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Xavier Project: Tamuka Hubs. Community Centres and Libraries for Refugees in Kampala. (update 01/07/15 see prototype, budget and video)

Five hubs in Kampala will provide safe spaces and learning opportunities for refugees so that they can integrate into Ugandan life.

Photo of Edmund Page
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Tamuka Hubs will provide safe learning spaces for refugees in Uganda who currently have nowhere to meet and socialise, share experiences and gain the skills necessary for them to integrate into Ugandan life. The hubs will be ‘owned’ by the communities themselves in terms of the creative direction they take. However, Xavier Project will provide different levels of support to the hubs dependant on the communities applying and graduating through different tiers of engagement to achieve each output. In this way the project is self-piloting as resources will only be expended on achieving hubs. Refugee groups who prove a level of organisational structure and integration will be provided with a space (Output One), followed by infrastructure and learning material (Output Two) and finally dedicated staffing (Output Three). The learning material includes library resources, computers and internet and full access to a personalised learning platform with bespoke courses covering languages, finance, social media, graphic design and more. Staff in Output Three will add professional guidance to this learning and run courses according to the demand identified by the refugee management committees.

WHO BENEFITS?

This idea will primarily benefit refugees living in Kampala, but the idea will promote local integration so in that respect Ugandans will also directly benefit from the idea. Currently there are around 80,000 refugees living in Kampala and many of them are not able to access the opportunities that would enable them to integrate into Uganda life for various reasons including finance and xenophobia. Our hubs will promote inclusiveness, gender equality and solidarity among nationalities.

PROTOTYPE

For a group to get to Output One, there are three clear steps that must be taken

1. Xavier Project makes a presentation to a community of refugees living in Kampala on the Tamuka Hub opportunity.

2. In communities with relevant levels of interest a group of refugees converge to form a management committee.

3. Groups would be encouraged to apply for Output One by displaying their achievements so far and identifying a suitable space for their Tamuka Hub. Xavier Project has already run two prototypes and has two groups successfully running at Output Three.

Update 28/06/15: On 24th June we held another prototyping session to start recruiting our first management committees of refugees to start aiming for output one. We invited 24 refugees from three different nationalities and four divisions of Kampala. We started the session with an opening exercise in which the refugees looked at the same questions we had asked in the needs assessment, but this time they could see the results and were asked to come up with responses. It was reassuring to see that the solutions mirrored our own so we went on to give a detailed presentation about the opportunities and the outputs described above. We then left contact details and asked management groups to volunteer to open a Tamuka Hub in their area.

Update 30/06/15 Two days after the prototyping session two groups approached us. We have already met with the first one from Katwe it went very well. We have attached the minutes.

FEEDBACK

63% of refugees in our needs assessment (*EDIT* see ATTACHMENT) conducted in April and May 2015 claimed that they did not have a safe space to meet other refugees as a community. 65% could not afford to travel to local educational opportunities. For these reasons 92% of refugees in Kampala would value a new local community centre where they could learn and share experiences. 19% of graduates of Tamuka courses from our prototype have reported that the skills they learnt directly contributed to giving them employment opportunities within three months of graduation. This is encouraging given that Uganda currently has 64% youth unemployment – the highest rate in Africa. 85% of hub members asserted that they had been able to learn about their rights and discover opportunities that could help improve their lives. Our idea has changed from the prototypes when we went straight in at Output Two and we realised we needed to give more creative control and ownership to the management committees.

HOW IS THIS IDEA DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION (OR OTHER ORGANIZATIONS) IS ALREADY DOING?

Xavier Project is running two hubs which both inspired this idea. We have had many successes out of these hubs including running courses which nearly 1000 refugees stated helped them to provide better livelihoods. However, this idea is different in that we want it to be even more human centred. Whereas our initial hubs were always staffed by Xavier Project staff we hope these new hubs will be run by management committees made up of refugees (and some non-refugees) who will receive training and support from our full time staff. Our hubs are the only examples we know of where refugees can learn specifically and creatively about the reality of their situation alongside gaining relevant skills.

HOW WOULD YOU USE AMPLIFY FUNDING AND DESIGN SUPPORT?

We will refer back to the inspiration and ideation phases of this idea when implementing the idea and running regular needs assessments and looking for integrated digital and traditional M&E opportunities and this will inform funding decisions. Funding would be used for renting safe spaces (output one) providing resources (output two) and finally providing expert staff (output three). We would benefit from Design Support to help us use the limited resources to the greatest impact and see how we can best use additional external funding that we raise. However, management committees will understand that funding is contingent on availability and successful graduation through the outputs.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF THE CHALLENGE?

These hubs will be designed to specifically take cultural factors into consideration. This is partly a response to our initial hubs which had low engagement from women and a median age of 26 We will encourage women only activities and activities aimed at specific age groups such as older refugees and youth. The hubs will be designed for integration by encouraging involvement from Ugandans on the management committees. Most importantly, being refugee ‘run’ these hubs will only provide skills and experiences that are relevant to refugees, both in terms of understanding their situations as refugees and gaining the skills necessary for them to live fulfilled lives in their new communities.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM THE AMPLIFY TEAM

We do not have space here to copy all our answers below. In summary, the process of researching and learning on this platform has helped us make this idea more human centred and more inclusive.

