OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

A Bridge to Formal Schooling (Updated 13.07.2015)Prototypes and Feed back

Uniting parents, children, and teachers to integrate refugee children into mainstream education

Photo of robert hakiza

Written by

EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

This project introduces a multidimensional approach to promote the integration of refugee children into the Ugandan formal education system by offering 1) a specialized educational bridging program for refugee youth, 2) skills training and sensitization program for refugee parents aimed at addressing and expanding views on the importance of education, and 3) mainstream schools with the extra support they need to accommodate refugee children. Refugee children will be encouraged to take part in our training centres where they will gain the essential skills and knowledge needed to join formal education, by nationally recognized teachers assisted by members of the refugee community and mentors. At the a separate venue, parents of the children will be required to complete a sensitization course on the importance of, and strategies to, support their children in school. They will also gain access to a training skills courses in order to support the enrollment, continuation and success of their children in school. The mainstream schools and teachers, who will receive extra support in securing effective integration of this demographic of students. http://www.yarid.org/education

WHO BENEFITS?

The primary beneficiaries will be the refugee children between the ages of 6-17 living in Kampala; the parents who will be provided sensitization training and support in income generating activities and mentorship; and the mainstream schools and teachers, who will receive extra support in securing effective integration of this demographic of students with increased access to an expansion of this communication channels within these communities.

PROTOTYPE

This idea was built with and by the people affected by conflict themselves. The idea is to create a centre where children will be trained for three to six months, depending on the level of need, before beginning formal education. YARID had in total 3 prototyping sessions: Update: 01/07/15: on 29 June we first had a prototyping session with at Katwe Central primary School where we've been offered a space to pilot this project. the session was about to identify the children primary needs in the training centre, and also to discuss the support teachers need to make they work easy teaching refugees. In total 9 teachers participated in a focus group discussion and in one on one interview. we also talked to 12 refugee children to identify the challenges they face at school and their needs. The same day we had anther prototyping session with 18 refugee parents and key refugee community leaders in a group discussion at the YARID literacy centre to identify the forms of support refugee parents need to support their children's education. Update: 02/07/15: On 1st July we had another prototyping session Katwe Primary school where we talked to both teachers and students from both Katwe Central P/S and Katwe P/S. In total 8 teachers were interviewed of which 5 from Katwe Central P/S and 3 from katwe P/S. Direct questions were asked during an interview to identify the subjects to cover in the bridging program.

FEEDBACK

Based on conclusions drawn from discussion with the teachers all of them agreed that it is difficult for refugee children to make it at the mainstream school without the bridging program. They also raised the fact that the new education system is not the only challenge refugee children face but also the lack of school fees and scholastic materials. one of them said that the refugees need guidance and counseling. only one of them reported to be familiar to the refugee issues. They showed their interest of learning about refugee experience. they emphasized on English, Numeracy and Science as lessons to be taught in the bridging program. Refugee Children on their side mentioned the language barrier as the hardest part of being in school in Uganda. 4 of them said it's difficult to concentrate in class because of failing to understand what the teacher say while only 2 reported to be treated badly by fellow students. 1 student said she's not motivated to come to school because she may get resettlement any time. From the discussion/interview with the refugee parents we learned that financial support was the one the majority wanted. 11 of them reported that it's only when we combine the skills training and start up capital that they can feel supported. All of them supported the idea of Bridging program saying that it's what the refugee children want in integrate the Ugandan Schools. 9 of them said they never attend parents meeting because of language barrier.

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

While the concept of fostering relationships between refugee children, parents and national teachers is one that is widely recognized as a need in particularly protracted refugee situations in developing countries, national teachers and schools remain rarely integrated into discussions on refugee education. Rarer still, are situations in which refugee communities are putting themselves in direct communication with national structures and offering to co-produce solutions!This is what makes this idea different from what other organizations do. YARID has direct access to refugee communities because it is an organization founded and run by refugees. (for full response please see attachment)

HOW WOULD YOU USE AMPLIFY FUNDING AND DESIGN SUPPORT?

Funding needs to be split between implementation and curriculum development. Curriculum development is important in terms of quality and efficiency. Quality because we want to develop a curriculum that can enable us to teach the best possible bridging programme. Efficiency because if we are able to produce a comprehensive and adaptable curriculum, when the idea gains broader support, it will spread more efficiently as there will already be a curriculum ready to be adapted and used. (full response please find attachment) Amplify 'design support' could assist with the scaling up and professionalization process.

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

Given the current context revolving around refugees in Kampala, we are surrounded by a vast array of skills that are not being utilized. We work with refugees who have teaching skills but no where to teach, we work with countless refugee parents who have the time and drive to help their children learn but lack the means to do so, and we have an existing education system already in place. Our approach strives to connect these skills and assets with areas in which they are needed. Making the most of existing assets is approach that is also extremely important within the broader context of sustainable development.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM THE AMPLIFY TEAM

How this fits with the Ugandan education system? YARID's training program supports improvement in the functioning of the Ugandan education system. One of the biggest obstacles involved with policy is that bridging classes for refugee students are often considered by the Ugandan government and its partners to be special treatment, as their legal commitment is to provide education to refugees at the same level as nationals. In order for reconciliation classes to gain acceptance and become incorporated into the Ugandan education system, the Ugandan government must realize that education cannot be provided to refugees at the same level as nationals without the support of these integration trainings. Providing this support and training is the only way for refugees to obtain access to equal education. (see attachment) For example, how are children assessed before they are incorporated into formal education? Currently, many schools require students to partake an assessment that determines their level of education for proper class placement. We will work with Ugandan primary schools in order to synchronize our course materials with the learning standards that students must reach before attending formal schooling in Uganda. Basic education standards will be followed strictly, while simultaneously incorporating extra support through periodical assessments relating to behavior and attitude to monitor progress. Upon completion of our bridging classes, students will be given a mock assessment appropriate to their determined level, based upon the criteria currently in place within the standard Ugandan entry examination guidelines, to effectively prepare them for their placement test when applying to attend a formal school. (full response attached) How might you align your criteria with that of the Ugandan school system? We will use the Ugandan curriculum, collaborating with experienced Ugandan school teachers in our planning and execution process, using the material incorporated within existing entry examinations and standards. With the national teachers, we will map out learning objectives in basic subjects including speaking, listening, reading and writing. We will organize and align these lessons with topical objectives to familiarize students with other social and systematic aspects of Ugandan schools, to prevent the shock and stress that often is associated with entering an unfamiliar environment.

SKILL SHARE (optional)

For the last 7 years YARID has supplied support for refugees in Kampala through different avenues. We have a proven track record for providing non-formal education programs for refugee children and adults, teaching English to those coming from non-English speaking countries, providing basics of reading, writing and business. YARID has acquired the proven capacity to successfully impact this field, and we believe in the great potentiality and benefit from collaboration with national educators.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

We are an Organization, the Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID) is a refugee led Organization based in Kampala Uganda with the mission of empowering refugees and Asylum seekers so that they can become self-reliant, healthy, educated and contributing members in society.

