Rwanda today is hosting almost over 127,000 Refugees literally referred to as Persons of Concern (PoC) and a bigger percentage of this population are youth and children under 18 years old. Youth PoCs usually have challenges in host countries where mostly their inborn potentials & professional talents keep dormant, untapped, frequently overlooked and seldom consulted.
This is mainly due to the challenging process of social & professional integration in the host community where PoC first struggle with adapting to the language, culture and the whole system of the host country hence they hope work to be the most important factor to facilitate the rapid integration of PoC in the host society .The above-mentioned factors Consequently causes high rate of unemployment among many PoC in refugee camps which thus leads to other negative outcomes such as severe financial hardship and poverty, family tensions, breakdown, boredom, alienation, shame and stigma, increased social isolation, crime, erosion of confidence and self-esteem, the atrophying of work skills and ill-health.
Through the joint efforts from the Government of Rwanda (GoR) with its partners such as United high commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Prison Fellowship Rwanda (PFR) and Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU) have come up with a solution of establishing an Online Job and Scholarship Help Desk in refugee camps and urban areas (Kigali & Huye) where refugee youth job and scholarship seekers are helped by a “Digital Career Counsellor” in their search of job and scholarship opportunities.
This project of “Employment and Scholarship Digital Counsellors in refugee camps and urban areas (Huye & Kigali)” is seeking to engage refugee community Digital Career Counsellors, especially youths, as an effective means of communication and awareness on the available online job and scholarship opportunities. In refugee camps and urban areas, several youths are being identified with some internet skills relating to the search and application of the online job and scholarship opportunities.
The Digital Career Counsellors are supporting refugees who are looking for jobs and scholarship opportunities in navigating through known job boards and scholarship websites and assisting candidates to submit their online applications. They are therefore being trained on how to write effective CVs and Cover Letters, as well as good scholarship applications for them to be able to play the role as career and academic advisors. They were given the necessary and needed equipment such as laptops and monthly internet bundles so that they can also train their fellow community members to sustain this initiative and provide more earning opportunities even in the future.
In her own words, Arum Cho; The UNHCR Associate Protection Officer & youth advisor in Rwanda said “ This digital career counsellors program was designed upon the participatory meeting assessment & feedback from youth refugees in camps saying that they face a lot of difficulties to apply online jobs & scholarships due to lack of skills, internet and computers and it is this regards that we wanted to facilitate a selected number of capable refugees youth to come for this training, learning and go back equipped with skills and tools that will help themselves and their community members to apply for as many job & scholarship opportunities as possible.
Please follow the youtube link for more info… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7n6aVw_UEc