SARAJEVO, September 15 (FENA) – During the first half of September, the UN Refugee Agency – UNHCR, through the partner organization BHWI Foundation, distributed IT equipment and school supplies to students and young people who are refugees and asylum seekers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to improve access to educational materials and online tools for non-formal education of young people.
“This valuable donation, the laptop I received, will help me attend the courses offered by the Coursera program for refugees. I speak Arabic, English and Bosnian, which allows me to have a job in BiH, and I would like to learn more languages because I noticed that I am good at it,” said Saif Eddin, a young man from Syria with subsidiary protection status living in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“I want to learn more about graphic design. It is a sphere of education for which it is necessary to have quality equipment and programs, which you made possible for me with this laptop,” said Omer, a young man with the status of subsidiary protection, also from Syria.
The UNHCR Education Report for 2020, published last week, states that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were devastating for all children, and for young refugees, already facing obstacles to secure a place in the classroom, a pandemic can shatter all hopes for education.
In almost every country, this rate lags behind the enrollment rate of children from the local community. The data also show that from March 2019 to March 2020, gross basic refugee enrollment rates were 68 percent.
Enrollment in higher education was 5 percent, up 2 percent from last year, which is a transformational change for thousands of refugees and their communities. It is an increase that also offers hope and encouragement to young refugees facing daunting challenges in accessing education.
“As a partner of UNHCR Bosnia and Herzegovina, the BHWI Foundation will continue to provide psychosocial support to parents and children asylum seekers, recognized refugees and those with subsidiary protection in the integration process, with special emphasis on education and acquisition of new skills,” said Safeta Muhović, a social worker from BHWI.
These activities were implemented with the support of the European Union Instrument for Contribution to Stability and Peace, stated the UNHCR.