The idea is more human centred than it was at the start of this process for three reasons: firstly we ran several needs assessments and prototyping sessions which helped us to prioritise not only the needs but also the ambitions of the refugees we are working with. Secondly we have learnt through prototyping that hub members will be more motivated, focused and efficient with resources if they have creative control over the direction of the hubs and the relevance of the learning. Thirdly, we reduce the risks by implementing a graduation process through the outputs which is contingent on the performance and aims of the management committees so in effect we put the success of the project in their hands. Investment will therefore be incremental and mirror this progress.

The idea has become more inclusive again after running prototyping sessions and needs assessments. We have learnt that today there is still a gap when it comes to women, girls and certain communities accessing safe learning opportunities in Kampala. We have adapted our idea to cater for this. For example, our recruitment will be designed to be more inclusive before management committees are even set up, and then graduation through the outputs will depend on appropriate levels of inclusiveness.

SKILL SHARE (optional)

Xavier Project uses education as a tool to improve the lives of refugees and many of our staff are teachers. At Output Three our staff will be experts in relevant fields. Refugees have claimed that the virtual learning platform at Output Two is relevant and exciting because they can learn at their own pace and engage in material that interests them. It is also very resource efficient. We have relied on open source software so we need advice here to provide the best possible learning experience.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

We believe that everyone has the right to equal opportunities and protection wherever they live and whatever their background. Globally this right is denied to refugees and we use education to change this. We operate as an NGO in Kenya (where we are implementing partners of UNHCR) and Uganda.

IS THIS AN IDEA THAT YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO TAKE FORWARD?

  • Yes, I have implementation capacity and am interested in and able to make this idea real in my community.

65 comments

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Photo of Chase Krenzke
Team

Edmund Page Hi Edmond, my name's Chase. I'm currently working on a similar project in Uganda and think we could both benefit from having a conversation around this. Please send me an email to krenz066@umn.edu so I can elaborate more. Looking forward to hearing from you, cheers!

Photo of Richard Zulu
Team

Hi Edmund, thank you for this! Your insights from the prototyping session are really important at this stage. It is great to see that you have taken the time to provide insight. I have a suggestion. Can you please indicate what you wanted to learn from the first prototype? What is it you wanted to test? What was the prototype?With regards to the learnings, rather than saying "the feedback received was positive", clearly articulate what it is you learnt and how it informed your assumptions.

From the second prototype, it seems you wanted to learn whether the urban refugees would be willing to self organise and run their own Tamuka Hubs, right? Can you clarify on why the "Needs assessment exercise" approach was taken? From the description of the second prototype, it seems to me not a prototyping exercise but a research exercise to further validate whether your idea of Tamuka hubs would be relevant to the urban refugees. If it is, can you further clarify what the second prototype actually is?

Photo of Kate Frewer
Team

Hello Richard,

Thank you for your questions on the prototyping process we have been going through.

Our first prototype session on 24th June was purely to test and learn about the fundamental principle of our idea, which is to make the hubs community led and to handover creative control to the refugees and community that will be using the space. Therefore the hypothesis we were testing was:

‘Refugees with limited or no access to a safe learning space will show interest and provide suggestions on how their community, supported by Xavier Project, could set up a hub with the view of forming management committees to facilitate this.’

To do this we needed to pilot the process of gathering members of the community, conducting an engagement exercise and then presenting the idea of the hubs to them to generate interest in setting up management committees. We were interested in the reaction of the attendees and feedback that they could provide. For this reason, we started with a group discussion on safe learning spaces and accessibility.

The prototype was a community meeting led by Xavier Project staff. The reason we prototyped this stage over any other stage of the process was that it enabled us to have direct contact with potential beneficiaries who, of course, can give the most accurate and beneficial suggestions and feedback so that we are able to develop and improve the process.

As already mentioned under the ‘Prototype’ section our learning’s include:

• A larger turn up than expected
• An overwhelming number of suggestions of what could be included in the hub. We learnt that there are many other avenues and activities that the community would like then originally assumed
• We also learnt that the idea did not appeal or raised barriers for women and elderly participants as the number that attended was low compared to men aged 22 – 28

Yes, you are correct about the second prototype to an extent. We were interested to find out if our presentation and community meeting could lead into an actual management committee. Here we were very much testing the level of interest and if this interest could be translated into a functioning group of people. It depends how you define prototype but I believe it was a prototype as the group of people are our first model and their actions and the way the meeting was held has allowed us to analyse this stage of the process. I agree it also had a research side to it too; surely these go hand in hand.

The ‘needs assessment exercise’ approach was taken as these projects are completely community run and used by the community of the management and therefore there would be absolutely no point in trying to set up a hub where it is not wanted/needed. Conducting the research reinforced our assumptions that these centres would be an asset to these areas of Kampala and therefore we would not be wasting time or resources.

The second prototype allows us to see the interaction and formation of a management committee and the dynamics involved in this. The session on 28th June provided us with this.

Things we learnt from prototype 2:

• People arrived very well prepared with preprepared notes, this taught us that we could find people who were really thinking about their individual contribution to the process and that this handover of creative control and management will hopefully come with ease
• The attendees wanted to immediately create roles within the committee. This showed us that having these structures in place could make the process more efficient and ‘user friendly’

I hope that clears things up a bit!

Kate

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

Hi Richard,

Just to add to what Kate said, perhaps confusingly we have been referring to our existing hubs in Kampala (and even what we have learnt in Nairobi) as prototypes too, because they very much inspired this idea. We have developed them as mentioned below and learnt from our experiences but we also hope we will be able to build on the successes we have had in these initial hubs in terms of providing safe spaces for refugees to learn relevant skills, enjoy learning, and share experiences and resources with each other.

