‘Dream big dreams, and work towards them’
Growing up in Eritrea, Luwam always wanted to help people. She would volunteer at her local orphanage and later studied sociology. Now, thanks to a university scholarship programme for low income students, she is in northern Italy, studying human rights and governance, and maintaining that childhood commitment to service to her community.
‘Change starts with you’
The University Corridors for Refugees (UNICORE) programme offers scholarships to refugees, allowing them to travel legally to study in Europe. For Eritrean refugees, Tesfay and Gezae, the scholarships are a lifeline that means a brighter future is now within their grasp.
For refugee student, a dream becomes reality
When Yonas fled his home country of Eritrea to escape open-ended conscription, he imagined continuing his education and one day studying in Europe. But, as a refugee living in Ethiopia it seemed an impossible dream, until a UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency backed scholarship scheme provided him with a route.
Love blossoms in hardship of Libyan desert
Naima fled Somalia to escape her suffering but found no respite on the hard journey through Libya until she met Omar, a fellow Somali, while trapped in a smugglers’ camp. They fell in love and married, before being rescued by the UN Refugee Agency and evacuated to Niger.
Driven by envy to a disastrous journey
Growing up in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia, Khadar had what he calls “a complete life… full of happiness”. But as he grew through his teenage years, increasing numbers of friends left for Europe, using the smugglers’ route known as tahriib, and Khadar became jealous of the stories they told and the pictures they posted on social media.
Healing through poetry
“Lying is part of smuggling,” says Abdi Najib, whose dream of a new life in Europe was shattered by the trauma and loss of his attempted journey. “They are always lying to make things sound easy.” An aspiring poet and playwright, Abdi was a romantic 17-year-old when he fell victim to the beguiling stories of escape from Somaliland and left in pursuit of opportunity in Europe.
For a single mother alone, a perilous journey
Aisha was just 12 years old when her father was killed in a violent land dispute in Mogadishu, Somalia. Not yet an adult, Aisha had already suffered so much—the loss of a parent, displacement, child marriage, and back-breaking labour
Safety in an unexpected place
“Nobody puts themselves in danger for no reason,” says Abdi who, under threat from Islamist militants, felt he had no choice but to flee Somalia despite knowing the risks that lay ahead on the perilous route to Europe. But after the 23-year-old’s journey ended in prolonged detention in Libya UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency was able to evacuate him to Rwanda, where he is safe at last.