Kenya: Pioneer Diploma class graduation ceremony in Kakuma
11 September 2013

A certificate being awarded to a graduating student of the JC:HEM programme at Kakuma Refugee Camp. The programme is ran by Jesuit Refugee Service and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins . (Christian Fuchs/JRS)
The programme offers a dynamic model of tertiary education to refugees, promoting education as a fundamental human right in the most rugged circumstances.
Kakuma, 11 September 2013 - Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC-HEM) holds the first graduation ceremony for diploma students in Kakuma refugee camp on Monday, 23rd September, 2013 from 10:00 am at the JRS Arrupe Learning Centre.  The students graduating began the programme in September 2010 and are now just completing their three year program. JRS is very proud of the students’ dedication to their studies and are excited to share this experience with you on this tremendous achievement. 

The Diploma in Liberal Studies is a three year programme that focuses on areas such as humanities, leadership, business studies and communication. Regis University in Colorado, US, offers the academic accreditation for the programme. 26 from an initial group of 35 students will be graduating on that day. 20 of the graduating students are male while the other 6 are female.

Jesuit education transforms, thereby liberating the mind and the spirit. JCHEM seeks, in partnership with those living at the margins, to teach, to learn, and to help transform the world. A four year pilot, in partnership with JRS, began on 27th September 2010. Included in the pilot are refugees living in Dzaleka Camp, Malawi; Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya and urban refugees in Jordan.

Higher Education at the Margins is a partnership initiative between Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and Jesuit Commons (JC). JC is a group of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities committed to linking world-wide Jesuit educational resources with populations affected by war, displacement and poverty in order to promote greater equality in access to knowledge for the sake of their development.

The programme offers a dynamic model of tertiary education to refugees, promoting education as a fundamental human right in the most rugged circumstances. In the pilot phase of the programme, ending in August 2014, more than 1,500 refugees in Kakuma, Dzaleka and Jordan are expected to have benefited from the programme.

While the programme does not offer immediate solutions to the refugee crisis, it brings refugees into a wider community of academic study, engages their minds and equips them with skills they can apply today, thus offering them a possibility of a life worth living today and giving them a perspective for the future.

During the graduation, there will be the official ceremony and handing out of diplomas followed by lunch and entertainment. We would be honoured if you are able to come and join in the celebration with us.

We look forward to celebrating this day with you.

By Alex Kiptanui, Project Director JRS Kakuma

JRS started working with refugees in Kakuma in 1994 focusing on two broad areas, education and psycho-social support. JRS projects target the most vulnerable, who face the greatest challenges, their conditions having been aggravated by displacement and the living conditions in the camp. The JC-HEM distance education programme is the newest addition to the JRS education initiatives in Kakuma.






Press Contact Information
Charles Njanga
easternafrica.communications@jrs.net
+254 20 3874152