A Bridge to Public School

Helping refugee kids integrate into the local school system

Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID) is, a community-based organization formed by refugees in Uganda that operates a number of programs that provide informal language instruction, Internet access, and vocational training to refugees in urban Kampala. For it’s Amplify application, it asked the question: How might we create a bridging program that provides school-age refugee children in urban Kampala with the support they need to join and stay in school, despite varied academic backgrounds, a change in school systems, and parents’ limited financial resources?

With the addition of a formal bridging program, YARID seeks to support children who arrive as refugees in Kampala to enter the public education system in Uganda and continue their education. The bridging program is designed to address the myriad of factors currently preventing Kampala’s refugee children from joining and staying in school by providing children with assessment, mentoring, and academic support; helping parents save for out-of-reach school fees; and training teachers from local primary schools on how to handle the unique needs of refugee children.

After attending the Amplify bootcamp in Kampala, YARID spent three months running several prototypes to learn about the various elements of their bridging course and test parts of the experience. Coming out of prototyping, YARID plans to pilot their bridging program in earnest in 2016 with an initial cohort of students. Based on prototyping, the pilot will include more focused training for teachers on how to work with traumatized children, better expectation setting with refugee parents on their involvement in ensuring children complete homework, and ensuring that the bridging experience is socially preparing students to integrate with national students.

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