By scottiesplace

Inside Rwanda’s Refugee Camps

 

By Paul Winter

Part III of III

From January 10 through March 5, 2012, my colleague Matt Vincent and I visited five separate refugee camps in Botswana, Kenya, and Rwanda as the first step in developing the Vulnerable Scholars Program. Over the last month, I’ve been sharing our experiences and findings from the hundreds of interviews we conducted with education and government officials, from representatives at UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and NGO partners, from leaders in the refugee and host communities, and from countless young women and girls seeking desperately to achieve an education. This final post will focus on our visits to the three of the four refugee camps in Rwanda: Kiziba, Gihembe, and Nyabiheke. The fourth camp, Kigeme, was opened in August 2012 after an escalation in violence in and around Goma, a city in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.   Read more

By scottiesplace

Life in the Kakuma Refugee Camp

By Paul Winter

Part II of III

 

From January 10 through March 5, 2012, my colleague Matt Vincent and I visited five separate refugee camps in Botswana, Kenya, and Rwanda as the first step in developing the Vulnerable Scholars Program. I’ll be sharing our experiences and findings from the hundreds of interviews we conducted with education and government officials, from representatives at UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and NGO partners, from leaders in the refugee and host communities, and from countless young women and girls seeking desperately to achieve an education. This week will focus on our visit to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, and next week I will share our findings from three refugee camps in Rwanda: Kiziba, Gihembe, and Nyabiheke.   Read more

By scottiesplace

Faces of Homelessness

By Jo-El Wadsworth

At its most elemental, homelessness is about inadequate housing, insufficient income, and a lack of appropriate social supports. For many of the children who come to Scottie’s Place, homelessness entails a life of extreme poverty, frequent bouts of hunger, greater risk of illness or injury, and the ever-present threat of violence in their homes, neighborhoods and schools.

For the children who come to Scottie’s Place it means lying to their friends about their personal circumstances, living in a car, shack or shelter; it means not having enough money to play sports or purchase hygiene supplies. Sometimes it means that the child manages the family, while the parent succumbs to the demands of their stressful life. It means that many of the children of Scottie’s Place know too much about drug and alcohol addiction, prison time, sex. Many have been in foster care, many have been abused – sexually, physically and emotionally.   Read more

By scottiesplace

What is Homelessness?

 

photo: Jafria News
By Jo-El Wadsworth

The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates 3.5 million people are homeless in the United States in the course of a year, 39% of whom are children. Our homeless are veterans and senior citizens, babies, toddlers, youngsters, teens. The most representative face of homelessness is a single mother with children. Many homeless individuals are employed, sober, responsible. Others are addicts and alcoholics. Many struggle with health problems and medical bills that dramatically increase their economic vulnerability.   Read more

By scottiesplace

Refugee Education in Dukwi Refugee Camp

 

by Paul Winter

From January 10 through March 5, 2012, my colleague Matt Vincent and I visited five separate refugee camps in Botswana, Kenya, and Rwanda as the first step in developing the Vulnerable Scholars Program. We learned a great deal. Most importantly, we learned that education means protection for girls in the camps; that quite literally, when girls are in school they are safe, and when they are not they are at high risk of violence and exploitation. We learned that opportunities for girls to attend secondary school are almost nonexistent, despite improvements at the primary level directed at retention and performance of girl students. We discovered an all-pervasive disempowerment among the girls, and lack of faith in determining the direction of their futures. Indeed, the majority of girls interviewed had grown up in the camps, and all of their role models and parents as well, had been confined for nearly the entirety of their adult lives. Yet we also learned of the girls’ goals and ambitions, and their desperate drive for an education. We were struck by their altruism and initiative and unfathomable resilience in the face of the many dangerous and oppressive challenges of their lives.   Read more

1 2