Since August 2014, as part of my role at UBC, I have worked with a group of dedicated student teachers, who live (lived) in Dadaab, Kenya – a refugee camp of 350,000 + people. They taught elementary and secondary schools in the camps as they studied to complete their Diploma in Teacher Education. Now, about 87 have graduated with this credential and are certified secondary teachers in Kenya and Somalia. Some have gone onto degree programs as well, and are nearing completion of their program.
Last summer, I had the immense privilege to travel to Kenya and into Dadaab to meet many students and be a part of their pre-graduation celebration. There, I was finally able to meet many tenacious and giving teachers. This is when I met Jama.
Of course, we had met and communicated many times over email, but here we met face- to-face. We have stayed in touch since that time, and I have learned so much more about the incredible work he is doing in Somalia in his hometown of Kudhaa.
He has started a school for the local children, where 620 students ages 7 – 15 attend daily, and where just over half are orphaned. He and his team have made a huge difference in the lives of these children, but they cannot do it without our collective help.
Although the on-going cost of sending a child to school in Somalia is $6.00 USD/ month, it is more than many can afford. Yet, we will spend this on a coffee and muffin without giving it much though.
Right now, they are in desperate need of financial support. There is not a single textbook in the school apart from teacher text references. Although there is water, it is not on site, nor is it clean. The water currently comes from a salty open air beach well that is contaminated with assorted debris (this is evident in images on the new website). They have a single toilet for the entire school to use. The school also needs a kitchen to feed students a single noon-hour meal, but presently has none.
The demand for education is very high, but the space allotted for the school is not enough. They are presently re-using former army buildings. They are doing the best they can with what little they have, but I am calling upon you to give what you are able to help them rebuild their hope and keep this dream alive and growing.
I am very pleased to share with you their registered Somali charity – and their newly launched website – to share their successes, strategies and their needs.
The donation link is really easy – goes through pay-pal – (that takes 5% … but it is secure payment). I know that every bit helps. I will write more about the program, and progress. Please share widely!!!