At least 260 Burundi students living in Rwanda’s largest refugee camp, Mahama, have been offered scholarships to continue their education in Rwanda’s higher learning institutions.
The beneficiaries are students who had completed their high school education before having to flee to Rwanda due to the political violence in their country have been enrolled for English lessons which will facilitate their university education in Rwanda.
“The government of Rwanda, in partnership with UNHCR, is supporting us to resume our education here in Rwanda. We want to continue with studies and, we are lucky to get an opportunity to study in the Rwandan universities,” said Jean Claude Ciza, president of the association of refugee students at Mahama refugee camp in Bugesera district, Eastern Province.
He also noted that the refugees are receiving support to get basic school necessities such as clothes, mattresses, soaps, beddings, shoes and scholastic materials among others.
Announcing the scholarship, Seraphine Mukantabana, Rwanda minister of disaster management and refugee affairs said “Refugees can face many barriers to accessing higher education, including a lack of information, advice and individual guidance sensitive to their specific needs. We are supporting Burundian refugees and other refugees in Rwanda to access quality education,”
Most of the Burundians refugees fled Burundi in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to run for a third term, which he went on to win despite protests from opposition.
At least over 162,000 refugees live in various camps across Rwanda with a majority being Congolese and Burundians. Mahama camp currently hosts more than 49,000 refugees.