Kakuma refugee camp is located in the Northwestern part of Kenya and is reached by a humanitarian air flight. The camp was established in 1992 due to the arrival of many Sudanese refugees. At the time, the region also experienced an influx of Somalian and Ethiopian refugees. Today the camp includes residents from Rwanda, the DRC, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Congo-Brazzaville, with the majority from South Sudan.
SNHU GEM partners with a Syrian-led community-based organization in the Bekaa Valley, a local NGO in Tripoli led by a network of Lebanese professors, and a vocational training center in operation since 1962, enabling us to achieve maximum inclusivity among our student body, and to serve Syrian, Palestinian and host communities.
We work alongside students living in the Dzaleka camp in the north, which houses approximately 60% refugees from the DRC, 19% from Burundi, 19% from Rwanda, and 2% from Somalia. Students in SNHU’s GEM inaugural Malawi class come from each country except Somalia.
We work with on-site partner Kepler in two locations in Rwanda: at the remote Kiziba Refugee Camp, which is home to 17,500 residents, 99% of whom are Congolese, and at our urban campus in Kigali, which is the commercial center and capital of Rwanda, with 1 million residents.
Meet our Partners
Our global education movement model integrates on-the-ground partners into our degree programs as preparatory and funneling programs, as well as course facilitation and logistical support at project sites. At each project site, we work with partners to develop employment pathways for students through work experience and internships. Our partnerships also provide opportunities to capitalize on existing networks as we expand to new sites.
Jesuit Refugee Service in Kenya (JRS)
JRS Kenya operates two temporary protection houses for survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SVGB) and children with protection needs, offering comprehensive case management, psychosocial support, and skills training. These services help achieve stability and develop skills necessary to transition to a more sustainable situations. JRS Kenya also operates five special needs protection facilities, where individuals can access psychosocial services and their parents/caregivers can receive counseling and training. JRS continues to operate protection centers for people with disabilities, offering essential services, psychosocial support, and conducting community outreach to identify more home-bound people with disabilities.
SNHU’s work with learners in Rwanda began through a partnership with Kepler, a nonprofit blended learning program, which offers online learning opportunities paired with in-person instruction and workplace experience. Kepler Kigali opened in 2013 to serve the thousands of talented Rwandan students who could not afford to attend a traditional university, followed by our program launch in the Kiziba refugee camp. Kepler’s Iteme preparation programs support vulnerable youth across Rwanda and Ethiopia in their transition from secondary to tertiary education or employment. In 2022, Kepler College became an accredited institution in Rwanda and now offers an innovative bachelor’s degree in Project Management, alongside the SNHU program.
Lebanese Association for Scientific Research (LASeR)
The Lebanese Association for Scientific Research is a nonprofit that work to provide a better higher education journey. LASeR work with all the higher education and scientific research stakeholders. LASeR provide scholarships for both vulnerable and merit students. We work with institutions to improve the student experience. We intervene also filling the gap between the job market and the academic degrees.
Multi Aid Programs (MAPS)
MAPS is a leading international organization that aims to develop the capacity of individuals to create good, dignified societies through promoting the best of human knowledge, understanding, and values. MAPS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, registered in both Lebanon and Germany. They aim to build the capacity of the Syrian Refugee Community in Lebanon to enable them both to thrive in their current context and also to rebuild Syria after the conflict.
Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town
To begin operations in a non-camp urban setting, we opened a 150-student pilot in Cape Town, South Africa in partnership with the Scalabrini Centre, which delivers development and welfare programs to the migrant and local communities of Cape Town. The Centre offers specialized services to migrants, refugees and South Africans through seven main programs. We serve refugees as well as previously disadvantaged South Africans in an effort to strengthen community and peace building while ensuring students have pathways to degrees and employment.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The UNHCR provides access to camps, contact with study candidates, and logistical support. Working with refugees is innately fluid because of the landscape’s rapidly changing politics so UNHCR support is critical in helping on-the-ground partners with accurate and timely data. We are also a founding member of a UNHCR-led consortium focusing on tertiary education for refugees and supporting university programs on the ground.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) provides assistance and protection for some 5.6 million registered Palestine refugees to help them achieve their full potential in human development. The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.