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Youssef's Internship: Working in Digital Education Programs for Refugees

My name is Yousseff Zeineddine and I am currently doing my EMMIR internship in Munich. I work for an organization called Kiron Open Higher Education, which gives me a new perspective on education.

Youssef and his supervisor at Kiron, Claudia, enjoying an afternoon on the water in Munich

Kiron Open Higher Education gave me a new perspective on responses to refugee situations. Before EMMIR, I worked with several organizations in Lebanon with Syrian refugees, and was very interested in the education sector of the response – although I never worked in it. As a result, I was looking for internships in that sector, and was able to land the “Student Support Internship” at Kiron. Kiron is 3-year-old but has 3000 students all around the world. How did they get this number in this short period of time? Digital.

The innovative aspect of Kiron is that it is digital. Kiron provides access to refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people around the world to study online courses in some fields, and helps those in focus countries (Lebanon, Jordan, and Germany) to transfer to higher education institutes in respective countries. Kiron is a non-profit, and you can call it a social organization in the fields of education and technology. As a person who previously founded a social enterprise, worked in digital firms, and is interested in education for refugees, I found Kiron to be the perfect place to do my internship.

On a day-to-day basis, I help students online to navigate our platform, and answer any queries they have. I am also responsible for the emailing them regarding any updates from the side of the organization. The most interesting – and new – part for me is that I am in contact with refugees from around the world: Indonesia, Iran and many more. It really gave me an overview on how diverse are the experiences of people in displacement around the world. Kiron also showed me how “humanitarian” response can really increase the number of those who are the focus of our efforts in our digital age.

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