Plan International & UNHCR’s DAFI Scholarship Programme Equips 30 Refugee Students with ICT Tools

Another cohort of 30 refugee students registered under the DAFI scholarship programme piloted by UNHCR and Plan International has received brand new ICT tools in Yaounde, Cameroon.

25-year-old Abdarahman Ibrahim, from the Central African Republic and who is the current president of the group of DAFI scholarship programme beneficiaries has expressed gratitude to all donors who relentlessly vest efforts on refugee students to achieve their studies.

The young student praised the initiative which to him shall improve on his research works.

“With the advent of information and communication technologies, ICTs, we need kits such as these tablets that will help us to improve our research assignments because it is not easy to undertake such tasks with a smartphone. The phone is very limited and cannot help us to type our reports at the end of the month. Now, these tablets will ease us in typing and research. It will also help us to renew our scholarships as indicated by UNHCR officials, the DAFI scholarship programme will solely be done online.” Abdarahman Ibrahim said.

Abdarahman Ibrahim was speaking on Friday, 5th of May 2023 in Yaounde during a ceremony to officially hand over tablets to the new cohort of 30 refugee students of the DAFI scholarship programme for 2022-2023 academic. There are in total 13 young men and 17 young women from neighbouring countries of Cameroon.

Mrs. Koko Boti Felicite, Principal Administrator for Protection in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR called on the refugee students to make productive use of these brand-new tablets and challenged them to work hard to be role models for their peers.

Speaking on behalf of the Country Director of Plan International Cameroon, Mr Fabien Ongono Program Implementation Manager, in his keynote address said the DAFI programme is out to accompany both female and male refugee youths who merit to follow higher education studies. This programme as he said, permits them to secure their rights and protection.

Fabien Ongono stress on the fact that Plan International, partner in the DAFI scholarship programme is a major actor in promoting access to quality and inclusive education as well as entrepreneurial opportunities and decent work.

The Spokesperson of Plan International Cameroon also outlined the importance of ICTs nowadays and the key role they play in socio-professional insertion.

Mr Ongono indicated that one of the main challenges to address is that of enrolling in the higher education level close to 15% of refugees by 2030.

The occasion was equally seized by Plan International Cameroon to salute the collaboration with the government through the Ministry of Higher Education (Minesup).

About the DAFI scholarship programme

The DAFI (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative) scholarship programme offers qualified refugee students the possibility to earn an undergraduate degree in their country of asylum. Through the dedicated support of the German Government, UNHCR and private donors, the programme has supported over 15,000 young refugees to undertake tertiary studies since 1992. The strategic priorities of the DAFI programme are to: promote the self-reliance of sponsored students through opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship; empower students to contribute knowledge, skills and leadership, and facilitate peaceful coexistence with host communities during displacement and upon return; Strengthen the protective impact of education by encouraging lifelong learning; Provide role models for refugee children and youth to demonstrate the impact of education on individuals, communities and societies.

The scholarship covers a range of costs, including tuition, fees, study materials, food, transportation, accommodation and other expenses. To amplify academic achievement and skills development, DAFI scholars receive additional support through close monitoring, academic preparatory and language classes based on students’ needs, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities.

Elise Kenimbeni

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