ASTAD Project Management, Qatar’s leading project management consultancy for building and infrastructure, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier today with Education Above All Foundation, for a pilot project in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Opened in 1992, the refugee camp is run by UNHCR. The pilot project seeks to address a range of factors that currently prevent refugee camp residents from receiving an education - such as health and nutrition, livelihood, food security, water and sanitation, and energy—effecting changes that will positively impact both the refugee and host community.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, Chairperson and Founder of Education Above All Foundation, attended the official signing ceremony, which took place at the 2014 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). The MoU was signed by Ali Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of ASTAD Project Management, Mr. Marcio Barbosa, Chief Executive Officer of Education Above All, Mr. Raouf Mazou on behalf of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in addition to other project partners.
During the ceremony, Ali Al-Khalifa highlighted the significance of collaborating and working alongside like-minded partners to give refugee children in the Kakuma Refugee Camp access to quality education.
He said, “In keeping with ASTAD’s Corporate Social Responsibility, we are honoured to partner with Education Above All on such a noble humanitarian cause. ASTAD will do its utmost to extend its technical know-how and project management expertise in the planning and development of Kakuma’s education facilities.”
To ensure a brighter future for thousands of youth, ASTAD is volunteering its expertise to design a school prototype that will offer children a host of improved educational amenities. The physical environment of the facility will play an important role in the empowerment of education. Moreover, before the project is implemented on a large scale, local expertise will be employed and the school will be enhanced based on a complete post-occupancy analysis.
Ali Al-Khalifa added, “ASTAD is especially eager to help develop local talents, skill-sets, knowledge and experience. Our aim is to create an innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable infrastructure for education that will enable strong community engagement in both the construction and operation of the schools. We have committed to overseeing the project and will ensure that the schools are constructed to the exact specifications, standards, and budget.”
Leonardo Pinheiro, Director of Strategy, Policy and Research for EAA, said: “The Kakuma Project represents an innovative approach to providing education in a conflict-affected community. Together with our partners, EAA seeks to give the residents of the Kakuma Refugee Camp the tools and agency they need to create a better future for themselves.”
Earlier in June, Education Above All invited ASTAD, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other key stakeholders to assess the situation in the Kakuma camp and examine possibilities for cooperation. The purpose of the visit was to allow potential partners to discuss ways for the implementation of an effective multi-sectoral strategy. ASTAD took the opportunity to learn more by meeting with Kenyan government officials and UNHCR representatives.
In accordance with the agreement, ASTAD will help facilitate this valuable initiative by adopting a simple and practical approach that is compatible with the local environment. Its scope of work will include overseeing the construction management of the schools, as well as monitoring the design, cost, procurement, progress, and delivery of the buildings.
The Kakuma Refugee Camp was established in 1992 in response to the arrival of the Sudanese children who had travelled through Sudan and Ethiopia by foot, fleeing civil war, and finally arrived to the relative safety of Kenya.
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