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Visitng Dadaab Refugee Camp

During the past week, a group of us, from the Faculty of Education at UBC had an opportunity to visit one of the largest refugee camps in the world – Dadaab Refugee Camp in North-East Kenya. The goal of our visit was to help establish a teacher education program in the camp, such as the children have an opportunity to get education and have an opportunity to leave the camp to pursue careers that require education. While the students in the West take an opportunity to go to school for granted, the children there consider going to school a luxury. For almost 400,000 people in the camp they have only 6 secondary schools. This is too few, especially considering the local demographics. Despite the difficulty of travel, an emotional and cognitive overload while there and relatively difficult conditions (compared to what we are used to), visiting the camp was a very powerful experience for me. One one hand, seeing the conditions the people in the camp live in was difficult. However, on the other hand, it was very inspirational to see how much these students yearn education and how much they value this opportunity. I hope we will be able to establish this program and I hope to be able to design interesting and relevant science methods courses for their teachers to be. In the photo you see teachers who teach in the camps, but most of thwom have never been educated beyond the secondary school.

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