Xavier Project’s primary goal is to offer an individualised education for urban refugees in Nairobi and Kampala so that they can reach their full potential. We provide sponsorship for refugee children to study at government schools and in the holidays we organise extra-curricular activities so that they can explore the talents that might not be revealed in their formal education. This includes sports activities and music coaching and extends to activities such as community service and social media courses. In the long term we hope to educate men and women for others who can use their education to make their own world a better place.
We have opened a livelihoods programme for the parents of these children so that in the long run they will be able to pay their own school fees. Many of the parents are skilled and well qualified but they lack the capital to start their own business and struggle to find employment because of cultural barriers. One recent success of this programme is Rafiki Fabrix.
Tamuka is the media programme of Xavier Project designed to give refugees a voice so that they can speak out about the realities of their lives in order to effect positive improvements. Tamuka is a three phase programme which enables refugees to publish, learn from and interact with unbiased information anonymously and without access to the internet. The first phase included an awareness programme designed to educate refugees about social media opportunities that already exist and to improve local infrastructure to give them better access to the internet. To facilitate communication, the second phase is an SMS-website platform: refugees and anyone else will be able to send an SMS anonymously and for free to a memorable number which will immediately be uploaded to Twitter (see twitter widget on the right). In the third phase other forms of media such as radio programmes and magazines are being launched launched to interact with the material coming into the Tamuka platform.
Xavier Project was founded in 2008. We have 2 headquarters spread across 2 countries. We have 16 permanent members of staff from 7 different nationalities. By paying school fees and through other support we are enabling 130 refugee children to go to school: 50 secondary school students in Kenya, 70 students in Uganda and 10 secondary school students in Congo. We run English and extra-curricular camps for all of these children 2 times per year.
We have a resource hub in Kampala with 12 computers, and this acts as a base for our media platform which receives 200 SMS messages a month sent for free by refugees. We also publish a newsletter written by refugees which has a circulation of 5000 in each city, and the best of the SMS’s are published on our twitter account XavierProj which we aim to reach to over 1000 followers by June 2014.
We run a fabric business that employs 2 refugees and makes £450 per month for Xavier Project. We are also opening a livelihoods programme which through business services aims to give 100 refugees access to employment within 4 years.
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