Youth Summer Camp Project Reaches Refugee Camp


Photo credit: Julie Aubrey – July 28, 2014

In a flash collaboration project, students at Westside Montessori Academy Summer Camp came together and made 87 laminated bookmarks for the educators in the Dadaab Refugee Camp who are currently completing a UBC course taught by Dr. Jennifer Vadeboncoeur on child and adolescent development for secondary teachers.

The bookmark idea surfaced out of a discussion Jennifer had with her daughters about “Mommy teaching in Africa.”

“I was explaining that the students were students AND teachers and that they would be working very hard with their materials, a big, big book. We were thinking about what we could do to help the teachers with their reading and they came up with the bookmark idea to help ‘Mommy’s teachers’ keep track of what they read.”

This collaborative project is a needed reminder of both the thoughtfulness of children and the ease of reaching out to others in our small world. The distance between Vancouver and Dadaab, which is 14317 km, is eclipsed by projects of this kind.

Youth Summer Camp - Bookmarks for Dadaab Refuge Camp

Photo credit: Julie Aubrey – July 28, 2014













Learn More

Since 2009, the UBC Faculty of Education has been working with Kenya’s Moi University and the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya to develop and implement a teacher education program for secondary school teachers in the Dadaab settlement.

The two-year teacher education diploma program in Dadaab, Kenya started this month and is offered collectively by UBC Faculty of Education and Kenya’s Moi University.

UBC Faculty of Education members Associate Dean Rita Irwin and Associate Professor Samson Nashon are leading the project, which includes:

Dr. George Belliveau (LLED), Mr. Bruce Gurney (EDCP), Mr. Eric Hansen (EDCP), Dr. Kedrick James (LLED), Dr. Elizabeth Jordan (ECPS), Ms. Joanne Melville (EDCP), Dr. Karen Meyer (EDCP), Dr. Cynthia Nicol (EDCP), Dr. Bathsheba Opini (EDST), Dr. Theresa Rogers (LLED), and Dr. Jennifer Vadeboncoeur  (ECPS). Their contributions include developing distance and facilitated courses for the program with hopes of participating in classroom-based teaching in the future.

The Dadaab project is a humanitarian effort currently linked in parallel partnership between York University and Kenyatta University who are working on a similar education program for elementary teachers. In early 2013, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFAT-D) awarded a grant to York University and a group of partners, including UBC, Moi University, Kenyatta University, and the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) for funding and support of the Dadaab project.




Read follow-up story:  Educators in Dadaab are “Engines of Change”

Story by:  Julie Acres and Jennifer Vadeboncoeur