Student Blog: My Travel to the World Innovation Summit for Education as a Refugee from Kiziba
I am Sadiki Bamperineza, a refugee from Kiziba Refugee Camp. In addition to this, I am a Kepler Kiziba Student, and I am working for my Bachelors of Arts in Communication with a Concentration In Business from Southern New Hampshire University. I had a chance to be a learner at WISE Learners’ voice program 2017-2018. This blog summarises the times that I had at Doha in the WISE Summit for education. It explains the things that I have learned as a learner and my experience from the WISE summit for education.
The WISE learners’ voice program helps learners from different parts of the world to rethink about education in order to help leaders take a leading role in developing education their own communities. As this year’s cohort will be thinking about the way to develop education for displaced people and people in formed migration, it is a great pleasure to me to be part of the Voice program Cohort 2017-2018 since I am a refugee learner. My community and the world need this experience and expertise in order to develop the humanity and the way people live in the community.
The morning of 15th Dec, I participated in the first session of the opening ceremony. The summit had the theme “coexist, co-create and learning to live together.” The opening ceremony was led by Dr. Fared Zackary and the main topic was Education in a post truth world. In this session, Zackary talked about the form of education in this time where digital tools show more intelligence than human beings and where the computers show the ability to remember than the humans. In these days, a child from primary school types a question in Google and finds the direct answer, so how can we cannot predict the ability to think of the coming generations. In the same ceremony, they have delivered the WISE prize for education for this year. This prize has been given to Patrick Awuah from Ghana.
In the second session I participated in, I got ideas about how we can use education in order to develop the generation of ethical leaders who are able to promote global peace. In addition, the session was about the education reform by which the leaders have to prepare the next generation leaders of the community by promoting education of the young people. In this session, I have been able to think and to rethink about education of my community in Kiziba Refugee Camp.
I participated at the roundtable with the EU Commissioner. This session was held in honor of Mr. Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner of Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. The objective of that roundtable was to bring together the education startups and initiatives working in crisis zones with the Commissioner of an exchange of ideas and best practices for education in difficult times.
During the time of this roundtable, every participant had the time of talking about the things that he does in the community in the field of education. We had time of discussing the way we can help education in the refugee camps and the communities of people who are involved in the forced migration.
The EU Commissioner took the time of congratulating us for the effort we do of investing our time in helping education of the refugees. By giving this ending note, he told us that we will stay in contact so that the best ideas and activities of education can funded and sustained.
All in all, this chance to participate to this roundtable was beyond my expectations since I was the only one refugee who was in that session, and everybody was asking me questions as the best person to ask the true story about how people live in the refugee camp.
In the last Session of the closing ceremony, the main idea was about the way to promote the education of refugees in different parts of the world mainly in the Middle East and Africa. I have had the time of reflecting on the way education be used in Kiziba in order to promote rationalism and the generation of leaders who will be able to promote the well-being of refugees. What is the main purpose is the way to end up refugee hood by using education and rationality. For example, in my community we struggle with finding food, clothes and the basic needs in general. People are not allowed to go back into our country DR Congo due to insecurity in our country. Though people are struggling like this, there is a hope that life will change since education can help people to find the solutions which they are facing. There is no gift people in community can have which can be more important than education. Education helps people to move and find out the solutions that they are facing. Though education, entrepreneurship of immigrants can be successful. Beyond this, refugee camps can raise the leaders who can be able to fight against tribalism and lead with dynamism due to the power of education.
I had some challenges during this experience which related to my refugee status. It was not easy for me to reach Doha for the summit. I took the flight to Doha from Kanombe International Airport and reached Doha at midnight. After arriving at the airport, I was not allowed to enter the country due to a wording issue in my visa. In my Visa it was written that I have a normal passport while I was having a refugee travel document. Then I was on boarded the same day returning back to Rwanda. At that time, Qatar Foundation reissued another visa for me with the corrected wording.
After reissuing another visa on 14th Dec, I was accepted to enter the country.
Due to the delay in my travel to Doha caused by the documents’ issue, I was not able to participate in the hackathon with the rest of the students in my cohort where they were learning how to support the little ripples project of helping young kids’ education in emergencies.
I am thankful to the WISE Learners Voice Program, Southern New Hampshire University and Kepler Kiziba University Program who helped me to face all these marvelous opportunity of rethinking about education of my community and thinking about how we can build the future of the world by using such a strong weapon as education.
By Sadiki Bamperineza
About the author: Sadiki is a Congolese refugee whose parents moved to Rwanda when he was four. He studied both primary and secondary school in Kiziba refugee camp in western Rwanda. With his refugee status and the lack of financial support, he invested his time in supporting community education. He taught geography in senior three, and helped the parents start ‘Kiziba High School’ which brought upper secondary classes to the camp. Despite his community’s poverty and his simple background, Sadiki pursued university degree. After three years’ working in Kiziba as a teacher, he was admitted at Kepler, a university program which helps bright students to earn online degrees from Southern New Hampshire University. He earned his associate degree of arts in general studies in 2017, and is now working on his bachelor’s of arts in communications with a concentration in business. While working on his degree, he interned at SafeMotos, a startup taxi service company based in Kigali. At SafeMotos, he created a digital platform for driver training. Sadiki has returned Kiziba camp and started a project using technology to help refugees become self-reliant. He is studying the causes of unemployment in Kiziba with the goal of creating a strong education model that increases the competitiveness of refugees in the local labor market.