Ambitious and Motivated: Hope for Refugee Women in Higher Education
Tani Kuku is a diligent student in the Refugee Higher Education Access Program (RhEAP) offered by OSUN in partnership with Resilience Action International, a refugee-led organization based in Kenya. She was born and raised in Sudan. When she fled to Kenya, Kuku sought to start a new life in Kakuma Refugee Camp, as her future seemed promising. She continued her studies immediately after arriving and successfully completed primary school and secondary education. Ambitious and motivated, she desired a future that was brighter than her current situation, soldiering on to seek further opportunities to improve her qualifications and employability in the job market.
In 2021, Kuku enrolled in RhEAP, part of OSUN’s Hubs for Connected Learning Initiatives, to get a certificate that could provide a pathway to taking undergraduate degree courses. Today, Kuku has completed three OSUN college preparatory courses and is hopeful she will be admitted into a degree course next year at one of the online schools she has applied to.
In addition, the communication skills and knowledge she has gained through courses on human rights, history, diversity and culture were instrumental in her obtaining a job as a social worker in a local community-based organization. Kuku has started advising young women in her community on the importance of education for every individual, especially young women and girls.
One thing motivating Kuku to talk to young women about pursuing higher education is the underwhelming number of women enrolled in the OSUN Hubs program. She says she has always wondered why she encountered so few young women at vocational learning centers. She decided to take it upon herself to urge young women in her community to join educational centers so they can equal their male counterparts in this area. If they are interested, young women could even proceed to higher levels of education, much like Kuku.
Due to her educational achievements, Kuku has become a living example to young women and schools in her neighborhood. The people in her home area are aware of her deep interest in coursework and that she has never skipped a class. And she is well known by facilitators at the Resilience Action International center for submitting assignments on time and encouraging her colleagues to not give up on their studies when they are met with obstacles–especially the young women in her class.
Kuku says the independence she now enjoys as an adult woman was made possible by the English skills she gained from OSUN preparatory courses, without which the language barrier would have kept her dependent on her family and most likely unemployed. She continues to keep focused on her dream of getting a degree in the near future. For the moment, that means two things: forging on with her studies until she gets admitted to her chosen university and inspiring more young women refugees to enroll in vocational training as one of the pathways to build their own futures. With encouragement coming from someone as dedicated as Kuku, the results should be quite promising.
Post Date: 02-05-2023