WTI Advocate at UNHCR Conference in Kosti: Higher Education Gives Hope
Windle Trust International (WTI) is pleased to report its successful participation in a UNHCR organised Higher Education Conference for South Sudanese Refugees living in Kosti, the Sudan. The conference drew participants from higher education institutions in the Sudan, government refugee agencies, and refugee youth and their leaders from across the region and participants appreciated the role of Windle Trust International as the only agency in the Sudan working with UNHCR in providing higher education opportunities.
WTI’s Executive Director David Masua was a keynote speaker at the conference. He highlighted the role of WTI and other members of Windle International in the provision of higher education for refugees in the last 40 years and informed the participants about the role played in the provision of education in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan and most recently in Somalia. Windle has had many years of partnership with UNHCR, especially through the DAFI higher education scholarship programme, and has offered thousands of scholarships to refugees. In his address themed on “Higher Education Giving Hope” he underlined the importance of higher education, especially for refugees who have left their countries of origin and do not know when they will go back.
The Executive Director therefore informed the conference participants that WTI and the members of Windle International believe strongly that Higher Education gives hope. This does not mean that other forms of education are not important, but Windle believes that Higher Education is particularly important because it gives the individual refugee hope that the future will be better. He emphasised that Higher Education prepares the refugees to be useful now in their countries of asylum, and in the future when they return home. He told the participants that from Windle experience in the sector, Higher Education prepares future leaders for their countries. Higher Education reduces gender-based violence. Higher Education reduces poverty. Higher Education enables critical thinking and reduces and eliminates risky behaviours, because young people are able to weigh options. Higher Education opens doors. Higher Education breaks cycles of poverty. Higher Education reduces early marriages as young women think about better future and delay making commitments for their own families and therefore further their education. Higher Education enables the making of informed choices. Using his own experience, he told participants that Higher Education indeed gives hope because if it was not higher education, he wouldn’t be in the conference.
In thanking UNHCR for organising the conference, inviting WTI, and for their decades of partnership, he also committed on behalf of Windle Trust International to continue doing their best to serve refugees and other people of concern across the East and Horn of Africa region, and particularly in the Sudan. He implored other donors to join UNHCR to fund higher Education for refugees as a way of giving them hope now in their countries of asylum and hope for a better future