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.
View more

Team (11)

robert's profile
YARID's profile
YARID Uganda

Role added on team:

"Our Organization"

Elvis's profile
Elvis Wanume

Role added on team:

"Team member"

Kulihoshi Musikami's profile
Kulihoshi Musikami Luke Pecos

Role added on team:

"Refugee Team Leader"

Ayla's profile
Ayla Bonfiglio

Role added on team:

"International Advisor Expert in Education"

Sedrick's profile
Sedrick Murhula

Role added on team:

"International Refugee team member"

Richard's profile
Stephen's profile
Stephen Windsor

Role added on team:

"International Contributor"

Laura's profile
Laura Davison

Role added on team:

"Team member"

Sarah's profile
Fleur's profile
Fleur

Role added on team:

"Team Member"

149 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of mn_uts
Team

I love your idea of Bridging program. I believe it will make a big difference. Thank you, Robert.

Photo of darpan patil
Team

Contribution towards educating refugee children is of good nature and work carried out is spontaneous.However there is always a room for improvement,a part from introducing them English language it is important to effectively utilize their skills and knowledge into their particular interest areas.This can prove to be effective utilization of human resources in future.It is equally important to introduction them to latest technology to know whats happening across the globe in order to keep them updated on regular basis.on the other hand living in adverse condition,or the situation they have been through might create negative effects in order to eliminate negative effects, along with education counselling to children is of equal importance.

Photo of Rahul Savani
Team

hello
i must say this idea is very inspiring one for the future youth to know the importance of education in today's century but the idea is boomed by involving parent in it makes it surely a amazing one for the bright future of the world and its people living in. happy after reading such inspiring initiative that will improve the eyes of people to see the world with a different motive and belief.
congrats guys for such an amazing idea in improvising the vision of future by helping with the need of required education in forming a bridge to formal schooling for the people.
This idea is surely gonna help them in facing and overcoming the challenges in life in future.

Photo of Tomikka Anderson
Team

This initiative is truly amazing and empowering that it is refugee led! The focus on developing this bridging program to prepare students for mainstream schooling will play a vital role in guaranteeing student success but having parent involvement is where this idea becomes ground breaking. I am a firm believer in it takes a village to raise a child and this initiative is a reflection of that. Hopefully the Ugandan government will get on board and see this as a positive and necessary addition to the Ugandan school system.

Photo of Alexander Cheung
Team

Your project mentioned that language barriers cause some friction in education adoption in both the youth and the parents. What if you could use that language barrier as a resource, instead of a burden? Is there economic interest in learning the refugee's language(s) in the broader Ugandan community (and vice versa)? What if there were a language exchange, in which different individuals partnered to take turns conversing in each other's language?

Photo of Jessica
Team

The idea is good itself, I'd like as many as possible kids got educated and could make their way. My brother says everyone should know how to overcome challenges, this is the only subject we are not taught in schools and colleges (it was the main topic of his term paper organized by http://www.trustessaywriting.com). These kids must be strong as they are growing up in such conditions.

Photo of Cartman
Team

nice initiative! continue :)

Photo of Rodrigue
Team

Thanks a lot guys for making all this happen, great work

Photo of Sarina Rosenthal
Team

Congratulations to YARID and everyone who has worked on this project for making it this far in the challenge! I first met the founders of YARID in 2008 when they were doing everything they could to learn English themselves so they could pass on the necessary language skills for their community members to become self-reliant and integrate into Ugandan society. I have since seen YARID grow into a reactive organization that responds to the needs of the community, supports various modes of training, and works with the greater Ugandan community to best support the needs of refugee learners. I have never met leaders who are so compassionate and dedicated to their work. Their ability to inspire, organize, and teach has always impressed me and set a high bar for what I understand as a leader. I am excited about YARID's idea to support the needs of refugee learners, parents, and national teachers to ease the education transition for refugee communities and host countries.

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Thank you so much

Photo of Nina Simon
Team

I had the great opportunity to see Yarid in action in the summer of 2009 when I visited Kampala and met the leaders of Yarid. This organization has grown wonderfully in the past few years and is doing important work to make it possible for refugees to integrate into Ugandan society. I love the idea of the bridging program to assist children to succeed in Ugandan schools with the knowledgable support of parents and teachers.

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Thank you so much Nina Simon

Photo of Christine Hayek
Team

This is a great idea!

Photo of Kulihoshi Musikami Luke Pecos
Team

I have seen the issue of the Uganda Education System vis-avis with refugees coming up several times during the conversations. In my view this is what we need to do. 1. To make sure that all refugees children learn English as they come into Uganda at least after the three months. Three months because we need to give time to settle and finish the refugee determination process.
2. Register them to a school, this can be private or government school, the technical problems are mainly about which class, this can be solve by an entry test, or equation frame work.
3. Make sure that parents are able to provide the child with the basic needs, the distance issue, school environment issues, teachers issues, all these come come in later.
What I have not yet seen is the advocacy issue on Access and Quality Education for all which would look into specific needs of children and the learning environment. Remember that many refugees are coming from countries where they learn from morning up to 1pm, which is different here where children learn up to 5 or 6pm. This needs to change through advocacy.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Pecos, thanks for your comment. yes I think you're right English is very important for them because that is the teaching language in Uganda but remember this is not the only problem, they need also to integrate in the new eduction system which is completely different from theirs. The idea of the double shift is also good but me i look at it at the other angle of dis congesting the classes

Photo of Katy Nagy
Team

Well done Robert keep it up.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Katy. Well done too

Photo of Kulihoshi Musikami Luke Pecos
Team

Dear Robert, let me hope that you also included the need of having informal education or a transitional education to teenagers who have taken long without being in schools. Both refugees and people from the hosting communities.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Kilihoshi, thanks so much for your comment! this idea will consider 3 major categories of displaced people. 1) those who have never been at school, 2) those who have dropped out an 3) those who are at verge of dropping out

Photo of Evan Elise
Team

I think this is a very important idea. I would consider using refugee-run organisations in Kampala as sites for the bridging program. Refugee-run organisations are in all different areas of the city and focus on different refugee populations. Perhaps partnerships could then be forged with local schools in the area. Great idea!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Evan. It's very important to consider all the refugee concentrated areas where partnership with the local schools will be created.
thanks so much!

Photo of Daniel Ameny
Team

Congratulations Robert YARID team for making it to the top ideas.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

You are most welcome Daniel!

