The Turkish Embassy in South Sudan on Wednesday announced under-graduate scholarships for refugees living in South Sudan.
Erdem Mutaf, the Turkish Ambassador to South Sudan said 24 refugees will qualify for these scholarships after passing an interview at the embassy premises in Juba.
“We are having scholarships for refugee students, this refugee quota will be in addition to the South Sudanese quota,” Mutaf told journalists.
He disclosed that these scholarships from the Turkish government are aimed at improving conditions and living standards for refugees.
“We know very well what it means to be a refugee, we decided to allocate scholarships for refugee children in South Sudan, it will be the first scholarship for refugees in South Sudan,” Mutaf said.
Julius Banda, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Country Representative, said that South Sudan needs to promote education to achieve peace.
“The countries of the world need to come together in the field of education to promote learning and to connect individuals, we believe in UNESCO that international cooperation in the field of education is one way of building peace,” Banda said.
Lt.Gen Bol Akot, the Commissioner for Refugee Affairs in the Ministry of Interior, said that they are working to encourage refugee children to study in tertiary institutions in the country.
“This is the first time to have children of refugees going abroad for higher education, it is raising our standard internationally that we are doing better in South Sudan for refugees,” Akot said.
Arafat Jamal, the Country Representative for the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHC), noted that the number of refugees remains low in higher education institutions in the country.
“I am particularly happy because refugees throughout the world many of them are not able to get an education, only 50 per cent of refugees globally are able to receive education at the primary level and only three per cent of refugees receive a university education,” Jamal said.
Jamal revealed that there are 330,000 refugees living in South Sudan, with the majority of them being hosted in Ruweng Administrative Area and Upper Nile State.