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Project information

Refugees in teaching: skills transfer to Ethiopia

The project addresses the challenges of displaced skills, often referred to as the “brain drain”, facing Sub-Saharan Africa, through the return of skilled teachers with refugee background to Samara University Ethiopia to strengthen the capacity of the university and to address their 'skills gap'.

September 2018 - August 2019

Charity information: Reconnect

Reconnect logo
  • Need


    As more young people are qualified to go to higher education, many of Ethiopia’s universities are constrained by shortages of suitably qualified academic staff. This has implications for the long term sustainability and provision of quality education. These constraints especially affect newly established universities such as Samara. This issue is a contributing factor to economic issues and ‘brain-drain’ facing Sub-Saharan African countries such as Ethiopia.


    The project will transfers skilled UK based teachers with refugee background who have benefited from the project's training and work experience in the UK, to Samara University to work alongside their teaching staff and students. Through a series of workshops and direct teaching and training, incorporating English for academic purposes, Study and ICT skills, the project will make a contribution to improving the quality and the provision of education in Samara University

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To make a contribution to capacity building by improving the quality/ provision of education


    » Enhancing the skills of teaching staff of Samara university through workshops, peer mentoring and teaching skills observation and evaluation
    » Incorporating the provision of essay / presentation skills, & ICT in teaching to advance the learning experience of students at Samara University.

    What success will look like

    To improve teaching quality , student engagement, academic results and to retain these skills in country for future generations

    Aim 2

    To assist in alleviating the shortage of qualified teaching staff at Samara University


    » Transferring the skills of two UK based refugees who have benefited from high quality teacher training and work experience to Samara University

    What success will look like

    Alleviating the shortage of qualified teachers at Samara University and providing opportunities for training and skills transfer

    Aim 3

    To promote institutional links between Samara University and relevant UK universities


    » Networking - linking Samara University with UK academic institutions

    What success will look like

    Knowledge and resource sharing between Samara and relevant UK universities and enabling Samara University to benefit from e-books and relevant learning materials

    Aim 4

    To widen access to higher education in Samara University especially to women


    » To share experiences of diversity, Equality and Inclusive Practice in teaching within local socio-cultural, legal and economic contexts

    What success will look like

    The adoption of pro active diversity, equality and inclusive practices resulting in increase in the recruitment of women.

  • Impact


    The project will make a positive contribution to building the capacity of the education sector in the Afar region/ Ethiopia and enhancing livelihoods and encouraging the inclusion of marginalised groups such as women. The project will provide practical skills, as well a sharing of experiences that can be replicated in other regions and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in countries emerging from long term conflict and experiencing economic hardships.


    There is a risk of drop out by teachers due to personal issues or external factors such as conflict threatening personal security. We have mitigated this risk:
    • by ensuring the selection of well suited candidates for a project
    • having a waiting-list of suitable candidates
    • having an inbuilt monitoring and evaluation system and working closely with our local partner in Ethiopia to enable early intervention


    Donors to this project will receive a series of reports that will be prepared as part of the monitoring and evaluation of the project. These will include termly progress reports, a project end report, including financial report, and evaluation report.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £42,200

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      Amount Heading Description
      £3,000 Project overhead Project overheads by Reconnect and Good Samaritan Association, our local partner in Ethiopia
      £2,500 Monitoring, evaluation Project evaluation
      £28,800 project costs Salaries per teacher @ £1200 per month x 12 months
      £2,000 Project costs Settlement allowance per teacher @£1000 (one-off)
      £1,000 Project costs Materials and teaching aids allowance @£500 per teacher
      £1,800 Project costs Travel costs - flights from UK to/ from Ethiopia/ return, including visa @£1100 per teacher
      £700 Project costs Local travel costs in Ethiopia @£350 per teacher
      £2,400 Project costs Insurance cover per teacher @£1200 per teacher
  • Background


    Samara University is located at “Samara” , the regional capital of the Afar National Regional State in Northeast part of Ethiopia. It has a population of around 1.5 million people. The Afar region is a well-known for its tourist attraction which among others include the Erta ale active volcano, Lucy, and Dallol Depression. The climate varies from warm 25 °C (77 °F) during the rainy season (September-March) to extremely hot 48- 50 °C (118°F) during the dry season (March-September).


    The project will provide
    • direct benefits to students & staff of Samara University by making contributions to improving the quality/ provision of education & to their respective career progression.
    • indirect & long term benefits to the population of the Afar region/ Ethiopia, in terms of capacity building, economic development & livelihoods.
    • direct benefits to the two teachers in
    developing their skills and
    participation in the 'development' process

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have a track record of delivering a number of successful projects for over a decade. We work in partnerships, focusing on empowerment of unemployed and underemployed refugees through appropriate training, work experience and employment to enable them to play an active part in UK, but also preparing the ground for their active participation in developmental initiatives, with special emphasis on education and Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rosemary Togwe - A Qualified Teacher With Masters In Education With Teaching Experience In Health And Social Care And Access To Nursing In UK


    Taissir Mahmoud

    Teaching - MPhil in Comparative Linguistics, with extensive teaching experience in France and UK

    Yoseph Ahenafi

    Teaching - MA in Education (first class), a qualified teacher with teaching experience in IT in Ethiopia

    Theodros Abraham

    Management of the project - the director/founder of Reconnect has three decades of experience in the voluntary sector and as a part time lecturer

"The pilot project emanating from the feasibility study is imaginative, concrete and convincing"

Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, UNHCR Representative in the UK