Photo of Kulihoshi Musikami Luke Pecos
Team

In my view, I think we have to move somehow from all these ideas which are theories which we are not good at. But look at the situation on ground and propose the most practical solutions. Some of us are not academicians nor observers who call themselves experts. We are the real people and we are proposing what we believe suit to our need. Refugees here in Uganda need one thing and only one answer "when will our children go to school?" We need to put this into our minds while arguing on certain issues. I don't think that a whole complicated scientific debate can solve this issue but rather concrete actions which focus of each specific need of the people are with us.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Pecos, Thanks for your comment. I understand what you mean and I think this is exactly what this challenge is trying to address. Remember also that before the WHEN there is WHAT, WHY and HOW. So there is a need first to know and understand what are the real problems for refugees not accessing formal education, why those problems and how we can solve them. I believe after this that is when we can move to your question of when? I understand that you are at better position of knowing these problems because you are in Uganda and also live within the community but what what do you thing of many other people outside there who completely don't know? don't you think that this is a good opportunity for us to share our own experience but also to learn more about our own communities and others? Thank so much!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much for everyone who contributed on our idea in this refinement phase. It has been a very nice experience to discuss and exchange ideas. I really value your contribution all. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Photo of Sedrick Murhula
Team

Hi Amplify,
I believe this idea is the best way to give refugee children equal access to education. I lived in Uganda and my brothers had a very hard time to integrate into Ugandan school because they could only speak french and Swahili and they did not get a chance to have a bridge program allowing them to successfully integrate into school and keep their original class level, and many other refugee kids were facing the same problem. This program is very unique and I can see how is going to change the education problem facing refugee children in Uganda. I had different conversation with former refugees from Uganda who are currently living in the U.S and one thing that was common to every one was "this is the type of program that organization should be doing long time ago allowing refugees to have equal access to formal education". Hopefully this project is going to make it happen.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Sedrick for your comment. I think having people like you who or whom the relatives faced these challenges is very important because you understand exactly how benefit this idea will be to the refugees here in Uganda. I remember in 2009 one of my brothers who left Congo when he was in Senior one, when I took him to one of the national schools, after the assessment they put him in primary 3 and after just 3 months he dropped out and refused completely to go back, and this is the situation of other many refugees here in Uganda and we need to help them.

Photo of Richard Zulu
Team

Hey Robert, I have done another final look at your idea before refinement closes. I want to leave you with something to further refine in the last few hours. In the prototype section, you did not clearly articulate what you wanted to learn from your assumptions. As such, I did not understand what your prototype was and how the feedback addressed your key assumptions in the prototype. My suggestion is that clearly articulate what it is you wanted to know? What did you prototype to help you validate your assumptions? Thereafter, when sharing your insights be more articulate. For example where you mention "The majority agreed..." I would prefer you let us know what majority is. As such, it may be something like "Of the 5 teachers we asked....3 of them expressed interest in...."

Lastly, I also suggest you further think about the uniqueness about your idea with a focus on your offering.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Richard, Thanks so much for your comment. I really get the point you raise. It has come exactly when we were trying to put information about the prototypes we did and the feedback. I think the update i have done meet the points raised in your comment.
About the Uniqueness about our idea as i responded to the question on "how this idea is different from others" i can say that rarer are situation in which refugee communities are putting themselves in direct communication with national structures and offering to co-produce solutions! This is what makes this idea different from what other organizations. YARID has direct access to refugee communities because it is an organization founded and run by refugees. Hence, YARID has the knowledge, access, and level of trust and expectation required to successfully execute a refugee education program. This is the very essence of a human centered approach to development. Moreover, YARID has a proven, eight-year track record of working on different levels of refugee education.
What separates this idea from our existing work on refugee education, is our plan to more systematically work with national communities and to develop joint-education structures. Previously, our work has focused on working more with refugee stakeholders.
Thanks so much!
Robert

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Hi Robert,

As you know we've had a number of experts take a look at your idea. Below is a comment from one of our experts. If you could please spend some time answering the comment that would be great!

"I would suggest that the program think about targeting out of school children and preferably youths who are drop outs to give them another lifeline. For the school going, they have an opportunity to get what they are getting there in the formal schools. Is this something you have considered? Why or why not?"

Thanks!

The Amplify Team

Photo of Stephen Windsor
Team

Hi Amplify Team,

Yes it is something we have considered.

Many refugees find it difficult to integrate into the Ugandan school system. The challenge of integrating into Ugandan schools constitutes unequal access to education and contributes to the drop out rate and the high percentage of out of school children.

Many refugee children are forced to repeat multiple years of school because they have to learn how to communicate in a new language of instruction and learn in a new curriculum - for example, refugee children from DR Congo must transition from a system where French is the language of instruction to the Ugandan system which uses English. A refugee child who was in secondary school but then has to start again in a primary school class with eight and nine year olds, is not being afforded equal access to education.

The fact that refugee children are forced to repeat years of school contributes to the drop out rate and the high percentage of out of school children. Some refugee children who are forced down to lower grades of school get demoralised and drop out, others faced with the prospect of starting again near the beginning of primary school don't join and so remain out of school. So to some extent the bridging program contributes to addressing the challenge of giving children who are out of school a lifeline.

Out of school children and children who have dropped out are part of the target group but are not the only target group. All refugee children who have been learning in a different school system with a different language of instruction for at least three years, need some sort of bridging program in order to integrate into school at an equal level.

Stephen

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Stephen, thanks for this comprehensive response! Our team heard this issue many times during our pre-challenge research and we're excited about an idea that addresses this problem. Are you familiar with any curricula that you are considering using for this, or are you planning to build it from scratch?

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Amplify Team, to complete Stephen I would say that to address the key challenges in refugee access to education we have identified and considered three categories in this project: 1) Those who have never gone to school, 2) Those who have been in school but dropped out because of school fees or circumstances surrounding their displacement situation, and 3) Those who are on the verge of dropping out of school, for example those who are attending less than half of the school’s term.
we have considered them because some of them have dropped out because of failure to integrate into the new education system which is one of the reasons why we've set up the training centres.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Amplify Team,
There have been some programs run in Uganda already, and there are some that have been run elsewhere, and we'd plan to bring that together to make a new/adapted curriculum. Also, we would expect our teachers to keep a written record of what they have done each day, so that by the end of our first new course we will have a curriculum and lesson plans with activities, that could then be used elsewhere.

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Thanks for the additional clarification Robert. It's great that you have identified some resources that you could draw on. Would the adaptation of the curricula that you mention be something your team could use expert help in developing ?

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Amplify Team, Yes, YARID would welcome any outside expertise the Amplify team might offer in further developing and executing our refugee bridging program idea. Recognizing the significant value that external experts offer through their experiences and insights, from the inception of this idea, YARID has been working and brainstorming with an international group of refugee and education researchers and practitioners. Members of this groups have visited YARID's office, sat in on its education programs, engaged in periodic skype meetings, to name just a few. It is also important for there to be clear communication between the experts and our teachers, so that we are sure that the curriculum is capable of being implemented.

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Awesome - there is so much to be learned from each other - it's great that you are facilitating these connections between people with different types of expertise. Thanks for sharing this!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

You are most welcome!

