On Tuesday 24th January 2023, Refugees as Re-Builders™ (RRB) held a special ‘ Lunch and Learn’ event at Greencoat Place, IofC UK’s Centre in London, to mark UNESCO’s fifth International Day of Education. The event inspired guests with two astute RRB alumni projects that are now enabling positive change in Northern Uganda and Somalia.
Jesca Areymo-Omona, a social worker and former teacher shared her vision to tackle period poverty in her two local schoolsNorthern Uganda, and Juneydi Farah who is a journalist for the BBC presented his recent rebuilding effort the building of schools in rural Somalia.
Jesca said: “In 2019 it was reported that as many as 86% of girls missed school due to their menstrual cycle. Period Poverty can lead young women to failing exams and choosing domestic roles over schooling, as well as more severe consequences such as domestic violence, rape, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and isolation and suicide. The money raised with my project will cover costs of products, training, packing, transport, distribution to keep the girls in my former childhood village of Lawiya Dul coming to school.”
Juneydi said that the aim of his project is to continuously inspire, educate and equip: “The first thing we did in my village was refurbish and expand the only primary school in the village. Ba’ad Primary School is a basic education centre for the children in the community, the school is built and run by the community. The school was closed for almost eight years, and was badly dilapidated so the money we raised was really important to make it a place for local children to learn again.”
Both projects are developing essential equipment pupils need to fully access their lessons, as well as developing school infrastructure by increasing the number of classrooms.
Left to right: RRB Alumni members Jesca Areymo-Omona and Juneydi Farah with Dr Muna Ismail
Guests in attendance added their contributions
Guests in attendance included representatives from refugee-focused organisations, RRB faculty members, RRB alumni and the wider IofC fellowship. Dr. Muna Ismail, RRB Programme Manager, welcomed people to the inaugural event and was delighted to have the chance of this important day to be able to spotlight and support the projects. She highlighted the RRB Curriculum Programme which had helped shape the path that led Jesca and Juneydi to start their projects:
“The RRB Curriculum equips our students with the soft skills and tools they need to implement their initiatives and rebuild education in their home countries. This is the testimony of our training, creating a global network of refugee rebuilders”.
Amanda Clements, RRB Curriculum Developer, said: “This event was about recognizing how the transformative work of RRB not only addresses issues at a local level, and in a specific context, but how that work fits into the wider picture of global change. The skills and accreditation learners gain during our course, is the starting point for transformative work.”
After the presentations, there was a chance for guests and RRB Alumni members to connect, ask questions about the projects and RRB course and enjoy lunch together.
For more information about the RRB Programme, and to register your interest for the course, click here.
Attendees connected with each other over lunch after the presentations
The RRB Faculty came together for the event