. Rehema Sango, on the other hand, talked about the courses they received on education, communications, technology, Spanish or healthcare in a transversal programme designed by UCJC. Lastly, Martha Korok talked about collaborative learning techniques, the student-centred approach where students are responsible for their own learning, active and group methodologies and how they applied their learning by teaching students and teachers at SEK International School El Castillo.

University Camilo José Cela, through its foundation, provided a grant for teachers to study this course, along with support and integration schemes, financial support for transport, accommodation and maintenance during their stay in Spain and with a psychosocial and emotional monitoring and evaluation plan, given their refugee status.

Furthermore, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, President of the Women for Africa Foundation, said in her speech that “Only 63% of children in refugee camps are in school, compared to the world average of 91%. This is why I knew we had to be committed to education and do it with the help of women, of teachers.” María Teresa Fernández de la Vega visited Kakuma in November 2017 to see for herself the environment for which the project was designed.

University Camilo José Cela, through its foundation, evinces the values of solidarity, tolerance and respect for cultural, economic and social diversity that SEK Education Group and University Camilo José Cela wish to instil in their students.

At the close of the event, Emilio Lora-Tamayo, Rector of University Camilo José Cela, has advocated for the importance of these types of initiatives, since “over 14,000 orphaned children arrived in Kakuma seeking a better life. Not having access to education is an injustice, and that is why their teachers have so much merit”. He also alluded to the learning experiences these type of initiatives afford students and teachers of University Camilo José Cela itself.

The ‘Sabias de Kakuma’ project joins other initiatives promoted by the Foundation University Camilo José Cela, such as the refugee cooperation project, Integra Project, launched in September 2016.