Photo of Flora Lujana
Team

Wonderful idea! Integrating refugees into formal education definitey improves refugee education and also expands learning opportunities for refugees. However, challenges refugees face in formal schooling such as language barriers and age (and it's correlation to amount of schooling) have to be addresed first, and I think your bridge program might be able to do that very well. Quick question, how would you engage other refugees in implementing this - would you have an ambassodor group of refugees who have completed school for instance, would you have a group that tutors for instance or perhaps parents groups to encourage their kids? I grew up in Nairobi as a refugee and I value formal education very highly.

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Thank you so much Flora,
The idea of the ambassadors and those who completed school is a great idea and I think this is something at some point we are going to consider because it motivates others.
This is how we are going to engage other refugees in the community
1. In the program we are going to involve refugee assistant teachers who are going to make it easy for the learning process at the learning center because
they speak other languages apart from English
2. We have a plan to expand this project to other concentrated areas of refugees for a great impact of A Bridge to Formal Schooling.
3. We also engaged the refugees from the start because the idea came from them and we are still refining the idea with their help. so this is how we have managed to engage the refugee community

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much!

Photo of Fleur
Team

Dear Robert :)

I think the idea to form a bridge for refugees on their way to formal schooling in Uganda is very necessary, your initiative is providing a new and very holistic approach collaborating with students, parents and formal teachers from Ugandan schools. As you are addressing these very vital and important stakeholders in the student's way towards smooth enrollment in formal education the success of this program is very likely! If you can back up the students with additional help with their homework, provide them with a buddy who has succesfully graduated before and can help with challenges and provide answers . You can also provide ''trial days or weeks for future students and their and collect their feedback, you might be able to make programs even more responsive to the student's need. It looks absoluteltely groudbreaking and so promising!

My ideas would be:
1: introduce a buddy-program where the refugees who already graduated can support the ones which are currently enrolled;
2: Introduce partnerships with different schools around the world (facilitating refugees and coming close to the Ugandan conext ) so you can exchange best practices and teachers and students can learn from each other
3: have one day (or one week) on which students can try their ''new school'' before they actually enroll. This way you can gather their feedback, challenges and like and change the program accordingly, stressing certain issues.
4: Fully emerge the parents in the children's education, teach them English to a good level as well so they know what their kids are doing and can help with home work and go to parental meetings at school etc.
5. As much as possible involve the government or any formal entities in your program/project, they could change certain regulations or enable access to formal education material which improves access for refugees.
6. Provide the children with help with their home work for the first 6 months in which they are enrolled in formal education or as long as needed
7: Initiate a research together with the pilot programme, follow say 20 students for one or two years and see their challenges and sucesses so you can keep updating your programme with best practices.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Fleur,
Thanks so much for your comment and the good ideas that you've come up with. I really appreciate the time you've spent to do this. I would like to say that all the suggestions that you've given really make sense and we're definitely going to consider them where necessary. I our idea we have planned to have a mentor whom the work will be continuously engaging and working with the children and parents to ensure they stay in school and I think this is what you try to show in your suggestion with the Buddy program. I am totally agree with you that these children need additional support in term of someone to help them with their homework which is good and I would even also added the holiday program that would also be helpful to the children. I like your idea of having one day or one week for children to try their new school before they actual enroll. Please keep in coming with more suggestions if any. Robert

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Congratulations on making it to the Refugee Education Challenge Refinement List, Robert! We love how you are building off your existing work and creating a new bridge between family-focused and school-based interventions. We also like your focus on working with parents to help them understand the importance of education. We are very interested to see this idea evolve during Refinement -- in particular how this fits with the Ugandan education system? For example, how are children assessed before they are incorporated into formal education? How might you align your criteria with that of the Ugandan school system? It is great that you’ve already uploaded a User Experience Map! How might you test some assumptions behind it? This resource might help: http://ideo.pn/Amplify_Prototype What could you do in the next few weeks to test an aspect of your idea? Great to see you in the challenge!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Amplify Team.

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

You're welcome - looking forward to reading your responses!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Amplify Team. Thanks so much for your comments, suggestions and questions. We've been so busy discussing with refugee community leaders, national schools and teachers, and refugees themselves on how we can improve and address the issues raised in this idea. We have already answered to some of questions and are trying to answer to all of them. Thanks also for the Amplify Prototype tool, it's really helpful because it helps us to determine the priority issues we need to address. I would also like to ask a question. Is it okay to have more that one prototype? How many assumptions is it normally good to come up with in prototyping? Thanks so much!

Photo of AMPLIFY Team
Team

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your questions! It is definitely OK to do more than one prototype - in fact, it's best if you do a number of prototypes! Our designers are always iterating on ideas based on prototypes that they run - the more you learn about your intended user, the better program or service you are able to design!

As for assumptions, it's good to identify at least a few assumptions that you have about why your idea could be successful. We suggest picking some of the most important ones to develop prototypes around. For example, if you are relying on volunteers, you might be relying on people having the interest and the time to participate. Those would be great things to test early. People who show up to an initial meeting or answer a flyer are great resources to find out what is interesting to the people you want rely on to bring your idea into the world - and to learn about how they would like to participate. Same thing with the potential students in your idea. Inviting them to a session and testing some of your initial programming ideas can give you valuable information. Similar to the above example, even talking with those who come to a session about why they came and what they'd like could teach you a lot. Keep the questions coming!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Amplify Team, thanks so much for giving clarifications to my questions. I won't hesitate to come back to you if I have more questions. Thanks!

Photo of Trevor z Hallstein
Team

Hi Robert,

This is a great program, and congratulations for helping to make it successful. I found more interesting information on your website, http://www.yarid.org/about.html. Perhaps you want to put link in the description with 'Explain Your Idea'?

With 8 years of experience now, what would you say has worked well, and what would you like to see changed?

What is the perspective of students in the mainstream schools to integrating refugees?

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Trevor, thanks so much for your comment and as you suggested we added the link of our website in the description "Explain your idea".
to respond to your questions I can say this:
with 8 years of experience now what I would say has worked well are:
In 2008 YARID launched trainings in Kampala to equip adult refugees with the basic functional literacy skills they need in order to read and write. Empowering refugees through literacy, life skills and livelihood strategies to promote self-reliance. As the majority of the target group is from countries where English is not the official language, a number of challenges are prominent in areas of communication, interaction, join the existing formal education and integrate within the Ugandan host community.
What has worked well:
1. Over the course of 8 years, YARID has gained a higher level of awareness, consistently improving as we have become grounded with the needs and aspirations of the community we work with(mostly Congolese, Rwandan, Burundian refugee community in Kampala ), eliminating many gaps and deficiencies within our delivery system along the way.
2. We have created a trusted level of rapport and thriving relationships within the refugee communities, host community, local government ministries and civil society organizations in Kampala.
3. As an organization we have acquired extensive experience and skills by working directly with and growing with refugees and other forced migrants, integrating constant feedback to ensure the satisfaction, relevance and effectiveness of our programs
4. Our main focus has been with self-sustaining urban refugees and asylum seekers living in Kampala. The majority of these community members face challenges in literacy and language skills, thus removing them from the competitive job market structures in the city. The services we offer have proven to evoke drastic changes in the lives of many refugees by providing the training that has allowed them to successfully enter the workplace.
Since 2008 we started a program for empowering them with literacy, life skills and livelihoods strategies in order to become self-reliant. We have equipped refuges with basic functional adult literacy skills so that they can manage to read and write. As the majority of the target group is from countries where English is not the official language, these people find it hard to communicate, interact, join the existing formal education and integrate within the Ugandan host community because of the language barrier.