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Hi Edmund,

As you know we've had a number of experts reviewing your idea. Here are a few questions our experts have for you. If you have some time to answer it, that would be great!

"Could you please provide a greater level detail on the programme design including how programming will respond directly to refugee needs/interests?"

and

"THANK YOU, this idea is a beautiful homage to LIFE LONG LEARNING! / / How will you ensure that the centers are utilized by all nationalities of refugees and not 'taken over' by certain ethnic groups? How will you ensure both genders and all age groups become users?"

Thanks!

The Amplify Team

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

"THANK YOU, this idea is a beautiful homage to LIFE LONG LEARNING! / / How will you ensure that the centers are utilized by all nationalities of refugees and not 'taken over' by certain ethnic groups? How will you ensure both genders and all age groups become users?"

Thanks, Kate has responded to this question below.

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

"Could you please provide a greater level detail on the programme design including how programming will respond directly to refugee needs/interests?"

Please see our attachment labelled 'concept note' for a fuller description of our idea. Here I describe the needs and interests that we have found in the refugee community and in the next post I will discuss our objectives and programme design:

Tamuka Hubs – The Need

The need - summary

It is difficult for urban refugees in Kampala to assimilate into their new communities as they can be victims of xenophobia and can struggle from language differences. They cannot easily find jobs in a saturated and nepotistic job market. Urban refugees spend on average 80% of their income on food and rent, leaving very little for other basic human needs such as education and health care. As a result access to formal education among refugees is extremely low and the education received is rarely of a good quality or relevant. Refugees face a lack of freedom of movement due to finances and harassment so often cannot access opportunities on the other side of the city. A lack of education and equal opportunities leads to negativity surrounding community cohesion and integration into Ugandan life. Despite the adversity, there are opportunities for refugees and successful local integration is the most likely durable solution. This proposal will create opportunities for refugees wherever they are, build the capacity of refugee communities and make local integration possible.

The need – education for children

In a rapid assessment conducted by Xavier Project in 2012/2013 in Kampala over 50% of children were missing out on formal education. In surveys conducted in 2012 and 2014 by far the biggest barrier to accessing education is finance. Xavier Project supports over 100 students in Kampala with school expenses. However, we have also opened a library in one of our existing Tamuka hubs for children who are unable to attend school. According to the Xavier Project assessment framework the regular students have been able to improve their reading skills by 16% in under a year. This idea will enable 1000 children to benefit from this same improvement.

The need – education for adults

Refugee adults are keen to benefit from life-long learning that will help them to understand their rights and options as refugees. There is an urgent need for this as refugees are currently left in the dark about the realities that concern their lives. In recent surveys we have found that over 90% of refugees living in Kampala expect to be resettled in the future, despite the fact that last year less than 1% of refugees in East Africa were resettled in third countries. Refugees take risks and make decisions that are not well informed as a result of this lack of awareness. In Malta there are over 5000 Somali refugees who have tried to cross the Mediterranean by boat and many of these migrants passed through the cities we work in before making the perilous journey which many of their companions did not survive. In 2012 Xavier Project set up the first Tamuka hub to enable refugees to learn about the situation they find themselves in and gain relevant skills. 19% of graduates of Tamuka courses have reported that the skills they learnt directly contributed to giving them employment opportunities within three months of finishing the course. This is encouraging given that Uganda currently has 64% youth unemployment – the highest rate in Africa. 85% of hub members asserted that through learning at the hubs they had been able to learn about their rights and discover opportunities that could help their lives. Despite these successes there are still many who are not benefitting from these opportunities. 65% of refugees in our needs assessment for this proposal have a monthly budget of less than $2 for education opportunities and 64% have no money to spare for transport to and from learning centres. 63% claimed that they did not have a safe space to meet other refugees as a community and 92% would value a community centre where they could learn and share experiences.

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

"Could you please provide a greater level detail on the programme design including how programming will respond directly to refugee needs/interests?"

Above I posted about the needs and interests we have discovered through this process and here I am going to talk about our objectives and the programme design.

