Reimagine talk

Introduced by the High Commissioner for Refugees, four refugee students from Africa join UNHCR and Vodafone Foundation’s Instant Network Schools Ambassador, Mohamed Salah to call for bold action to tackle the devastating gap in access to quality education for refugee students – a gap exacerbated by COVID-19. Salah hears from four young refugee students in camps in Tanzania, Kenya and South Sudan and gives his thoughts and reactions. The High Commissioner for Refugees provides further global context. The session highlights how technology, and transformative partnerships like Instant Network Schools, provide the opportunity to equip refugee children with the skills and knowledge they need to live a better and more dignified life. But without greater support, the steady, hard-won increases in school, university, and technical and vocational education enrollment for refugees could be reversed – in some cases permanently – potentially jeopardizing efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all.


Filippo Grandi
UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Elected by the General Assembly for a five year term, Filippo Grandi became the 11th UN High Commissioner for Refugees on 1 January 2016. He leads UNHCR, which operates in 135 countries providing protection and assistance to nearly 80 million refugees, returnees, internally displaced people, and stateless persons. Grandi, an Italian national, has been engaged in international cooperation for 35 years and holds degrees in modern history and philosophy, as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Coventry.

Mohamed Salah
Ambassador for Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR’s Instant Network Schools (INS)

Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah is one of the most prolific forwards in world football and a Champions League and Premier League winner. He was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2019 and is well known for his philanthropy in a range of areas including education. In February 2020, Mohamed Salah became the first Ambassador for Instant Network Schools (INS) – a joint programme between UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the Vodafone Foundation which employs digital technology to connect refugee and host-country students to a quality education.

Luel Bai
Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
Pacific Marius
Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, Tanzania
Salama Mohamed
Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, Tanzania
Fatna Osman
Ajoung Thok Refugee Camp, South Sudan
September 22, 09:45
09:45 — 10:00EST(GMT-4) (15′)


Fatna (Ajoung Thok Refugee Camp/South Sudan), Filippo Grandi (UN High Commissioner for Refugees), Mohamed Salah (INS), Pacific (Nyarugusu Refugee Camp/Tanzania), Salama (Nyarugusu Refugee Camp/Tanzania)