Photo by Andrew Nicodem / ITeams

Education as active hope

January 21, 2016

Robbie Watson, on winding down his two year term of service among refugees in Rwanda, reflects on the power of education as a very practical answer to the hopelessness experienced by many living in such circumstances.

He's experienced the impact firsthand...

education for those in the camp is an active hope, real transformation, measurable growth, proof to the world that people in stunted places are not useless. some say that the way to change the world is through educating girls. some say that with education you can end terrorism. when the refugees talk about these things i see the fire in their souls and i believe it. not just because their words are sufficiently inspiring, but because i have seen the starts of these things already. i have seen growing minds thinking critically and engaging with the world in new ways; i have seen people disgusted with the violence of their homeland and seeking alternative ways to end it; i have seen how thousands of people can band together so that a handful can be educated; i have heard from parents who are beyond joyful that someone is working to keep their kids out of trouble and help them fill their minds with good things. on and on.

grodya talks about battling a leviathan when he looks at the mess of the eastern congo, at the ambivalence of the world toward refugees, at the hopelessness of camp life. and against this sea of troubles his practical answer is always increased education.