The fast growing CAWU-Learning Center needs your support

Sent On: 
Mon, 2020-11-02
Newsletter Number: 


We started our learning center for refugees in 2018 with one student only. In 2019-2020 we had 20 students in two classrooms. Today we have 31 refugee students in three classrooms. This is the maximum number of students that we can have in our current space. Students found us either through St. Joseph Learning Center in Zamalek, Cairo, or through word of mouth. The applications this year are far larger than we can handle. We have insufficient tables and insufficient space. In 2018 we had one teacher only. In 2019-2020 we had two teachers several students who had been assisting with various tasks throughout the year. In 2020-2021 we have four teachers and a volunteer.


We urgently need 17 tables that are needed for computer lessons and social distancing. The covid-19 pandemic has made it between March 2020 and October 3 impossible to teach in class. Our precautions: washing hands upon entering the Learning Center and checking the temperatures of students and faculty.

a classrom without tables and enough social distancing


We created a waiting list and are looking for an affordable other space. We are now creating a program for the students on our waiting list. Many are just at home, either because they have not been able to enroll at a school or learning center or they are at a school or learning center that has not yet opened. Our teachers will prepare a program for them that will help them to work at home and will make them better prepared for study in our learning center.


The interest in our learning center is large. We are the only learning center for refugees in Egypt that provides British secondary school education. Why British education? Simply since British education is internationally recognized. Just as international schools do, we prepare them for the British IGCSE exams but at much lower cost. Other refugee schools and learning centers offer the Sudanese curriculum since this makes it easier to find teachers in the refugee community which reduces the costs. The Sudanese diploma is recognized in Sudan, South-Sudan and Egypt but not beyond these countries. Even if a student has a Sudanese high school diploma he or she will not be automatically accepted for Egyptian tertiary education. With a British high school diploma, however, the road to further education opens.


Providing British education to refugees is not an easy task. Refugee students have large gaps in their education history and none of them has had primary school education matching British standards. We thus need to bring them from that background to an internationally recognized standard.


We have found grace with Mr. Ricardo Langwieder, director of Majorel-Egypt. They are committed to help our Learning Center increase its standards through better facilities. Mr. Ricardo Langwieder’s daughter Paula is teaching ICT at our Learning Center. The students are currently using six eight-year-old desktops in the CIDT office but this is insufficient. The company can help us with 12 laptops for education which can be brought from class to class. The company is also ready to help us with interactive whiteboard screens which will also make online teaching possible and thus would enable anyone outside Egypt to teach a few classes. This will make it possible to involve more international volunteers.


For the laptops we urgently need tables. We looked at secondhand tables, but this would create a hotchpotch and would not help us to make efficient use of our limited space. The only solution is to ask an Egyptian carpenter to make the tables on the sizes we need. That is possible at a cost of 900 EgP (57$) per table. Can you contribute with one or more tables? If you are in Egypt we can receive your donation in cash and if you are outside Egypt a payment through paypal is possible or a transfer to the bank account of the Arab-West Foundation.


We are very grateful for all the support we have received to make this Learning Center a reality. Our teachers are highly motivated and students are hardworking. This is the only place in Egypt where they are able to work for a brighter future for themselves and for their communities since with better education these students are bound to become community leaders later on in their lives.


Refugees cannot do this without your support. Most students come from single mother families. We are documenting some of their stories now and these are shocking. They are allowed to stay in Egypt but the Egyptian government is not providing any financial support. Most mothers need to maintain their families with cleaning jobs with incomes ranging between 3000 and 6000 EgP (190-380 US$) per month. This is far from easy. The way out of poverty is only through better education. Can you please help us to make this possible?


Cornelis Hulsman,


Principal CAWU-Learning Center


Cairo, November 2, 2020