Windle Uganda and UNHCR’s higher education scholarship programme, best known by its acronym DAFI, plays an integral role in enabling refugees across Uganda access higher education. Since its inception in 1992, the DAFI programme has grown considerably, enabling 2,321 refugee students to study at universities and colleges from across Uganda and other parts of the world.
Windle Uganda Partnership Programme with UNHCR enables young refugees to continue secondary, post-secondary education and motivates them to stay in school and succeed academically. For students and graduates, our programme serves as a foundation for social and professional development, allowing them to build careers in competitive fields of employment. The social returns of the DAFI University programmes for example exceed investment at the individual level. Highly educated refugees reduce economic and psychological dependence of the whole communities in asylum, improving their self-reliance and preparing them for durable solutions. “……education help us to understand ourselves and the purpose in life, to support and help each other respect and protect the very humanness in each of us”. Paul Gen-Gen a DAFI Scholar 2017/2018.
The strategic priorities of Windle International Uganda and UNHCR through DAFI programme are to:
- Promote self-reliance and empowerment of the sponsored student and his/her family with the skills needed for gainful employment;
- Develop qualified human resources and build the capacity and leadership of talented refugees and war affected persons in order to contribute to the process of reintegration in the home country upon repatriation;
- Contribute to the refugee community pending a durable solution or repatriation (many graduates work in refugee camps, particularly as teachers and community workers);
- Facilitate integration, temporary or permanent, and contribute skills to the host country, if repatriation is not or not yet possible;
- Provide a role model for other refugee students, particularly for girls to advance their education and demonstrate benefits of education