What I would like to see changed:
1. There needs to be more coordination, partnership and communication with International NGOs in sharing information, data, experiences, resources and best practices.
2. To use the “Bridging program” curriculum to ensure that refugees integrate smoothly into the current system to avoid setback and have equal access to education,
3. Work differently by having unique projects,
4. Use the human centered designs from identification of challenges to the implementation,

What is the perspective of students in the mainstream schools to integrating refugees?
I general there is no major problem regarding the attitudes of students in the mainstream toward refugees.
Most of them don’t mind having refugees at their schools and think it’s okay. Of course there are some cases of those who don’t want to associate with refugees or want them somewhere else but these are just rare cases. Another situation when refugees are forced to repeat multiple years of school because they have to learn how to communicate in a new language of instruction and learn a new curriculum and this create a situation of differences in age among classmates of the same level. The other classmates will start nicknaming them with words like “aunt” or “uncle” and this pushes them to not associate with them and lead to drop outs.

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Great updates Robert and team! And thank you for using the Experience Map to describe how A Bridge to Formal Schooling can play out in real life scenarios. Have you reached out to the other ideas in the Refinement Phase that are also operating in Uganda? Perhaps you might like to reach out to these ideas teams:

Tamuka Hubs: https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/refinement/tamuka-hubs-community-centres-and-libraries-for-refugees-in-kampala
CIYOTA: https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/refinement/ciyota-the-education-that-encourages-heart-to-unlock-potential

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

We'd also 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.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Shane,
Thanks so much for your comment. Yes we are in touch with them and we regularly meet to discuss about our ideas. recently on Wednesday we met at Outbox Hub Kampala for a refinement meet-up. Thanks so much!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Shane, thanks so much for your comment. I think we have already answered to the Refinement questions. Thanks

Photo of Japhet Aloyce Kalegeya
Team

Thank you for your good idea, This can help to expand the opportunities of learning among the target groups

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

your are welcome

Photo of Bavo
Team

Tout les enfants ont les meme droit, quelque soit la ou ils sont , en europe, en amerique , en asie ou en afrique, en oceanie. Quelque soit leurs etats de sante. Qu'il soit handicap , en bonne sante. Quelque soit la ou il est , dans son pays d'origine ou refugie. Tous doivent regouire des meme droit. Droit a la vie, droit a l'education, droit a la paix, droit a l'eau porselen, etc. Il nya aucun raison de dire que l'enfants n'avais pas etudie parcequ'il est ou il a ete refugie. Droit unniversel des enfants.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Salut Bravo et merci beacoup de votre commentaire. Vous avez parfaitement reison, tous les enfants au monde doivent avoir acces a l'education quelque soit la situation dans laquelle ils se trouvent. Merci beaucoup de nous rappeler ce droit universel des enafants.

Photo of Pascal Nkunzimana
Team

Hi Robert,
This is great idea and I think it should also involved other government institutions so that parents can be fully equipped. Like KCCA here in Uganda

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Tanks so much Pascal for your comment and your support to this idea.

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on making it to the Refinement Phase Robert! 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 robert hakiza
Team

Dear OpenIDEO, we are so excited to have our idea at the refinement phase. we will be coming up with the answers to the new refinement questions very soon. Thanks

Photo of Sarah Collinson
Team

Hi there, this looks like a really interesting project. It looks like it has the potential to really transform a community. We aren't specifically working with refugees but I wondered if you might interested in reading about our project based in Jinja. We have seen a whole slum community transform after working closely with the brilliant local organisation ADSN and developing a truly holistic approach targeting many aspects of poverty at once.

http://www.childrenontheedge.org/uganda-transforming-slum-communities.html

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Sarah, thanks so much for your appreciation and for sharing with us the great work you do to change the lives of those vulnerable children and their families. I like the work of the protection committees to mobilize local people, this is exactly one of the ways we want also to use to change the mindsets of the refugee parents. I am also interested with the micro finance schemes, could you please share with us how it works? Best!

Photo of Sarah Collinson
Team

Hi Robert, we have found that the Community Child Protection Committees have been instrumental in our work in Soweto. It is really all down to them that we have seen such positive change.

The micro-finance scheme works so that we give 100,000 / 200,000 shillings per person after they have gone through a comprehensive application process with the support of a social worker or the CCPC. They then pay the loan back over 6 months with a 10% interest. This is a great example of how well this scheme has worked...

http://www.childrenontheedge.org/latest-stories/picture-it-for-international-womens-day-2015-encouraging-small-business-start-ups-for-women-in-uganda

All the best, Sarah

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Sarah, thanks once again for sharing with us the great work you're doing. i understand that the money you're giving is in term of loan and I'm interested to know the rate of repayment? Apart from what you give, do they also have access to the micro-finance institutions? or have you ever thought of linking them to the micro-finance institutions? I am really very interested with your project and i would like to learn more about your experience.

Photo of Sarah Collinson
Team

The rate of repayment on our scheme is high, off the top of my head it's about 90 - 95%. Our success rate is down to the CCPC and the social workers. They are an integrated part of the community, they know and have relationships with everyone we give loans to. Every beneficiary receives training in the form of workshops (led by ADSN) around entrepreneurship, starting up a small business, finance management etc. before they receive the loan and through the application process they have to prove they have a solid idea of what they will use it for and prove how they will pay it back and make a profit.

I strongly believe that the success of our programme is down to strong relationships and community ownership. I hope that helps to give you more of an idea of what we do, I'm happy to answer more questions if you have any!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Sarah, This is so great and thanks so much once again for sharing with us.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Sarah, Thanks so much again for sharing with us the work you do in Jinja. I have been just discussing with a colleague about our idea and he came up with the idea of micro finance and I remembered about your project. You know one of the challenges the refugees are facing here in Uganda where they are supposed to cater for themselves is the lack of or not enough capital to do their businesses.unlike as local people they don't have access to micro finance or loans because of lack of security collateral, yet most of them are in protracted refugee situation and very active in business and just need to be supported to help them increase their income. A research done by the Humanitarian Innovation Project of the University of Oxford in 2013 and of which I participated as an Research Assistant shows clearly the contribution of refugees in the economy of Uganda http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/files/publications/other/refugee-economies-2014.pdf
So for me having your project with those internal displaced people who are given loans to do a business and manage to pay it back up to 95% is really a search case study to show that even without assets people can be given loans and pay back, it all depends on how they are sensitize. I would really want to learn more about what you do to reach that high repayment rate rate. How do you think we can link up and continue this discussion?

