Finnish Refugee Council’s Adult Education project began in Ethiopia in April 2021, when it was targeted for refugees from the Jewi camp in the Gambela Region, as well as members of the nearby host communities. Over the coming months, Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) study groups will expand into two additional refugee camps, and especially vulnerable groups, such as women and people with disabilities, will be taken into consideration.
The functional literacy project aims to provide refugees’ literacy and numeracy skills, that provide the basic knowledge to livelihood and help people to rise out of poverty at both the individual and community levels. In total 90 study groups will be implemented, and 2,400 individuals will be trained. Most of the participants are refugees from South Sudan who have fled to Ethiopia.
– During the nine-month course, students will learn to read, write, and form simple sentences in their mother tongue, as well as do basic calculations, says Lotta Kinnunen, the FRC’s Country Director Ethiopia.
In the extension, the project will strengthen the organization’s support to especially vulnerable groups. FRC’s literacy courses emphasize the needs of persons with disabilities by using a specially designed inclusive curriculum. In practice, this means that the learners’ studies will be supported with necessary aids, and they are directed to various, identified support services.
Women are also encouraged to take part in the functional literacy courses. FRC’s learning spaces include organize day care services, which support women with small children in the studies.
– Literacy and numeracy skills, especially for vulnerable groups, provide tools for everyday life situations that have been challenging to them before, for example, when comparing the prices and amounts of food supplies, understanding health guidelines, or monitoring their children’s studies. Literacy hasn’t been something that the vulnerable groups could have taken for granted, and the most important thing for us is that their situation will improve, Lotta explains.
The new and extended functional literacy project was launched on Monday 9th August, 2021 in Gambela. The project has been approved and is supported by the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.