CELA (Centre of Youth and Development and Adult Education) is a non-governmental organization that is based in the Lugufu refugee camp in
Tanzania. CELA’s current director, Atuu Waonaje, is a refugee himself who founded the organization formerly known as “Love Your Neighbour Centre” in 1997 to provide Congolese refugees with more educational opportunities. Waonaje, who won the “Women’s Commission for Refugee Woman and Children’s Voices of Courage” award in May 2007, believes that education is especially important because it can potentially strengthen regional stability. He asserts that by stimulating innovative thought, education can lead to political, social, cultural, demographic, economic and developmental progress. It can also assists in peace making, conflict resolution, human rights protection and reconciliation, all of which are major issues affecting developing countries. [http://www.respectrefugees.org/ezine/ezine20070209.shtml]
CELA’s main goals behind providing broad-based education are to combat ignorance and raise employment. Its staff of twenty-four volunteers trains local women, youth, orphans, street children, mentally and physically disabled persons and refugees in a number of different areas. [http://www.respectrefugees.org/ezine/ezine20050708.shtml] Its programs include:
**1. Literacy programs that teach English, French, Swahili and
Esperantoto students of all ages and proficiencies. CELA has also created a public library and assists refugees in sending e-mails.
**2. Youth programs such as RESPECT pen-pal exchanges (with 38 participants), RESPECT University (with 28 participants) and HIV/AIDS outreach education. The HIV/AIDS education project is run by five peer educators who collaborate with the WTE (Working to Empower) [http://www.workingtoempower.org/v2/] to provide an average of three outreach projects per week. These projects include video screenings, church and school visits, seminars, sports education and the creation of a resource center.
**3. Adult education programs provide literacy and vocational training for skills such as sewing, knitting and livestock breeding.
**4. Vulnerable assistance programs that provide “psycho-social” counseling for parents and children, as well as work with the WTE to cover the secondary living expenses of thirty orphans. [http://www.workingtoempower.org/v2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=42&Itemid=5]
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