Photo of Sarah Collinson
Team

Yes absolutely, I'm happy to share how we work. Do you have an email address? I am actually going out to the project at the end of June so I am happy to catch up when I get back? I am more than happy to answer questions / give more info via email. Changing the micro-finance scheme to work for refugees could be a lot more difficult due to their transient nature and many face difficulties with finding work in their host country. Our programme works because the beneficiaries have strong, long-term relationships with the team. It would be interesting to see if that could work in a refugee situation, I am happy to talk further.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Sarah for your reply and your willingness to share how you work. My email address is roberthakiza2001@gmail.com I will be happy to discuss more about your work. Thanks so much indeed.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

This is a really interesting project, well done Robert and your team.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Simon for your comment and your support to this idea.

Photo of Yvonnne Bezerra de Mello
Team

This bridge is very important. Children with trauma need this time before going to a tradicional school. We do that in Rio de janeiro, Brazil, with our school Projeto Uere and our pedagogy, Uere-Mello pedagogy.
see our site and we can exchange ideas. www.projetouere.org.br
Congratulations
Yvonne bezerra de Mello

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Yvonne, Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing with us the good work you do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.I have just visited your site and it really amazing. We believe that this bridge programme plus the support of the parents and collaboration with the mainstream schools is going to change the lives of many refugee children who can't access Education because of our displacement situation. I am happy to learn more about your experience!

Photo of YARID Uganda
Team

hello Yvonne. Thanks for your comment and for the great work you do over there. Could you please share with us what age groups are you considering in your programme?

Photo of Lianne Kennedy-Boudali
Team

Hello Robert,
Congratulations on putting together a program that addresses both the needs of parents and their children. It seems as though you have engaged many key stakeholders by working with refugee families as well as Ugandan teachers. I would imagine that the teachers' support will be critical in managing the refugee students' transition from the training centers to the national schools. Have you considered follow-up "camps" for the kids once they transition from the training centers to the schools? Perhaps students who have completed the training camp could return to the training centers to speak with newer refugees and inspire them to continue with the program. This would benefit your "graduates" as well, as they would receive community recognition for their own successful transitions.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Lianne, thanks so much for your comment. I am totally agree with you with the follow up idea. what we are planning to do here is to make sure children continue getting additional support even after they have joined the national schools and this will be the work of the mentor who will be working hands in hands with the teachers, parents and the children themselves to identify problems that some of them might be facing and give support. The children who have completed the training return to the training center is a wonderful idea and we are really have to consider it. Thanks so much for your contribution!

Photo of YARID Uganda
Team

Dear Lianne, thanks so much for your comment. we think the idea of bringing back the children who have completed to the centre is good since it will give those who are still at the center more courage. This has really to be considered. Thanks

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much, Merci Beaucoup, Asante sana, Webale nyo.... to all the people who have supported this idea. Your comments and suggestions have been really so helpful to make this idea the way it is. Thanks so much to all of you!

Photo of Laura Davison
Team

Congratulations for coming up with this wonderful idea. I agree that helping parents to support their children is the most sustainable approach. I welcome this new idea and wish you the best with the project.
Best,
Laura

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hi Laura, thanks so much for your comment and for supporting our idea.

Photo of Stephen Windsor
Team

Hi Robert,

One more comment from me. I know that in New Zealand when refugees arrive through the UNHCR resettlement programme, they stay in a Reception Centre for six weeks, and there the children learn about school in New Zealand and learn some English - this helps them adjust to the New Zealand school system. Then once they are at school, many schools have English support programmes and sometimes there are staff who have the specific responsibility of caring for students who are former refugees. I mention all this because I think there is huge potential to learn from best practices developed in countries like New Zealand. Of course the resources available are different between New Zealand and Uganda, but the basic need for a bridge to formal schooling is the same. I know when Xavier Project started running English Courses for refugee children, we borrowed a bit from the similar courses in New Zealand, and it seemed to work pretty well.

Also, a couple of weeks ago I was speaking with a teacher at a New Zealand school, who is responsible for the students who are former refugees, and she noted the huge difference between the students who came as refugees through UNHCR resettlement and studied at the Reception Centre, and the students who came as migrants but from poor backgrounds and with little English (some children from Tonga and Samoa for instance) - the students who had been through the Reception Centre adjusted much better.

Robert, I think this is a very important and much needed idea.

Photo of YARID Uganda
Team

Hi Stephen, Thanks so much once again for your wonderful comment and for sharing with us the experience in New Zealand with the refugees through the UNHCR resettlement programme. I'm totally agree with you that there is huge potential to learn from best practices developed in other countries like New Zealand. I believe that despite the difference in term of availability of resources there a least a way of with the resources available to meet the basic need for the programme. thanks so much indeed for your support to this idea!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Stephen, Yes I think it's good and important to learn from best practices.I am happy that you share this with us. Thanks so much!

Photo of Stephen Windsor
Team

Hi Robert and YARID, this is a great idea!! Can you explain a bit more about what is currently happening to help refugee children integrate into the Ugandan school system? It might help to explain how important your idea is!!!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Stephen. Thanks so much for your comment and question. To respond to your question I would like to highlight the fact that the entire idea revolved around integration, so when we look at the integration of the refugee children at school, the teachers at the centre will come from the mainstream schools, the curriculum to use at the centre will be developed based by the one at the mainstream with the support of the teachers themselves. The teachers are going to be trained on refugee issues because we believe that if they understand that these children have problems, some of them are traumatized, it will help to deal with them in a special way hence help them feel comfortable at school. that is why since the beginning of this idea we've been having discussion with the mainstream teachers who were very positive about the idea at the extend that some of them were ready to volunteer because they think that this is going to make their work easy. we want to keep a strong collaboration between teachers and parents so that they can work together hand in hand to help these children like the school and integrate into the system. This is how I can respond to your question, so in case you have another one I am happy to give more clarification. Thanks!

Photo of Rebecca Mincy
Team

This is great. Just wondering how you received feedback from refugees. Did you do surveys. We we would like to get feedback as well here in Kenya and would like to know what approach you used. Thanks!!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Great idea Rebecca! Robert, we have four Community Champions based out of the Kampala Refugee camp. Perhaps you might reach out to them and gain feedback on this idea?

