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Project April 16, 2018

A Special Kind of School

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Jessica Deng, 21, was born and raised in Kakuma. Now she teaches math at Bhar-El-Naam. Image by Jaime Joyce. Kenya, 2018.
Jessica Deng, 21, was born and raised in Kakuma. Now she teaches math at Bhar-El-Naam. Image by Jaime Joyce. Kenya, 2018.

Of the world's nearly 22.5 million refugees, more than half are under the age of 18. And while 91 percent of children worldwide attend primary school, only 61 percent of refugee children have the same opportunity, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. The situation is worse for refugee adolescents, with just 23 percent enrolled in secondary school.

In this project for TIME for Kids, TIME magazine's weekly news edition for students, Jaime Joyce travels with UNICEF to report from the Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei settlement in northwestern Kenya. Together, they are home to more than 186,000 refugees from 19 countries. "A Special Kind of School" takes young readers inside Kakuma and Kalobeyei classrooms and introduces them to students.

What does it mean to be a refugee? What is it like for children to live in and go to school at a refugee camp? What do students aspire to do when they grow up and how are teachers helping them prepare for the future?