Changemaker: Prince Bishongo
Country of Implementation: Zimbabwe
SMF WONDER GRANTEE
Young refugees in Tongogara Refugee Camp, Zimbabwe, making up to 2/3 of the camp population, have not yet gotten any seed of hope to heal from their war-torn past and have an assurance for a better. They do not have access to quality education crucial to rebuild their lives. To solve this Prince and her friends founded TWEENS (Together We Educationally Empower Non-privileged Students) to provide quality tutoring lessons, to fill the gap of the insufficient number of the qualified teaching staff at the local secondary school. They also encourage those who have dropped out to re-begin their educational journey and help prepare those who cannot go to school to self-study and prepare for national exams. They organize fundraising to provide stationary to those who cannot afford it on their own and work with some donors of books to have modern books in the local library. But TWEENS's work has not been so effective due a pitiful lack of internet access by young refugee students in the camp. TWEENS decided to create a study center with a reliable internet access. This center has been helping refugee students to access online educational resources and opportunities. The center has allowed young refugees who has do not have government documents (or are just too old) in order to continue their high school or higher education, to have well recognized educational certificates from online programs. TWEENS makes this possible by offering consistent guidance and tutoring on the use of internet for educational purposes. The current Tweens secretary, having studied computer science from the University of the People, coached other TWEENS tutors and all the team is responsible in guiding young refugees students in their online educational endeavors. The study center is open everyday from 08:00 to 18:00 and students who cannot get inside the center due to Covid-19 or the limited number of computers, are allowed to use their phones (for those who have) for educational purposes. With this first-of-it-kind reliable internet access in the Tongogara Refugee Camp, Tweens believes it can now bring the Amala Education program and the University of the people, and other online programs such as Coursera and EdX to the camp.