We can't change the world, but we can change theirs.
This past January, I traveled to eastern Chad to visit Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) education programs, and witnessed the first cohort of students who are recipients of the higher education scholarship program supported by Educated Refugee Foundation. Forty students will take part in the three-year program and, when finished, will be certified to teach secondary school in Chadian public or private schools, as well as in the camps. These are some of the top students who received high marks on their secondary school exams, called the BAC, short for baccalaureate degree. They will attend the Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS), a teacher training college in the city of Abeche in eastern Chad. When I was en route to visit one of the refugee camps, we ran into a JRS Chad staff person who had just returned from escorting the students arriving for their first semester at the ENS. He recounted how excited the students were, how difficult it was for some of them to leave their families (many for the first time) and the logistical difficulties in making sure the students had everything they needed, including adequate housing. It was clear that this opportunity would be life-changing for the young refugees taking part. We look forward to watching them progress in their studies, give back to their communities and serve as role models for future generations.
Jesuit Refugee Services