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.
Following on from the recent opening of our new office in the capital of Sudan’s Blue Nile State, Damazine, Windle Trust International is also pleased to announce the launch of a new scholarship programme: the White and Blue Nile Undergraduate Scholarships. In these regions in particular, educational aspirations are in dire need of support. According to UNICEF, in Blue Nile State only 43% of primary age going children are currently enrolled in and attending school and only 28% of those progress to secondary education.
To be able to reach communities most in need, the Trustees of WTI recently approved the opening of our first field office in Damazin, Blue Nile State, Sudan. Before establishing the field office, WTI’s Sudan based staff conducted three needs assessment in the region, especially focusing on education provision. With these assessments WTI is well placed to intervene in various education service provision in the region including primary, secondary and higher education for the host community, IDPs and refugees.
We are pleased that this year, UNHCR has confirmed 150 new undergraduate scholarships for refugees in the Sudan that will be managed by Windle Trust International. The applications for the scholarship come from refugees across the Sudan, with large numbers of applicants being refugees from from Syria, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Central Africa Republic and Yemen.
As thousands of people flee outbreaks of violence in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and seek refuge in Sudan, the focus from international aid agencies will rightly be on ensuring the very basic of needs are met – shelter, food, water. But we must not forget the importance of keeping children and young people in education, says Windle International CEO Dr Marangu Njogu. If we are going to find a long-term, peaceful solution to conflict in the region, education is the key.
In a constantly changing situation, Windle Trust International is adapting operations to meet the challenge of continuing to provide essential services to ensure that those affected by conflict and marginalisation can continue to access quality education whilst also maintaining the health and wellbeing of all staff and beneficiaries as of paramount importance.
What is Windle Trust International doing in South Sudan?