Are you the voice of refugees on education?

6On this World Refugee Day, the GEM Report is launching a call for refugee students and their teachers to share their stories and photos about education. Our next report will be launched on November 20, will focus on the theme of migration, displacement and education. The GEM Report team is therefore interested in featuring your stories to emphasize their relevance but also their urgency . We also hope to contact some of you with a view to inviting you to speak on a global stage at our launch events and/or sharing your story on this blog or the press.

Having carried out research from around the world on refugee education for the last year, we know that there is no end to the amount of uplifting but also devastating stories that you all own. We are keen to hear from you, whether you are students or teachers.

Below are some areas we expect many of you to have personal experiences of, which can help guide your writing.


  1. What were the challenges that hindered you and the initiatives that helped you obtain access to education?
  2. What experiences did you have on arriving in your new school, for example with respect to the language, textbooks, teachers, and your peers?
  3. What was a turning point in your education experience and who was a person who encouraged you or discouraged you from continuing your education?


  1. If you have been teaching refugees, how well prepared and supported do you feel for teaching in diverse, multi-lingual and multi-cultural settings, with students traumatized from conflict and violence?
  2. What have your experiences been in overcoming discrimination and addressing negative attitudes towards refugees by host communities?

Please share your stories and an accompanying photo on this page, and share this call with your contacts. The more we speak out, the more we are heard. Let’s get education for refugees higher up the agenda. If your photo is selected for use in the GEM Report we will contact you to discuss financial compensation



  1. I would love to share my doctoral work which focused on orientation and learning of refugee students from Africa

  2. Our organisation ArmandoAid has been providing educational programmes to refugees stranded in camps in Greece. From June 2016 until November 2017, we founded and ran a school at Oinofyta camp. We counted with 5 classrooms and an average of 200 students.
    It was so great to see the children and adults in this harsh camp environment have a respite that our school provided. We taught children in the mornings and adults in the afternoon, five days per week.
    We taught English to many children and adults. We are so proud of their achievements and our volunteers’ dedicated work. Please check us out.
    Sadly, in November 2017, the Greek government decided to close the camp. Our school had to close too.
    We are now, preparing the deployment of IT classrooms in suitcases and the provision of an e-curriculum to various educational projects along the European refugee route. We will be starting a pilot programme where three boxes will be deployed.

    Please check us out!
    Follow us on instragram too:

    We are also planning to relocate our school in another camp and are raising funds for it. We run entirely through private donations and are a small organisation passionate about empowering refugee communities.

    We have so many stories to tell and one of them is about an 18 years old student from Afghanistan.
    He spent most of his childhood in Iran where he was denied an education.
    When he arrived in Moria camp on Lesvos, he met his first English teacher. The camp’s authorities would not let, apart from a couple of official NGO’s anybody else in the camp.
    So, our student received his first English lessons through a fence for a 3 months.
    He arrived at our school with fairly good English and volunteered to be a teacher’s assistant. He also received English and Biology lessons with us in the afternoons.
    Right now, he is in Switzerland and for the first time in his life, he will be seating his first formal exams and taking IGCSE English this summer.
    This bright young man, learned to speak fluently, two completely different languages, English and Greek.
    His English is enviable and soon he will be able to join University courses in Switzerland. We wish him great success.

  3. In light of that, I would like to discuss the importance of refugee integration and how it differs from refugee assimilation.

    I’m sure that you can imagine, as a refugee, by the time you’ve left your war-torn home, all of your belongings, and probably some fallen loved ones, you’ve been through a harrowing experience.

    Refugees are stateless, but more than that they are strong.

    When we define refugees as people who seek refuge, we fail to mention their determination to salvage their own humanity and find sanctuary for themselves, and for their families.

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