Objective:
The objective of this proposal is to make vocational and life-long learning available to all refugees even in emergency situations.
Outcomes:
This objective will be achieved through the following outcomes:
Outcome 1: Safe learning and social spaces (Tamuka Hubs) will be provided to five refugee communities
Outcome 2: 1000 refugee children will access quality and relevant education in Tamuka hubs
Outcome 3: 1000 refugee adults will access lifelong learning opportunities which will support their livelihoods
Activities
These three outcomes will be achieved through three outputs. The first output will be the provision of a safe space for refugee communities (outcome one), the second output will be the provision of learning materials and the third output will be the provision of qualified staff (outcomes two and three) Outcome One: The first activity of this proposal will be to build the capacity of refugee communities. Refugees will be made aware of the tier system through community presentations in highly populated refugee areas. To achieve the first output of this incremental programme, refugee ‘Tamuka’ groups will demonstrate community cohesion through structured group meetings and a display of shared common goals. Steps towards integration with Ugandans at this early stage will be rated highly in the application for promotion to Output One. In the first output Xavier Project will provide a space for the Tamuka group. Thus refugee groups will now have a safe indoor space where they can socialise and share experiences.
Outcomes Two and Three: through a combination of an application and regular observations by Xavier Project staff, the new Tamuka Hub will be eligible for promotion to the second output after a minimum of three months. This output will involve provision of infrastructure in the hub such as computers, internet, and books. All members of the hubs will have access to Tamuka’s virtual learning platform which provides a personalised learning interface with both off-line and on-line resources, accessible for absolute beginners and experts alike. Beyond searching, the platform will have assessment tools which will ascertain the level of learning for each user in each subject and automatically design a progressive course for that user so that they learn what they want at the right pace. The content will focus on giving refugees the skills they need to realise their right to protection and equal opportunities. It will be stored on-line via cloud storage so users can access it from anywhere using the internet, but it can also be downloaded so that it can be accessed off-line as long as users have a smart phone, tablet or personal computer. The virtual hub will be tailored to the needs and ambitions of refugees by a full time programmer. Most of the software will be obtained from partners such as Tunapanda, the Rumie Initiative, Babbel and Outernet, as well as open-source platforms such as Wikipedia and Khan Academy.
Until this point the hub will be staffed by the community that benefits from it. To get to this output they must have shown the necessary enthusiasm to make the hub work on a voluntary basis which is why this project is self-piloting and resource efficient. However, to ensure refugees fully integrate into Ugandan life and access opportunities equally, trained staff will be provided in Output Three by Xavier Project to teach Tamuka courses and guide the learning of out of school children (Outcomes 2 and 3). Courses include basic ICT, life skills, finance and accounting, refugee studies, social media, graphic and web design, languages and many more. Adult members of the hubs so far have shown an ability to work independently, but the Tamuka staff will be especially useful in guiding the learning of the children who use the library facilities in the hubs provided at Output Two.

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

And here is a bit on Monitoring and Evaluation...

Monitoring and Evaluation will be carried out continuously throughout the programme. At Output One monitoring and evaluation will be done via observations, focus group discussions and surveys. In the initial community awareness presentations a clear framework for monitoring will be laid out and groups will need to provide data on their meetings and goals as a requirement to graduate to the next level. At Output Two the level of monitoring all members will register on the Tamuka virtual hub learning platform. Every time a user logs on or opens a programme the data is recorded at the central Xavier Project office, and when the user is using the service off-line the data is sent every time the local server connects to the internet. Through this we are able to monitor the progress of each hub member and evaluate the effectiveness of each programme on the learning platform. At Output Three permanent staff will evaluate the progress of the students in the hubs. Xavier Project has a linear assessment framework that assesses academic and non-academic progress from pre-school to post-graduate or equivalent. Refugee children and adults alike will be able to track their progress in various disciplines using this framework.

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Wonderful, thank you so much Edmund! Glad you were able to get online in time to answer these questions - we understand it can be challenging and really appreciate it the efforts of your team!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Congratulations on making it to the Refugee Education Refinement List, Edmund! We love that your idea emphasizes safe learning spaces for refugees. We’d like to learn a bit more about what part of your program is new in this proposal? We think that a User Experience Map http://ideo.pn/UX_Map would really help us get a sense of how you imagine the community interacting with a Tamuka Hub.

How does the learning that takes place within the hubs connect to the local school curriculum? How have you decided what will be taught at the Hubs? We know you have developed this idea out of your first hub, but what could you do in the next few weeks to test an aspect of the new parts of your idea? You may find this resource helpful: http://ideo.pn/Amplify_Prototype Great to see you in the challenge!

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

Hi Amplify Team,

Thank you for your comments and your questions. We have already done a couple of User Experience Maps – I hope you can see them in our attachments. We are now working on prototyping the first output and to kick things off we will be having a meeting in Najjanankumbi on Wednesday in which we will be making a presentation on the potential of this idea and recruiting potential management committees. We will be posting some more details on this meeting in the next few days and we look forward to giving and update on how it goes.

Regarding the curriculum of the learning opportunities in our hubs - for adults the hubs will offer opportunities to learn skills that are relevant to life in Uganda. We have a virtual learning platform which once installed can be accessed on-line and off-line and through this platform refugees will be able to access a multitude of courses from language to finance, refugee studies, social media, graphic design and many more. For children we will provide individualised learning opportunities but it is important to note that we do not intend the Tamuka Hubs to replace formal schooling and this is the situation now with our hub and library that we have in Nsambya, Kampala. It is the case that there are thousands of refugee children in Kampala who are not in formal schooling and we are trying to address this through our other programmes (for example we sponsor 100 children through school in Kampala and we build the capacity of schools in Kampala with teacher training and a mobile library). The hubs will act as temporary options for learning for children who are not able to go to school for various reasons and crucially the hubs will offer a safe space for children to enjoy learning out of school hours and in the holidays. Having said that, we will provide resources and opportunities that are designed to complement the Ugandan school curriculum. An example of this is in our current library where we teach children to read who are struggling at school and we provide school text books so that pupils can have a book of their own when they are revising or doing homework in the library/hub.

I hope this answers your question please let us know if we can elaborate on anything else. Thanks

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Thanks for the answers, Edmund! We love that you are continuing to test out elements of your idea and sharing what you learned with our community. It's great that in your pilot, adults found that the programming increased their employment opportunities. One thing that our team saw a lot were vocational training programs that didn't really match up with market opportunities. What do you think that your program did differently? What were they types of skills that contributed to increased employment opportunities for participants?

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

That is a good point. To start with it is important to note that entry into the job market is only one of our indicators of achievement, however it is also vital that refugees feel that the learning they access is relevant and skills that improve livelihoods are always going to have relevance. As mentioned in our content above 19% of our members managed to find formal employment within three months, but 85% said that the hubs gave them better opportunities for their livelihoods. This was achieved by giving a large amount of creative control to refugees themselves rather than dictating ourselves what courses would be taught. Also, our courses so far have been broad reaching, spanning from cash management training to graphic design and there were elements of each course that have helped refugees cope in their daily lives.

To be more specific in linking refugees to the job market we actively seek out potential employers and run career development courses such as CV and cover letter writing, as well as interview techniques. We have looked for gaps in the market and found that computer literacy can often be a pre-requisite for jobs despite the low prevalence of computer literacy as a skill so a lot of our courses have held ICT as a strong focus. ICT is also easy to continue learning after the course has finished, especially through the virtual learning platform we have established, and as such our courses are often just a springboard for more nuanced expert skill acquisition.

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

Dear All,

Please note that (after getting relevant permission) we have just uploaded as an attachment an application from a potential management committee and the minutes of the first meeting of a management committee that came out of our first prototyping session. Just to let you see the wheels turning!

Edmund

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Hi there,

As you know we've had some experts spend time reviewing your idea. Below is a comment from one of our experts. If you could please spend some time responding that would be great!

"THANK YOU, this idea is a beautiful homage to LIFE LONG LEARNING! / / How will you ensure that the centers are utilized by all nationalities of refugees and not 'taken over' by certain ethnic groups? How will you ensure both genders and all age groups become users?"

Thanks!

The Amplify Team

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

Sorry for the delay, I have been travelling without access for almost 10 days. I am back on-line now and will be working on this until the refinement stage closes so please keep the questions coming and we will answer them fully.

Many thanks

Edmund

Photo of Kate Frewer
Team

Hello Amplify Team!

We have learnt a lot about inclusion from our first two Tamuka Hubs, our Hub in Nsambya is mainly frequented by DR Congolese due to the nature of the location and from this experience we have many strategies to combat one nationality dominating the space. During the Ideo process we have seen a development of our current Hubs and from what we have learnt we are going to introduce a management committee which will be made up of different nationalities, this will mean that a multitude of interests, representations and inputs from different nationalities will be covered. It will also mean that cultural issues that perhaps are not obvious can be brought to the table. Approaching community leaders of different nationalities will also help to bring in people as it will be made clear that it is for everyone through our marketing strategy and presentations we will be making about the Hubs. If we can create a feeling of community within the Hub this will also promote cohesion. Perhaps setting up a football team, debate club or choir could help with this and strip down any barriers between nationalities.

As far as gender and age inclusion is concerned we also have gathered ideas through trial and error in our current Hubs. There are many barriers for females to access the Hub such as strict religious practices, parental control on where their daughters are allowed to visit and perhaps (as we have seen in Nsambya with our computer courses) the ICT sector is not seen as a feminine vocation by some parts of society. We would like to suggest to the management committees that they introduce times where there will be exclusive groups only, such as having a morning where only women have access to computers. Also by having a wide range of trainings, activities and resources we can attract women and a variety of ages more easily. Providing an area for children, whether it be a library or play area, will mean more children will attend and mothers will be able to bring children with them and therefore will not be so restricted to these learning opportunities.

If you have any other ideas please do let us know! We are always trying to promote inclusion and a wide range of nationalities, ages, genders and backgrounds to our Hubs.

Kate

Photo of Bodo Hoenen
Team

Great work! and it was great to meet you in Nairobi also!

Photo of Trevor z Hallstein
Team

Hi Edmund,

You've and your group have done some wonderful work. On the education component, are there members of the refugee community who are well educated and have the skills to teach others or do you pull in educators from outside of the camps?

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

Hi Trevor,

Thanks for your idea. In the past we have worked with teachers who are refugees and teachers who are not. We run some teacher training course and opportunities ourselves so we can support teachers who are new to the profession or are looking for extra support, but most of our staff who work directly in education are qualified as teachers in one way or another. We don't actually work in camps as all of our activities are in urban areas in East Africa so we do not need to make any special arrangements whether our teachers are refugees or not.

Best wishes

Photo of Trevor z Hallstein
Team

One small suggestion, you might want to put the link to your site in the 'Explain Your Idea' section,

http://www.xavierproject.org/

Photo of Emerimana Daniel Christian
Team

Hello Edmund,
This project is one of the few projects that recognize the fact that refugees are denied the right to equal opportunity and protection. From the explanation of your idea, I understand and believe that this project will make a good impact in the lives of refugees and as well as the Ugandan who will be receiving services of Xavier project. But it seems to me that you are focusing on refugees living in the urban areas such as Nairobi and Kampala; what do you think would be the impact of your project for refugees living in refugees camps such as Dadaab, kakuma and other refugee camps existing in Uganda? Do you have any plan of implementing such tremendous project in refugees camps? Moreover, I think that your project can be of great input to the idea I shared of having a MOOC Learning Hubs in Kakuma refugee camp. You can have a look on it here (https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/ideas/mooc-learning-center-in-kakuma-refugee-camp)
Daniel

Photo of Kate Frewer
Team

Hi there Daniel,

Thank you for your comment. I have looked at your idea and it looks like a really interesting concept. Conflict resolution workshops are something that we would like to introduce further into our Hubs if the users and management committees agree that it would be of use. The promotion of interpersonal and intercultural communication is of huge importance especially for our desired goal of complete integration into Ugandan society for our beneficiaries.

