Located in Gisagara District, Southern Province of Rwanda, Mugombwa Refugee Camp accommodates 11,730 refugees and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo since its establishment in 2014. Managed by the Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA) and supported by the Directorate-General of Immigration and Emigration (DGIE) staff and local police, the camp is organized into eight quarters, housing a total of 28 villages. 

Environmental challenges, including steep slopes and a risk of land/mudslides, are significant concerns, warranting attention to infrastructure development and the establishment of sustainable facilities. Education is a focal point, with approximately 780 children attending the Early Childhood Development Programme (ECD), 2,075 students in primary school, and 849 enrolled in secondary education. Notably, UNHCR supports the education of 16 children with disabilities from Mugombwa in specialized schools.

53.2% of Mugombwa Refugee Camp are students.
Age & Gender Breakdown of Mugombwa

Three students in our 2023/2024 class of scholars are residents of Mugombwa Refugee Camp.

A Student’s Life Inside Mugombwa Refugee Camp

Life is hard for students in refugee camps, and Mugombwa is no exception.

There are many things that we take for granted when it comes to excelling in school. Air conditioning, a quiet place to study, and enough room to think are hard to come by in the hot, loud, and crowded spaces throughout Mugombwa. Despite these challenges that seem unsurmountable to some, our students consistently perform above the nationwide standard and achieve marks that rival students outside of the camps.

How do they do it?

For students in refugee camps without anything to call their own, education is all they have.

Studying hard is their pathway to freedom and achieving their dream of being more than just a forever-refugee. Our students use this motivation to overcome the challenges they face as a refugee student.