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”I’m happy to know someone wishes me a better future”

Godfried had to flee Burundi with nothing but the clothes on his back. He found shelter and safety in Rwanda, and could continue school. However, at first he had to memorize everything the teacher said as there were no pens or notebooks available. Thanks to UNHCR and H&M Foundation, he has now been provided with school supplies and can learn more efficiently.

Political unrest and violence in Burundi has pushed over 400,000 people to flee to nearby countries in search of safety. Godfried fled his home with his mother, leaving everything behind. “In Burundi I was thinking that someone could kill me at any moment,” he says. He also knew it was his only chance to be have a normal school life again.

Today, Godfried lives with his mother in Rwanda’s Mahama refugee camp, in a solid mud brick shelter provided by UNHCR. “Now I am safe and I’m attending school,” he says, whose favourite subjects are French, English and biology.

“I hope that one day I’ll be able to help others the way they are helping me.”

— Godfried

Had to memorize everything

However, when Godfried first attended school, the lessons were tough as he didn’t have any pens or notebooks to bring, and had to memorize everything the teacher said. When UNHCR came and provided him with school supplies, it all changed.

“I’m always happy to receive school supplies because I see that someone is behind me – they want to support me so that I can have a good future,” he explains with a big smile. “I hope that one day I’ll be able to help others the way they are helping me.”

Because he missed out on school in Burundi due to the conflict, Godfried is attending primary school classes in the camp. Despite being older than some of the other children in his class, he is determined to continue his education, and grateful to receive his own pens and notebooks. Not only does this make it easier for him learn, it also makes him feels like he’s not alone in his quest to get an education.

Godfried is focusing on studying hard. Optimistic and cheerful, he loves coming to school and wants to be a reporter, to share information all around him.

UNHCR and H&M Foundation

The two-year partnership with UNHCR is helping refugee children get the material they need to learn and has benefited 787,000 children in Chad, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Yemen, Syria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Malaysia, South Sudan.