At Xavier Project our main focus is on urban refugees as that's our specialism. At the moment we are just looking at expanding our Tamuka Hubs within Kampala and can see a real need and want for them here. However, this does not mean in the future that we will not eventually expand into the settlements but at the moment we are staying within our current limits.

Do you think the MOOC Course would be suitable to use within an urban setting and if so are you looking to introduce it? Perhaps this is something we could collaborate on.

Kate

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on making it to the Refinement Phase Edmund! We would love it if you can take some time to answer the new Refinement questions that we've added to your original idea submission form. To answer the new questions, hit the Edit Contribution button at the top of your post. Scroll down to the entry fields of the new Refinement questions. Hit Save when you are done editing.

Also, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 5/11" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of Kate Frewer
Team

Thank you so much OpenIDEO - myself and the team are very excited to have been moved forward into the refinement stage and we're currently working on the refinement questions and development of our idea. Thanks!

Photo of Stephen Windsor
Team

Hi Edmund and Xavier Project, this is a great idea! I like your idea of the space being owned by refugees, can you explain a bit more about the need for spaces owned by refugees in competitive urban environments?

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your input. Welcome to IDEO I have added you to the team in case you have any more insights you can add (in the remaining few hours).

Work led by the Danish Refugee Council has found that urban refugees in East Africa spend on average 80% of their income on rent and food leaving very little for other basic human needs such as health care and education. Refugee income is desperately low on average as finding employment in a job market that is already saturated and often based on nepotism rather than merit. Many refugees in Kampala also struggle with language and this is a further barrier to employment. We have found through various surveys that a majority of refugees rely both emotionally and materially on their communities for support and this is not surprising given the above. Despite this 63% of refugees living in Kampala do not have anywhere to meet and share their resources and ideas and learn for free. Given that it is even harder for refugees to achieve in Kampala it is vital that they are able to learn the skills that are relevant for them and I believe that refugees themselves are the best people to decide what is relevant for them and what is not. This is why we are very insistent in this idea that refugees should have as much ownership as possible over the Tamuka Hubs. Meanwhile we can give our suggestions based on the successes of our library and the Tamuka Hubs so far, and provide the relevant training for refugees to get the best out of the spaces we provide.

Finally, we believe that ownership over the hubs will automatically promote integration as those involved will naturally adopt a sense of purpose and realise that integrating into Ugandan life is not only possible, but perhaps even preferable to pursuing other durable solutions. I would be interested to hear your comments on that and whether you can think of ways we can promote it further.

Photo of Stephen Windsor
Team

Thanks Ed.

Just regarding barriers to employment, and how these hubs could look when they are owned by refugees. Last year I was invited to meet with a Congolese refugee youth group that meets at the Antonio Guterres Community Centre in Mengo, Kampala. The Centre is managed by Interaid (UNHCR's urban implementing partner). The refugee youth group I met with explained that they get many SGBV and other awareness sessions, but what they would really like is to be able to use a room at the Community Centre as a place for their businesses (a few were hairdressers, another had a photography business), either to actually do their work there, or at least meet clients there. They explained that a barrier to getting work was that they did not have a fixed space where potential clients can find them. This meant that some potential clients did not trust them and so were unwilling to engage their services. Interaid had not been receptive to their idea of being able to meet clients there at the Community Centre. I think the idea of the Tamuka Hubs being genuinely owned by refugees is tremendously important. I imagine that using the Hubs as a place to meet clients, and as a place where clients are able to trace you, is just one of the ways that the Hubs could be used to help refugees get better access to consistent employment and business.

Stephen

Photo of Edmund Page
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I completely agree, and I think a kind of business 'incubator' could be one good function for the hubs, but the great thing is that we don't need to decide that ourselves or now, as the refugee management committees of the hubs will have creative control over that.

Photo of Stephen Windsor
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Yes, absolutely. That's my favourite part of the idea.

Photo of Heidi McKinnon
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Hi Edmund, I have saved the Learning Kiosk idea to review. As a small NGO, we were a bit concerned that ideas added to the challenge are not proprietary. We welcome your comments.

Photo of Edmund Page
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Could you give me a link, it's quite hard to find...? Thanks

Photo of Edmund Page
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Ah I found it https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/ideas/learning-kiosk. I really like the concept of Curators without Borders and the Learning Kiosks look great. Do you think there would be potential for it in an urban setting?

Photo of Daniel Njuguna
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Very well.
This is awesome idea My.Eddy

Photo of Daniel Njuguna
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Wow,,brilliant Idea

Photo of An Old Friend
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This is a great idea. There is a long waiting list for the Tamuka Hub courses, offering more places where refugees can come and learn is a great way of investing for the future.

Photo of Iris Zielske
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I think expanding the Tamuka Hubs in this way has lots of potential for impact. I am curious as to what kind of partners you have worked with or are in touch with in regards to identifying and/or developing the learning content for your virtual platform. Hope to visit on of your hubs the next time I am in Kampala.

Photo of Edmund Page
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Dear Iris,

Thanks for you comment and your question. At the moment we are partnering with www.tunapanda.org . They provide a tailored video learning experience which is available off-line through an individualised login. Through this interface we can monitor the video courses taken by the Tamuka students and evaluate the impact of each course. We also have a partnership with Babbel who have given us their language learning software for free. On our servers we have all the Khan Academy videos available at any time to all users and an off-line version of Wikipedia. We have also been approved to go into a pilot study with Outernet who's ideas are on this website and we are hoping to go into a similar partnership with the Rumie Initiative. After these conversations we have discovered many others such as Code Door, Inveneo and SOLE - hopefully through OpenIDEO we will be able to collaborate with these organisations as well. We have developed some of our own courses too, both video and on Moodle, such as a basic cash management and accounting course which is available on all our servers.

