Brighter future: Innovations lead way to change education


Muzabel Welongo  a Congolese exiled to Kenya, where he has been living since 2010, has found effective methods of how refuges could change their life in to a self reliant way at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Learners’ Voice Programme’s  residential session held in Doha.

He was among the 33 young learners including three Qataris participated in a 10-day intensive workshop on education leadership held at the Qatar national Convention Centre.

The 2015-16 cohort of learners, who began their journey at the November WISE Summit,  attended  the first of two core residential sessions since January 3, which are designed to impart a foundational understanding of key concepts and evolving trends in education, as well as knowledge of pressing global education challenges.

“I have lived all my life as a refugee. Initially as an internally displaced person in Congo, then moved to Tanzania, after few years, went back to my country and again moved out to Kenya,” said Welongo speaking to the press yesterday in Doha.

“This is the first time I have travelled out of Africa. WISE Learners is an opportunity for the future life. It has shown how innovation can lead the way to change education. During the workshop I have re-learned a lot on education leadership. There are a lot of ways we can change the refugee life in a self reliant way  in economically and at a personal level,” said Welongo. He is also Economics and Political Science Student, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi; Director, Solidarity & Advocacy with Vulnerable Individuals in Crisis (SAVIC).

WISE, a global initiative of Qatar Foundation, is aligned to its  mission of helping transform Qatar into a knowledge-based economy and through its youth-empowerment initiative, it brings the voice of young people to the challenge of rethinking education.

Specialists from the Yale World Fellows Programme will hold workshops in leadership and communication skills. The focus on education, leadership and communication is designed to support the participants as they research and develop innovative projects throughout the year-long programme.

The 2015-16 learners were chosen from over 1,300 applicants from around the world, they are  aged 18-25 and  represent 29 countries.

The experience at the workshop held in Doha was different from each participant depending their background.

“We had an opportunity to know about other cultures, at a personal and professional level. People from different backgrounds have different problems in education and the solutions are also different,” said Vinícius Santos, Facilitator, Social Collaboration and Innovation Laboratory (COLLAB) in Brazil.

Eman Al Kuwari, a Qatari graduate from the  Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and at present employed as a Technology Researcher at ictQatar, said: “WISE learners’ voice is an eye opener about problems faced across the world regarding challenges in education. With different people from different backgrounds we have gained diversified experience.”

Another young Qatari, Hassan Salatt,   has graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and employed at the Qatar Airways, also shared similar thoughts.

“The incredible range of participation showed that education and its challenges are different from one country to another,” said Alisha  Fredriksson, a Student from Canada and Sweden.

Learners’ Voice has had a lasting impact on its participants as it has evolved to include residential sessions,