This week has been a very hectic one at JRS. They run a tertiary education program called Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins, in partnership with a network of Jesuit Universities, which provides refugees with a three-year diploma in a field tailored to the camp situation. Here in Malawi, the two streams are Business or Education. It is currently a pilot project, and the first year of graduates have just completed their studies. So... it called for a big celebration! There were delegates from all over who came to celebrate with the graduates at their ceremony - from the program heads from the various JC-HEM schools, to professors who taught their online courses, to representatives of the granting universities, Government of Malawi and UNHCR representatives, Wiley Publishing (they provided the books), and from Microsoft (they provided the technology for the centres).
Most delegates arrived on Thursday and spent the day on a tour of the JRS offices in Lilongwe, compound in the camp, and the camp itself. They were greeted by Burundian drummers, local performing artists such as Tresor, a slam poet, and were also given the opportunity to shop for Umoja Crafts.
On Friday, we had a formal graduation ceremony at the neighbouring Malawian teacher training centre, and the cohort wore their caps and gowns and were treated to a special luncheon following a long ceremony of speeches and the presentation of their diplomas.
I have gotten to know a few of the graduating cohort in the few weeks that I have been here, and I am so impressed by their accomplishments - these are rigorous courses and completing them in a third (sometimes ninth!) language is extremely difficult.
Congratulations to the first graduates of the JC-HEM program at Dzaleka Refugee Camp!
Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.