In Italy a scholarship gives a young refugee from South Sudan a fresh chance

© UNHCR/Fabio Bucciarelli

TRIESTE, DECEMBER 5 – With scholarship financed by Anna Illy, of the famous Italian coffee roasting company Illy, an 18-year-old who fled his native South Sudan can now  catching up academically at the  UWC (United World College) Adriatic College in Duino, near Trieste. Boboya Emmanuel Sebit Gabu is one of a few dozens children who are able to go back to school in one of the 17 colleges and schools that UWC has established around the globe, teaching the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Founded in 1962, UWC is a secular organization with a mission to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. This year, the UWC Refugee Initiative, supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, hopes to more than double the number of scholarships it currently offers to refugees, from 47 to at least 100.

Emmanuel’s story is featured in an article of the UNHCR website. The cooperation between UNHCR and UWC is an example of the type of new partnerships needed to advance a comprehensive response, achieve better protection and long-lasting solutions for refugees and widen the options available for those refugees with few prospects of attaining a durable solution, the agency said.

The boy is in the first semester of his first year at UWC Adriatic. He is English fluent, and he also speaks Arabic and his native Moru tongue. While still in primary school, he fled conflict and became an internally displaced person in his own country, like millions of others. He later became an orphan, although he does not want to talk about his childhood. The memories are too painful, the article said.

UNHCR hopes that the UWC Refugee Initiative can grow beyond the initial 100 students that will benefit from UWC’s colleges and schools. Education is crucial for young refugees to build their future, become self-reliant, provide leadership in displacement and rebuild communities recovering from conflict, including in areas of return and in host countries. (@OnuItalia)