Kakuma school

Supporting young learners in Kakuma Refugee Camp

21st June 2018 | Blog

This week, our brand new project Reading for all launches in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp in partnership with Windle International-Kenya and new partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

Reading for All aims to give 17,000 children and young people who attend school in the camp a boost to their education through the provision of Classroom Book Boxes filled with brand new books, training for their teachers in how to bring books to life in the classroom and a grant to purchase locally published books and learning materials.

We caught up with Heidi Ayuma, Education Coordinator at Lutheran World Federation to learn more about why it is so important for young readers in the camp to have access to brand new books.

Can you tell us a bit more about the people you serve?

The vision that is in the heart of every displaced person is of going back home or resettling, of living in dignity, of children completing school, families thriving and all people using their talents to develop their community and country.

Education is viewed by refugees as the only tool they can use to change their status in future. But there are no clear guidelines on the role of host government in refugee education and so refugee learners are likely to miss out on education since they are not included in national government plans.

Primary school children
An overcrowded classroom in Kakuma

How does the work of LWF seek to address even some of these issues?

Lutheran World Federation provides all the Early Childhood Development (ECD) and primary school education in the camp. There are 18 ECD centres and 26 primary schools but with 185,859 people living in the camp and tens of thousands of them young children, this is nowhere near enough. As a result learner-teacher ratio in ECD stands at 107:1 and access to learning and reference material is low with an average of eight learners sharing one workbook. In these conditions, children struggle to learn.

children reading


How can books help?

Having exposure to reading materials like the new books from Book Aid International is improving the children’s literacy outcomes. Supplementary readers go a long way in developing children’s reading abilities, improving their vocabulary, retention in retelling and comprehension.

Also, reading storybooks during leisure time provides refugee learners with an opportunity to forget different challenges they face in the camp.

There’s people of many different nationalities in Kakuma – are books in English useful?

English is the official language of instruction under the Kenyan Curriculum that is used in Kakuma Refugee Camp. It is therefore mandatory for every learner in the camp to learn the language in order to benefit from education.”

Reading for all: Kakuma Refugee Camp is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We would like to thank them for their support! Without their generosity, Heidi and thousands like her still would not have the books they need.

We hope to expand Reading for all beyond Kakuma in the future, but we can’t do it without you. For just £2 you can help send the next book.

You may also like

Learn more about our project with Lutheran World Federation and Windle International Kenya to welcome children forced to live far from home into a lifetime of reading.
Read more >
Find out more about our work to support displaced people across the world.
Read more >
Your gift can help us send more books to support displaced people.
Read more >