Edmund

Photo of Kate Frewer
Team

Hi Iris,

Thank you for your comment.

Edmund has given an in depth run down of our partners and as you can see there's a lot going on.

I wondered if you had any other ideas for potential partners? I know you are very knowledgable about such organisations and we are always open to new suggestions.

Thanks again and please do come by when you are in Kampala, you are most welcome.

Kate

Photo of Njoroge Kamau
Team

HI Xavier,

I like this idea and especially the way the refugee comunity will have management of the hubs, but I was wondering a) how will you make sure they have the skills to manage the hubs and b) how will you measure impact?

Photo of Kate Frewer
Team

Hello Njoroge,

Thank you for your comment.

We will be running capacity building sessions for all of our management committees once per month in our main office where we will cover everything from solidifying a vision for each hub to management and sustainability.

Regarding the monitoring and evaluation it will be carried out continuously throughout the programme. At Output One monitoring and evaluation will be done via observations, focus group discussions and surveys. In the initial community awareness presentations a clear framework for monitoring will be laid out and groups will need to provide data on their meetings and goals as a requirement to graduate to the next level. At Output Two the level of monitoring all members will register on the Tamuka virtual hub learning platform. Every time a user logs on or opens a programme the data is recorded at the central Xavier Project office, and when the user is using the service off-line the data is sent every time the local server connects to the internet. Through this we are able to monitor the progress of each hub member and evaluate the effectiveness of each programme on the learning platform. At Output Three permanent staff will evaluate the progress of the students in the hubs. Xavier Project has a linear assessment framework that assesses academic and non-academic progress from pre-school to post-graduate or equivalent. Refugee children and adults alike will be able to track their progress in various disciplines using this framework.

I hope this has answered your questions?

Thanks again for your contribution,

Kate

Photo of Olivier Matanda
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The idea is really good, specially creating a safe space for refugees where refugees can meet and learn different skills,creating this space will provide more opportunities like meeting different people from different back ground and learn different cultures. the most important think with all this is to have somewhere refugees can find themselves having the right of he voice and where they can feel free to do anything they want.
 Xavier project and Soccer Without Borders did first a research about Education need for refugees in Uganda Kampala, this was easy for Xavier project to come up with a brilliant idea like this since they went on ground and find out the truth about what is a need for refugees education in Kampala.
So this is one of the big partnership that Xavier project have with soccer without borders borders because they are sponsoring about fifty (50) children who are in Ugandan schools now.

Photo of Edmund Page
Team

Thanks Olivier,

We love your idea as well and it has been remarkable to see the way SwB have given hope to so many refugees in Kampala. I hope we can continue partnering in the future.

Photo of Olivier Matanda
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Thanks Eddy for you support and all your input.
to make sure everything goes right.

Photo of Peter Irungu
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As the numbers of global refugees continue to grow, the resources for refugee protection and humanitarian assistance continues to dwindle.This is mainly attributed to world economic recession which has negatively affected the traditional big donors and contributors to the UN Refugee agency ( UNHCR).Again, the emergence of new hot spots such as Syria has also stretched the UNHCR meager resources,

As a result UNHCR has been forced to scale down on some of its vital services such as provision for safe and accessible education for refugees.UNHCR budget for education in Africa in general and Uganda in particular has either been cut or does not increase in proposition to the numbers of population under its concerns.
What this means is that more and more refugees in Uganda are finding it hard to access education and learning opportunities.

The idea of Xavier Project:Community centres and libraries for refugees in Kampala comes at an ideal time to try to bridge this gap and address an existing need.Research done in Kampala by various researchers has shown that education is the most durable solutions for refugees in Uganda.

Photo of Heidi McKinnon
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Edmund, I appreciate your idea and see a lot of synergy with the learning hubs we are proposing for Dollo Ado.

Photo of Edmund Page
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HI Heidi,

Have you listed that as an idea? I would be interested to learn more. Thanks

Photo of Elvis Wanume
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This a very good idea which is already working and this means it is double but don't you think if you also integrated this idea with on line short courses would be good?
Thank you

Photo of Edmund Page
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Hi Elvis,

Thanks for your idea. We are already provide access to some short on-line courses run on our server, particularly in the area of finance and accounting and languages (through Babbel). These are actually available off-line as well.

Photo of Elvis Wanume
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Thank you

Photo of Douglas Mwangi
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What a brilliant idea!! I once visited tamuka hub in kampala and the demand for community information centre for refugee is overwhelming by the high number who want to learn skills that will help them gain a sustainable livelihood. This is the way to go Xavier Project.

