The refugee crisis around the world is difficult to put into words. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, (IDMC), more than 40.8 million people globally are on the run in their own countries, and of those 40.8 million, nearly 12.4 million are in Africa, spread across 21 different countries.

What is even more difficult to imagine is that the average stay in one of these refugee camps is over 18 years. And with little access to resources, many of these refugees are not given opportunities for higher education.

And unfortunately, those aware of the refugee crisis in other countries aren't quite sure how to help. For camps that not only struggle to supply inhabitants with basic amenities, but also live with the uncertainty of an unknown future, it's going to take providing solutions with economical impact to help these refugees build a life for themselves moving forward.

Over the past year, a tech startup based out of Morocco, Refugee Code Academy, has been following the refugee crisis closely. Shocked by the lack of media coverage of what was happening, they started to pool resources together to find a solution for how they could not only help refugees today, but begin building opportunities for them to grab hold of their future.

How?

Refugee Code Academy wants to build coding schools inside the refugee camps so that they can join the tech workforce remotely.

"This year, we are setting up the first higher education platform in a refugee camp on the African continent," stated RCA in an open letter published by the Oxford Journal.

Inside the camps, RCA plans to build and monitor class rooms with computers, where refugees will be guided through education material with the intention of them acquiring a very valuable skill set in today's job market: website, software, and application coding.

Their fundraising campaign to build the first school is already underway, where supporters can donate and sponsor computers (or an entire classroom). In addition, RCA will be documenting the experience and continuing to contribute stories from inside the refugee camps to established publications like The Oxford Journal to bring awareness to this global issue.

The intention here, of course, is to use technology and its booming industries as both an economical solution and a catalyst for human rights awareness. By teaching refugees coding skills, they will be more likely to find jobs that can support themselves and their families upon exiting the refugee camps.

"We will be sharing our experiences and our encounters by documenting the journey a refugee takes, from living in the camp to integrating into communities in other countries," stated RCA in their open letter.

Published on: Mar 22, 2017
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.