Vestine Umubyeyi: https://openideo.com/profiles/lajustine0071
Hassan Bashir: https://openideo.com/profiles/1179137535225692483091
Fartun Abass: https://openideo.com/profiles/fartunabass1
Daniel Christian: https://openideo.com/profiles/danchris

Are there lessons learned from similar initiatives or programs at YAIRD that might help support the development of this idea? Also, it'd be fantastic if you might consider helping people better grasp how this idea could play out by creating an Experience Map to describe some example scenarios of the proposed activities you've outlined: https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/5c28e26a-ba7f-44f4-859b-e82658264287.pdf

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Thank you so much Rebecca, we receive feedback through organized refugee community dialogues, from discussions with the refugee community leaders.
We also carried out a survey and got views from the refugees that is how we came up with this idea

Photo of Sedrick Murhula
Team

Hi Rebecca, Just want to add on what Elvis said. YARID is 100% community oriented work, that means every program implemented is by the the need of the community and for the community. Thanks

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Rebecca. thanks for your appreciation. Just to complete my team members for your question to know how we receive feedback from refugees. what i can say is that we live amongst the refugee community and most important is that refugees were involved from the beginning of the idea. we organized focus group discussions where we collected their views and interviews some key members of the refugee community.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Shane. Thanks for sharing the stories of your community Champions. The story written by Vestine about Daniel is a typical example to show how sensitizing and supporting the parents is crucial for the children's education. Yes we have some lessons learned from our programs at YARID. we have for instance this successful story of Monica https://docs.google.com/document/d/19uFGSPHbcJ9uzTqUu-7nx7S551XhTJI0XbBXyAPa6s0/edit
Thanks for the idea of creating an Experience Map.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Shane. Once again thanks so much for your comment. We have finally amended the prototype by creating scenarios describing the idea based on your suggestion in your previous comment. Thanks so much!

Photo of chrisndaga sal
Team

Congratulation for the idea, i think it will be helpful for both parents, teachers and students to have a strong relationship.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thank so much Christian for your comment!

Photo of alain wayne
Team

Congratulations! Robert and YARID for coming up with this wonderful idea. I think this is what was lacking for refugee children integrate the mainstream schools. I'm pretty sure that this is going to bring a lot of changes in your community. Keep it up. Cheers!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks somuch Alain! Thanks for your good words

Photo of Kyle
Team

The program is viable. How will the schools adjust to meet refugee children's specialized needs? Will there be a training for these school teachers? As after YARID's program , how can refugee children still receive help which help overcome, the obstacles only refugee students will face?

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Kyle. Thanks for your comment. yes there will be trainings with teachers from the mainstreams schools to raise their capacities on refugee issues. During our research we've discovered that many teachers don't understand who is a refugee and this does not allow them to assist them better. After the training center at YARID thementors will continue playing their roles by giving additional support to the children, providing counseling as well as talking to the parents and teachers to make sure that everything is moving well.

Photo of alain NGOMBWA
Team

hello guys...i have been looking at this idea since morning and i reads word after another one and it so important and very interested idea, i would like to meet this team face to face and talk with them cause it inspiring me.. in another way this project will help so many people and save so many families so guys keep it up...my question is this how are you going to involve the mainstreams school in this idea? so good luck guys and keep it up

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Alain, thanks so much for supporting this idea.To respond to your question I will say that since we came up with this idea we had discussions with teachers from the mainstream schools and we got a positive feedback from them. The teachers teaching at the centre come from the mainstream schools. There will be a permanent collaboration with the mainstream schools, we want to make sure that they understand better the issues of refugee children.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

hello, we would like to highlight the fact that the teachers at the training centre also come from the mainstream schools in Kampala and that the entire idea revolves about integration.

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Hi there, during our discussion meeting with other members about A Bridge to Formal Education, members suggested that we should consider gender sensitivity by having two mentors a male and a female and two teachers a male and female because some some of these children might have issue that they can not freely disclose to an opposite sex.
Do you think this would be a good idea?

Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Robert, Elvis, Thank you so much for creating the time and a platform enabling the prototype of my idea “Bridging Cultures; Bridging Communities”; thank you too for co-facilitating the engagement session. It was really great engaging with urban refugees from Congo, Burundi..and learning more about your education programme intervention. I was also delighted to know that you are also collaborating with some of the Operation Agencies serving refugees at the settlements in Uganda; Agencies that also assisted in engaging refugees at the settlement to provide feedback regarding my idea. I hope and wish to further collaborate with you because I strongly believe that though the ideas are not similar in terms of strategy, can be complementary towards the common good of refugees. Thanks again.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Stella, it was also good to have you at the YARID's refugee training center for your prototyping session. It's better you came and dealt directly with the people in concern. Thanks so much

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Thank you so much Stella for appreciating

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

This is such a great idea! And, having seen YARID's great work first hand when I was last in Kampala, I know you have the capacity to carry this project out very effectively! How did you decide on the training center lasting for 3 to 6 months?

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Hello Molly,
Thank you so much for taking time to read our idea. We decided on the training to last for 3 to 6 month because the education system here in Uganda is based on a termly basis so after the 3 to 6 months of training the children we expect them to be ready to join the mainstream at the right time. It was designed basing on the education program in Uganda

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Molly, thanks so much for your comment. I think Elvis gave the right response. The termly basis of the Uganda education system allow them to enroll even after the first term, so we want to give this opportunity to the children who are making it with the preparation training to join the mainstream once they are ready.

Photo of Racheal Mugide
Team

Very impressive! what other better way than promoting Job creators instead of job seekers! With determination, dedication, hardwork and self discipline, this project will shoot to greater horizons and the needy children wil once again have hope for a bright future! You have all my support!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Rachel for your comment, we really appreciate your support

Photo of Alex Kubana
Team

Good idea Robert Im sure it will reduce to number of refugee children that are Vulnerable hence also improving on the relationship between the three of them and therefore by making a big impact on refugee child education.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Alex. I am totally agree with you.

Photo of Kulihoshi Musikami Luke Pecos
Team

I believe that refugee education should not be discussed alone without putting into account issues like livelihood, creating awareness, political will especially the refugee regime to put in place a mechanism which helps parents to send their children to school and not exclude them from humanitarian aid and other services on ground that they are self-sustained. It is still needed to have discussions on what Self-sustainability means to all actors in the refugee regime here in Uganda and to the refugees themselves. I think this project could also expand on advocacy and creating awareness.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Pecos, Thanks again for your comment and the interest you're putting on our idea. i like the important points you raise in your comment. I think when we talk about humanitarian aid for refugees and especially those in protracted situation we should emphasize on the assistance that makes them self sustainable not the sporadic aid that makes them remain dependent. most of the refugees today want to stand on their feet, they have understood that they have a big role to play in their own destiny, so what we need to do is just to give them a push. I you read very well our idea you'll realize that there a non negligible part of advocacy, we will advocate with the parents, we will advocate with the schools and we will raise awareness about the refugee issues because we believe that better the mainstream schools and the teachers understand the situation of refugee children better they will help them.

Photo of blaze chris
Team

This is a very good idea, and it will help refugees to integrate themselves in the community. Keep up the good work.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Blaze for your comment!