Photo of Alioku John
Team

i think i have the same passion for this but with formal education first because where i came from and where i got my education from i was told that education is a key and when you are educated it means that you have got some learning though most education is achieved when you are at home but this but that does not guarantee you to become self esteem and self reliance, according to kajube specialized educationist in Uganda he said "Education is the last thing you remember after you have forgotten every thing". to my context i do agree with him because when we have learned some thing at school and then later forget about it, that small part which will be left is what is called education i am with the view to support education mostly to refugees because after the wars they will be repatriated to there countries so what they will remain with is the papers and some thing in the mind i am very positive to give refugees what ever it takes provided a child has got education which will remain in his mind and have qualification to show he was educated.
development can never come out of uneducated people in the society thus why whenever there is highly level of education the following will be prevailed
1.democracy in the country and the this will show good governance because democracy is principle of good governance
2. equity and quality in the society in girls and boys
3. effectiveness and efficiency things will be done in accordance owing to man power which is skilled
4. justice and fairness, rule of law will prevail
for that above has to be done with education for both girls and boys and this is serious issue with refugees where ever, they are they must access education but the question is how?
partners need to be supported through financing education for refugees so that they can later cause change in the countries. case in point is about the long war in Congo if all Congolese refugees get educated in what ever countries they are then the problems will easily be handled through dialogue and this will enhance better understanding hence practice good governance 8 principles thanks a lot to Xavier project staff ,empowering refugees through education sponsorship love there work

Photo of Kawooya Edgar
Team

Thank you Xavier Project for coming up with this nice idea. I really support the community hub concept as it will bring ICT skills to forced migrants, as a student of refugee studies and practitioner in the refugee field, I strongly believe that local integration at the moment is the only realistic durable solution that refugees have in Uganda. Also the community hub idea is sustainable in the sense that it’s managed and owned by the refugee community itself.

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Tamuka hub in Nsambya already has more than 300 refugees that are on a waiting list to be trained and it always receive atleast 75 refugee hub users per day that come and make busy themselves with different activities. Therefore I am sure and agree with Edmund that with these more 5 hubs in Kampala, they will help refugees to intergate in Uganda life, earn a living , create opportunities and become self realiant.

Photo of BILLY
Team

This is the eye opener to the urbern refugees on ICT. Thank you XP for bringing out this great empowering idea .

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Wow Xavier is already doing a great job with Tamuka Hub teaching and introducing refugees to ICT, this will broaden their knowledge and how to manage their lives while making communication easier. IT is so wide I am sure in future you will avail refugees with more packages on addition to what you are currently doing.
Good job and thanks for supporting the refugee community.

Photo of Kate Frewer
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Thanks for your comment Joselyn, good to hear from you!

Photo of Richard Zulu
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Great idea here. Edmund, I see some similarities and potential synergies of your idea with this idea on "The bridge to formal schooling" by Yarid https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/ideas/a-bridge-to-formal-schooling.

I am curious to know the skills that you have imparted onto these refugees in the Tamuka hubs given that they have provided direct employment.

Photo of Kate Frewer
Team

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your comment.

We have looked at YARID's idea and there are most definitely crossovers and similarities. Thanks.

The skills that we provide and train our beneficiaries in include (and are not limited to): Computer Basics which includes: MS Word, MS Excel and making Power Point presentations. These have directly helped with gaining employment as they can be seen as basic requirements for many work places. We also run a Social Media course which includes teaching refugees how to set up email addresses, Facebook and Twitter accounts, etc. Even a simply thing such as having an email address, which can be taken for granted, maybe a barrier to gaining employment in an already saturated job market.

Other trainings include more specific and specialized skills such a Graphic Design. This enables refugees to gain employment through a desired skill set but also, from our prototypes, we have seen that people have been able to use these skills for their own marketing. A great example is a graduate from one of our courses last year who voluntarily repatriated back to DRC and now runs a successful printing business who used Facebook to self promote and the skills he learned to make desirable posters and leaflets. The decision to start running Graphic Design courses stemmed purely from feedback from the Hub users which we think is an extremely important factor and this is something we will focus heavily on with the Satellite Hubs - users’ wants and needs.

Life Skills and Career Development sessions are also a large contributing factor to increasing employability of our students. Within these we are able to help with CV and cover letter writing and advise on issues surrounding employment and rights of refugees. Through education we also increase confidence and self worth which can be a huge asset when in an interview and trying to sell yourself!

I hope that gives you a clearer picture of some of the classes we offer and why we see them as important.

Photo of Dexter Findley
Team

Hi all: we've just completed a needs assessment of two refugee communities in Nairobi, and found that community Hubs along the lines of the above Idea would be strongly welcomed. I've attached the report below, but its core findings are as follows:

- 76% of respondents said they do not have any learning opportunities in their area (Libraries, Computer Schools, Language Courses, Vocational training etc)

- A stunning 92.5% said they can't afford the fees associated with these learning opportunities, in their area or not.

- All this from a population that is very sporadically educated: for example, only 16% of female respondents from Eastleigh had completed Secondary Education.

- What's more, traveling around Nairobi is very hard for refugees, due to police harassment and cost of travel. When asked to rate ease of movement around Nairobi out of 5, the average was 1.7.

- Safe spaces to meet are also an issue. 70.4% of respondents said they do not have a safe space to meet as a community within walking distance; most of those who said they did, said that their safe space was their homes.

- All in all, when asked if they would like a Tamuka community Hub in their area, managed and directed by the community along the lines of the above Idea, 95% of respondents said YES.

Here's the link: https://drive.google.com/a/xavierproject.org/file/d/0B_ShyJ3aXYL_LWdvY0xWYXRIUnM/view?usp=sharing

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Edmund for this wonderful idea. Providing refugees with a space to learn and share is one of the ways to reduce idleness among refugees especially the youth whom the majority don't have access to formal education. Cheers!

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Congrats on this post being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Peter Irungu
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Edmund this is fantastic.Providing free and easy to access life long learning spaces to urban refugees in Kampala will be a multi facet blessing.The learning spaces will also be open for community meetings,sharing experiences forums and cultural exchange meeting points thus reducing stereotypes and suspicion among various communities and nationalities.