World University Service of Canada (WUSC) would like to invite suitable and qualified refugee youths to apply for the 2025-2026 academic year intake for the Student Refugee Program (SRP). 

Application is open from February 9th until February 23rd, 2024 at 6:00 pm East African Time. 

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Application is open from February 9th until February 23rd, 2024 at 6:00 pm East African Time


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 Hawa Ahmed Yassin, 40, was preparing breakfast on a cold, rainy morning in June last year when deadly fighting broke out in her hometown of Kurmuk, in Sudan’s Blue Nile State. Intense gunfire and heavy shelling were so close to her home that she and her family had to drop everything and run.

“We had to leave,” she said. “We did not have time to pack our clothes or even drink tea.”

Together with her 10 children and 80-year-old mother, she embarked on an arduous three-hour journey to reach the border with Ethiopia and seek asylum.

“It was raining, and the road was muddy,” she said. “There were gunshots coming from the side of the mountains; it was too scary. My mother was sick and could not walk. At one point she decided to go back, but it was dangerous, so we had to push her.”

Since April last year, when conflict erupted in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, and spread to other parts of the country, close to 8 million people have been displaced both inside Sudan and across borders, mainly into Chad, South Sudan and Egypt, but also into Ethiopia which has received over 47,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

In recent months, the fighting has escalated with the seizure of Sudan’s second city of Wad Madani in Al Jazirah State by the Rapid Support Forces. The city had been hosting hundreds of thousands of people displaced from Khartoum and elsewhere who were forced to flee for a second time.

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Hawa is among more than 20,000 people, including some returning refugees, who have fled into Ethiopia via its western Kurmuk border over the last nine months. Most came from Blue Nile State, fleeing fighting between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces but in the last five weeks, more than 2,700 have arrived from Wad Madani.

The new arrivals have put pressure on an emergency transit centre set up at the start of the crisis by the Ethiopian Government’s Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, together with its partners. Basic assistance such as food, water, tents, blankets, utensils, and emergency medical services are provided there but the centre’s capacity is limited and the nearest refugee camp, Sherkole, which hosts over 15,000 refugees, is full.

Most of the new arrivals are women and children, struggling to cope with the trauma they experienced as the war ripped them from their homes. They live in makeshift shelters cobbled together using plastic, sticks, grass, and scraps of cloth. Others are sheltering in crowded communal hangars, cooped up in squalid conditions with minimal privacy and limited sanitation and hygiene services.

Surviving on tea

With the help of her children, Hawa has set up a small tent and a kitchen under a tree that provides some shade. She, her elderly mother and all 10 children must share the tent, which barely protects them from the heat of the sun or the cold at night. She says her most pressing need is for proper housing and more food.

“We try to eat twice a day but when we don’t get enough, I try to fill the space with tea as a meal,” she said.

As part of the Ethiopian government’s policy of integrating refugees from the onset of emergencies, regional authorities have allocated new land for a refugee settlement about 88 kilometres away from the border. Those currently sheltering at the transit centre will soon be relocated there and have access to improved shelter and national health and education services.


Ethiopia is already one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in Africa, with nearly 1 million refugees in addition to 3.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs), yet it is one of the most underfunded UNHCR operations globally. At the end of 2023, its programmes in Ethiopia were only 36 per cent funded. UNHCR is requesting $426 million to respond this year.

“Ethiopia’s continued generosity to the displaced, including those who have recently arrived from Sudan, is commendable and should be matched with even greater support from the international community,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, who completed a three-day visit to Ethiopia this week.

“I know that there are many other crisis around the world. Some are acute. Some make the headlines. We should not forget that. The people that I have just spoken to who have fled from war in Sudan, their headline is suffering day in and day out,” he added.

Hope for peace of mind

Outside the transit centre in Kurmuk, refugees’ entrepreneurial skills and spirit of self-reliance are evident as they set up makeshift shops by the roadside selling fruits, vegetables, and a variety of groceries.

Sitting on a short wooden stool inside a thatched kitchen opposite her tent, Hawa and her daughter fry crispy Sudanese falafel in a large frying pan balanced on a triangular-shaped traditional stove.

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 As you can see, I generate my income from making falafel and selling it and if I get money, I buy soap for them [my children] in addition to food, but it is insufficient to buy clothes, shoes and medicine,” she said.

Hawa does not think she will be able to return to Sudan anytime soon because of the ongoing violence and traumatic memories of what she and her family experienced while fleeing to Ethiopia. They will soon be relocated to the new site.

“I hope the war ends because it has no benefit,” she said. “I hope for my children to get quality education and live in a safe environment where they can access health[care] so that me and my mother can have peace of mind.”


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  Hello..If you missed the first opportunity to enroll in the UNESCO MGIEP Digital Educator course, worry not, here is the second chance. Register here to be counted:

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Welcome to Kintsugi, a Refugee Led Organization based in Nairobi, Kenya. We ask you to take a walk with us in the shoes of a refugee. On our website you will find information about our programs and activities, who we are and the most important thing what we want to do for vulnerable refugees.

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 African Refugee Peace Marathon 4th Edition:

KINTSUGI -RELON,ILO & PARTNERS invite you to: "Run a mile in refugee shoes"-21km Run and 4km Walk ,