Photo of Olivier Matanda
Team

This is a brilliant idea specially when i think about the point that was brought by parent this seem to be interesting and i think that what we should do they mentioned something about themselves being in position of support their children, and this is the only way i also believe that children are going to be on a safe side, take a minute and think about someone supporting my kids or my children till when is he going support them how sure am i that its going to duel, refugees needs opportunities of themselves doing something for themselves.
i think this is one of the best idea that need to be supported by all members, i am also a refugee and i am supporting my family yeah we are not really good bat everyone at home enjoys the support that i am providing for them, think about now if at least 60 % of parents could be able to support their children that would a great achievement.
congratulations guys for this brilliant idea.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Olivier, Thanks so much for your appreciation. yes that's exactly what we want to do with this idea. we strongly believe that the only sustainable of helping the refugee children to go to school is to support the parents. Preparing refugee children to join the mainstream schools by training them, creating a permanent collaboration between refugee parents and teachers and supporting the schools to understand better the situation of refugees will help better refugee children integrate.

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Thanks Racheal for sharing our goal, our wish is to see refugees earning income, being self-reliant and running sustainable enterprises which will help them support themselves, their families and the community at large. With the high unemployment system in Uganda, our project will be very crucial in supporting reduce poverty.

Photo of annet asio
Team

This is a great idea. Skills and vocational training of refugees is the way to go to help refugees become self reliant.

Photo of YARID Uganda
Team

Thanks so much Annet. that's true we need to put our effort together to make this a reality!

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Thank you Annet

Photo of Brendah Bisikwa
Team

Wow I am really glad people are responding to our idea and believing it can help transform our communities. We pledge to do our best as YARID and have no intention of loosing our goal. It will be really great to have some partners working along these lines to broaden our impact in the community. Sarah Collinson we look forward to visiting your organisation and see how we can learn from each other. thanks everyone for the support and believing.

Photo of Louise Bloom
Team

Hi Robert, great work getting the idea already going there in Kampala. You mentioned that a third stream is also to support mainstream schools to integrate refugee students - have you started work on that part yet? what would be your plan for that?

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Dear Louise, thanks so much for your comment. to respond to your question I can say that we have already started discussing with the teachers at mainstream schools. During the research period we shared our idea with them and they were really positive about it. Another thing that we've discovered during our discussions is that a good number of teachers don't really know who is a refugee, some of them consider all the non Ugandan children as just migrants. what we are planning to do is to make sure that the refugee issues are known by the mainstream schools because we believe that if they are known teachers will understand that these children have problems and need a special attention. that is why we found it important that the national teachers get involved from the bridging program because they have a very big role to play. there is also a need of building the capacity of both schools and teachers to help them absorb more refugee children

Photo of Louise Bloom
Team

That's great. A really good finding that mainstream school teachers are not aware of refugee issues - it sounds like your project could do a lot to help 'bridge' that gap with teachers too through this type of collaboration. This is really important since I have also heard of children having issues in schools through bullying or teachers not understanding their situation - which can be a massive barrier to learning or even in attending school in the first place. Thank you and best of luck with this!!

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Louise, thanks once again for your comment. I think you've got the point. As you have said is just what refugee children face at schools and the knowledge of the refugee issues by the teachers will be so important for both teachers and the children.
we have also amended the prototype based on your comments. Thanks so much!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this post being featured in this week's highlights! https://openideo.com/blog/refugee-education-weekly-highlights-may-22-2015

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much!

Photo of Richard Zulu
Team

This is a great idea Elvis. Just to build on it. With regards to the skills training in entrepreneurship and business, I see an opportunity for revenue generation and sustainability of your initiative.

Could you also spend some time to give more input on objective 3: working with mainstream schools to integrate refugees. I picked this from Louise Bloom's comment and noticed you did not give it as much attention.

With regards to feedback, I believe you could just attach a document to this idea that has only your learnings. It helps make them stand out from the rest of the text here.

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Thanks for your feedback - here is some more information about our contact with mainstream schools and teachers:
1. We have already started working with one primary school (we have had two focus groups with four teachers thus far) through sharing our idea with them, which they agreed was an important and topical proposal that would improve their own work. The teachers even promised to get us space and several professional teachers to volunteer, to pilot this initiative.
2. At its core, our program would help teachers and mainstream schools better identify and understand the needs of refugee students within their classes, provide support to their vulnerable refugee students, and, more generally, to give them more contact with and access to the refugee communities in which their schools sit.
3. To build links between teachers and refugee parents, we would offer teachers the opportunity to enroll (for free) in the training seminars for parents, where they would gain business and money management skills.
4. Also to build links between teachers and parents (as well as children), and to emphasize the importance of education to parents, we would invite parents (on designated occasions) to sit in on their children's bridging classes, to see the progress they have made.
5. By empowering the parents, the aim is to eventually get them to a place where they can pay school fees and independently send their children to mainstream schools. In this way, our initiative is trying to bolster mainstream schools and make enrollment more sustainable; this was something that really appealed to the teachers we spoke to.

We are still in constant communication with the teachers and pilot school and are in the process of rolling out the pilot (using the aforementioned volunteers). Our goal is to use the results of this pilot, combined with our existing expertise from our non-formal education programs, to create a scaled up program.

Photo of Emerimana Daniel Christian
Team

Hello Robert,
I am proud of your organization. The idea is realistic and seems to make good impact on the people to whom it is designed for, and as well as the environment surround. I was also overwhelmed to see how you will be helping not only children but as well their parents. Sincerely speaking, some of the children in our communities are not enrolled in schools because they lack support of their parents.

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Thank you so much Daniel for appreciating

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Daniel, thanks for your comment. yes that is true, some refugee children don't go to school just because the parents are not supportive, that is why we need to sensitize them.

Photo of Richard Zulu
Team

Elvis, one more thing. I see similarities and potential synergies with Tamuka Hubs https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/ideas/tamuka-hubs-community-centres-and-libraries-for-refugees-in-kampala

Photo of Elvis Wanume
Team

Thank you so much Zulu, the synergy is a good idea and we would buy it but may you please through more light on how best it would be done keeping in mind the age group that we are focusing on.

Photo of Rodrigue
Team

Great idea indeed Robert, Refugee children need this support and I'm sure by supporting their families, this is gonna be sustainable. thanks for bringing this up

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Rodrigue for your comment!

Photo of Kulihoshi Musikami Luke Pecos
Team

I think the education of refugee children is linked to the whole social justice issue and the whole fight against poverty. Those who do not go to schools are generally children from poor families and will also be poor tomorrow when they grow up and may also not manage to send their children to school. Once the parent is economically stable then children will go to school and that is what we can to refugees, end poverty among refugees.

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Hello Pecos, Thanks for your comment. you are totally right and I think this should be taken seriously. For me empowering economically the refugee parents is one thing and sensitizing them for the change of their mindsets is another one, and we need to combine both so that we can have parents economically stables and responsible and supportive.

Photo of Sedrick Murhula
Team

This is the best practical IDEA for both parents and refugee children, not only helping kids to go to school but helping their parents with skills so that they can feel participating into their children's education and helping their family in general

This is what refugees in Kampala need.

Great Idea guys

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much Sedrick!

Photo of Peter Irungu
Team

Guys fantastic idea

Photo of robert hakiza
Team

Thanks so much peter!