Posted on November 08, 2014

Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, announced on Wednesday its support for Education Above All’s (EAA) Kakuma Project under a multi-year agreement that will see schools, clinics and community centres powered by solar energy.

Following a joint visit to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya in 2012 with Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, QF Chairperson, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), EAA has partnered with UNHCR to develop anew holistic model that will empower refugee communities. QSTec’s involvement in the Kakuma Project is fully aligned with QF’s mission to be a catalyst for change regionally and internationally by leveraging its experiences, knowledge and capabilities.

As Qatar’s leading solar solutions provider,QSTec has joined forces with a number of partners for a collaborative effort that will see the Kakuma Project engage in an innovative programme that changes the way education is provided. At 12sqkm, Kakuma is one of the largest refugee camps in the world, serving more than 170,000 people. Rather than being entrenched in dependency, the project is seeking to empower refugees and enable them to build a new life – both in the camp and in the communities where they will resettle.

EAA is a global initiative founded in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, aimed at building a global movement that contributes to human, social and economic development through quality education and other welfare programmes and initiatives. Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Dr Khalid K. Al Hajri, Chairman and CEO of QSTec, said: “There is nothing more important than the power of education and its ability to transform communities and future generations.

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“In line with the vision of our founding organisation Qatar Foundation, enabling access to quality education programmes and initiatives that can change lives, is extremely important to QSTec. Qatar Solar Technologies and its partners are facilitating the development of educational environments that will encourage the development of life-long learning skills to have a profound positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”

The project, will offer educational intervention from early childhood education to vocational training and literacy classes that are designed to meet the learning needs of each individual regardless of age, background or special need. The project will also feature peace education programmes, sports and extra-curricular activities to benefit both refugees and Kenyan nationals in the surrounding community, further solidifying peaceful coexistence and enhancing protection in the region.

Leonardo Pinheiro, Director of Strategy, Policy and Research for EAA, said: “The Kakuma Project represents an innovative approach to providing education in a conflict-affected community. “Not a relief effort, the Kakuma Project focuses on improving camp infrastructure and providing educational opportunities to residents of all ages in order to give them the confidence, skills and knowledge necessary for self-reliance. Together with our partners, EAA seeks to give the residents of the Kakuma Refugee Camp the tools they need to create a better future for themselves.”

EAA, which is funding the project, will coordinate the efforts of a wide range of industry partners, including experts in construction, project management, solar technology, sports, and water and sanitation, to create a multi-sector ecosystem conducive to the provision and sustainability of quality education. This is a multi-year project that in the future could possibly be used as a model for other such camps around the world.