Jigsaw Consult is organisation that carries out research on a project in the education sector named “Voices of Refugee Youth: impact of post-primary refugee education”. The research study started in 2019 in Pakistan. The aim of this project is to record the major challenges faced by Afghan refugees in their primary and secondary education. The youth researcher team was trained by Jigsaw Consult in how to collect qualitative and quantitative data.

Why I wanted to participate in the Voices of Refugee Youth project

Pakistan hosts the second largest number of refugees in the world (1.5 million), after Turkey (1.84 million).[1] Since 1979, around 1.5 million Afghan refugees came to Pakistan and our families are among the migrated refugees.[2] During our early adolescent years, we always felt the need to look at life as a war, or rather we felt as if everyone was fighting against us. This is because of the following issues faced by those of us who live in the refugee camp:

  • Human issues such as security of food, drinking water and houses
  • Social issues such as family ties, poor relations with neighbours (as many people are racist and discriminate against Afghans), having children and accessing education
  • Environmental issues such as waste disposal and management
  • Health issues such as unsanitary living conditions (most refuges are in rural areas with no clean water) and accessing medicines, doctors, nurses and hospitals
  • Lack of political and administrative support

Pakistan is a developing country with a large population, low income, and the majority of the population live in rural areas with multidimensional poverty marked by lack of education, poor quality of work and violence. As time passed, we understood that we could overcome our challenges through different methods, like by starting tuition at home, applying for scholarship and making a social link with our neighbours by helping their children to study. Therefore, from our early childhoods we have had a passion to raise these major issues faced by refugees to the world. We especially have a passion for refugee students and the education sector. The Voices of Refugee Youth research study is one platform for us to raise the voices of refugee youth and share their major issues to the world.

Importance of this research

This type of research for refugee youth is important because decisions and policies made today will directly affect youth as they inherit the future. Youth and children form a major part of the world population and in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals it is critical to mobilise young people. Refugee youth have ideas, creativity and great energy to shape a better world. They are full of hope and through innovation and imagination they are problem solvers and have great potential to generate positive social changes in world. This research study is an opportunity to provide refugee youth with the right to work and to education so that refugees can start a productive life in their host country. The research study is a platform to raise the voices of refugee and will expose new refugee talent to the world.

How the research will help other refugees

I believe that the Voices of Refugee Youth will help other refugees in the following ways:

  • Create awareness: Through this research, our goal is simple: to be a voice, break the silence. create more awareness and great potential for action.
  • Be a voice for the voiceless: The goal is to speak so refugees get justice. There are many young refugees who have several dreams and the potential to fulfil a beautiful destiny but face many challenges. This research study is a way to highlight the major issues facing refugee youth as well to motivate and guide them to raise a voice for themselves and to become a voice for the voiceless.
  • Voices of refugees by refugees: Only a refugee can hear, explain, understand and raise the voices of refugees to the world. This research is a platform for former refugees to advocate, tell their story, volunteer, or take other action in support of refugees and refugee education.
  • Listening to refugees and immigrants: The aim of research is to listen to refugee and immigrant youth and understand how they survive in stressful situations.
  • To make the voice of refugees the voice of the community: Each refugee thinks that the issue faced by them is an individual issue but when many people will raise the same issue it will represent the individual issue as community level.
  • Expose refugee youth to the world: The research allows us to network and meet other people who have a similar experience and background. We can develop skills in topics and areas of interest.

Overall, we wish to influence the world through our research and to make the world the way refugees dream it should be.

 

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-hosting-the-largest-number-of-refugees-in-the-world.html 

[2] ibid