Dadaab Secondary Teacher Education Program Alumnus Opens School in Somalia

Jama Ahmed Mohamed

Originally from Somalia, Jama Ahmed Mohamed has lived in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya for over 26 years. In 2016, he graduated from the UBC-Moi University Dadaab Secondary Teacher Education Diploma Program in the science cohort. Now a teacher in the Dadaab settlement, Jama, a father of five, is also completing his bachelor degree in health and social science from Moi University.

In August 2017, Jama visited his hometown of Kudhaa on the coast of Somalia and was shocked and frustrated to see that there was no formal education system in place. With support from local community leaders, Jama, in new role as director, began work on opening a primary school for the local children. In Fall 2017, the doors to Kudhaa Primary School welcomed its first pupils from surrounding communities.

The school is now attended by over 620 students from the ages of 7-15 years, half of whom are orphaned. Classrooms are in former Siad Barre army buildings that were renovated by the local community and since opening, the school has undergone major upgrades in comfort from having rocks as seats to proper benches and tables.

Despite lacking basic necessities like textbooks (teachers have text references), clean water on site, a kitchen, and there being only one toilet, students are excited to learn and attend school daily. In December 2017, at the end of the first term, the school held a recognition ceremony organized by Kudhaa community leaders, religious leaders and youth. The school’s top performers and outstanding pupils were rewarded with sealed envelopes containing books and pens. The ceremony was funded by global donors.

The parents and communities of Kudhaa recognize the importance of educational equity especially in the context of children growing up in war and drought. Student enrolment continues to grow with classrooms packed with eager learners. To support the continuing development of Kudhaa Primary School, donations are welcomed through Rebuilding Hope: Recovery Charitable Organization (RCO).


Since 2009, UBC Faculty of Education, Moi University in Kenya and the Dadaab refugee camp (the world’s largest) have worked together to implement a teacher education program for secondary school teachers. To learn more, please visit