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Unlocking the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Malawi’s Refugee Community

First-of-its-kind coding center opens in Dzaleka refugee camp.

In 2020, Malawi-based SNHU GEM student Remy Gakwaya purchased a piece of land in the Dzaleka refugee camp. Last week, on that same piece of land, he cut the ribbon on the brand-new Dzaleka Entrepreneurship Center.

The center is a first-of-its-kind resource for the camp, and its classrooms, boardroom, and over 30 computers are designed to support 1,000 Malawians and refugee students. The center will educate students on technology, entrepreneurship, and computer programming skills to help them improve their livelihoods and the lives of others by starting businesses in the camp.

 

 

Remy’s vision came from studying information and communications technology (ICT) with SNHU GEM and Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL). He saw technology as a path to ending poverty and hardship in refugee camps.

When he shared his dream with the larger SNHU GEM community, leaders from across the community pitched in to help open the center. SNHU President Paul LeBlanc and current and former SNHU Board Members Arthur Sullivan, Peter Worrell and Rob Sullivan supported Remy’s proposal with a gift of $96,000 in 2019.

Remy’s story is just the latest instance of GEM students applying their degrees to lift up their communities. 

“I am filled with joy,” he said. “Today was an amazing day to celebrate the launch of our center and to express our sincere gratitude to our donors Paul, Pete, Arthur and Rob as well as all of the many other incredible individuals who helped make this project possible.”