Mastercard Foundation Scholars host mentorship event to commemorate World Refugee Day

By Divine Mugisha and Dudi Nyok Luat

On Saturday, June 22, Mastercard Foundation Scholars from the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa, embarked on a mission to commemorate World Refugee Day by creating a positive impact for young refugees in Nakuru. In collaboration with African Youth Voices, they organized and hosted a mentorship session at Koinange Primary School in Shabab, Nakuru. The event saw participation from the local government (DRS), local organizations, and community leaders. More than 40 refugee youth, either in secondary school or transitioning to higher education, were present at the event.

With the theme ‘Creating a World Where Refugees Are Welcomed,’ the event aimed to support fellow refugee youth, moving forward in solidarity. The day was marked by stories of overcoming challenges, achieving goals, and reinforcing the message that success is attainable, even if it requires failing and trying again. The emphasis was on the importance of perseverance and hard work for a better future.

The event featured a fireside chat moderated by Dudi Nyok Luat, with three speakers—Divine Mugisha, Prisca Mugisha, and Shariff Mohamed—sharing their experiences of overcoming the challenges of being refugees and attaining education to become the Mastercard Foundation Scholars they are today. Prefina Rebecca gave a presentation on how to apply to scholarships, giving tips on how they could package their applications to stand out. The event also featured entertainment segments by the Scholars, with Dut Maluk and Gabriel Njuguna performing spoken word pieces, while other Scholars also shard their stories and encouragement to the participants.

The overarching message was that while being a refugee can sometimes feel overwhelming, education has the power to change lives. Perseverance and hard work are key to overcoming adversity. As one speaker noted, “While the world is taking its time to change, we need to change ourselves first and create the world where we feel welcome.”

Knowledge is power, and stories bring knowledge, providing drive, direction, and guidance. The hope is to see a world where refugees are empowered and inspired to rise beyond their circumstances. Together, we can create a world where refugees are welcome.

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