Egypt - Cairo Education In-Sight Project

“I learned that I’m a child with value, but before I felt that only adults had value, so now I realise I have my own personality as part of the community”
(Egyptian young researcher)

How it began

In 2012, we worked in partnership with a grass-roots organisation called Children’s Cooperative to facilitate a young person-led research project. This explored refugee and Egyptian children’s experiences of education in Cairo.

This project engaged 45 young refugees and Egyptians in gathering information from over 700 peers, community members, teachers and professionals to improve understanding of the barriers that some children face in accessing and achieving in education.

You can download reports for our Egypt project in English or Egyptian.

Our approach

The young researchers were living in Cairo and were from Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Iraq. They were trained in research methods and ethics and were supported by adult research assistants from those communities to conduct research on educational issues.

The young researchers interviewed their peers, parents, teachers, community members and representatives from organisations providing educational services. They participated in data analysis, made recommendations, and shared their findings through a report, film and presentations.

Our impact

We found out that the majority of Egyptian and refugee children and young people faced financial barriers to attending school. Other barriers to accessing and achieving in education included lack of space to study at home, domestic responsibilities and family problems, and health problems.
More than 4 out of 5 children interviewed experienced harassment and discrimination from teachers and other students. Additionally, three quarters of refugee students suffered racism on the way to and at school. Almost half of the refugee children interviewed felt that language barriers negatively impacted on their education.

The young researchers learnt about their communities, developed confidence and gained new skills:

“We can contribute to providing assistance for refugees and be part of the solution”
(Sudanese young researcher)

“We have become more responsible for solving others’ problems.”
(Eritrean young researcher)

“As children we have more ideas than adults about the situations. We can communicate with both children and adults, because as children we learn how to communicate at all levels, whereas adults do not”
(Egyptian young researcher)