Education is not only a human right. It is also tool for peacebuilding. In 2019, Reuben Garang conducted a feasibility study with South Sudanese refugee families living in refugee camps in Uganda. This project and report were fueled by Garang’s own personal experiences with periods of interrupted schooling both in refugee camps and in Canada. And it was fueled by the fundamental insight that education can serve as a tool for peacebuilding and mutual understanding between groups that have survived displacement and conflict.
The intent behind this feasibility study was three-fold: to raise awareness of the devastating plight—yet continued resilience—of the South Sudanese, to collect information that would inform the development of the Education Pathways to Peace Project, and to set groundwork for comparative research by considering ways to enhance education outcomes for refugees living in camps and those who have been resettled. While the feasibility study’s intent was ambitious, through Garang’s
observations of the refugee camps in Uganda, speaking with South Sudanese refugee families there, and sharing his findings upon his return to Manitoba, the study has acted, and will continue to act, as a launching point for future work.
The study targets four audiences. The first audience is comprised of existing project partners who have already contributed to this feasibility study. The second is comprised of existing and potential partners who are interested in contributing to the project’s growth and development. The third audience is the broad range of organizations and researchers interested in the relationship between education and peacebuilding and the possibilities for community development following displacement. The forth is the wider international community and public, so as to familiarize them with the challenges facing South Sudanese refugee youth.