©UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

©UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

Access to education for refugee children is very limited.  Only 50% of refugee children enroll in primary education, 25% enroll in secondary school, and only 1% are enrolled in a college or university.  Moreover, refugee children and adolescents are five times more likely to be out of school than their non-refugee peers. 

For refugee children, going to school creates a sense of security and hope - feelings which are too often in short supply.  Education also provides the building blocks needed for children to become self-reliant and helps create the human social capital needed for development.

Examples of work in this space includes:

  • Providing a tech solution that may permit teachers to reaching a larger audience of refugee students in countries of first asylum where education capacity is strained
  • Developing or funding non-traditional education opportunities for children in refugee camps, such as computer labs, and digital access to educational content, books, and curriculum
  • Establishing scholarship funds to support access to higher education for refugees
  • Providing free flights, textbooks and housing assistance to refugees who are traveling to the United States to attend college

Learn more about the education challenges refugees face and how companies can make a difference here.


Here is how the private sector is helping:


Microsoft & Nonprofit Partnerships

Through its nonprofit partnerships, Microsoft is currently supporting refugee education efforts in Turkey, Lebanon, Greece and Jordan. For instance, in Germany, Microsoft has made its YouthSpark Schlaumause (Arabic to German language training) program available to 3,000 elementary schools, serving approximately 30,000 refugee children. In the coming months, Microsoft will commit more resources to this initiative to double Schlaumause's impact. At the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, Microsoft has supported the establishment of The Norwegian Refugee Council's technology lab, which teaches adult refugees computer skills, improving their future employability. Finally, through its support for NetHope, Microsoft has helped bring connectivity services to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. With connectivity, refugees have been able to access information and resources, and connect to family. Going forward, Microsoft aims to work across the industry to help provide much-needed infrastructure, as well as longer-term aid. In the coming months, Microsoft will deepen its commitment and expand its ability to prepare for, and respond to, humanitarian and natural disasters.