Abdikadir Abikar is a Somali refugee pursuing his Master of Education (MEd) from York University in Toronto, Canada, more than 12,000km away from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya where Abdikadir studies along with 6 other refugees.
Every day, Abdikadir walks for almost two hours to the computer lab in Dadaab, where he connects to online learning platforms like Moodle and Coursera that allow him to study and also to speak to his classmates and professors and feel part of the campus life.
“Education changes a person. It has transformed me”
Besides studying for his ME, Abdikadir is a teaching assistant for the new cohort of students at the camp and wants to use his education to make a difference in communities with difficult access to education. “One day, I will be a changemaker and go back to my homeland, Somalia. I want to apply new ideas and help bring education to communities outside cities” he explains.
Abdikadir and many other refugee students are pursuing their higher education through a program for distance learning by the Consortium for Connected Learning, promoted by the UN Refugee Agency. In this Consortium, higher education institutions worldwide collaborate to deliver technology-supported connected learning in contexts of conflict, post-conflict, crisis and refugee displacement.
Watch Abdikadir’s story in this video from UNHCR Canada: