Refugee Education Trust International (RET)

Education is more than promoting the ability to read and write. It is the medium by which we can create positive externalities, and impact the environment in the host and home countries and in the world. A skilled and well-educated displaced youth is crucial to contributing to the process of attaining and sustaining peace in the host and home countries, and in the world. While many intergovernmental organisations and their partnering non-governmental organisations (NGOs) offer primary education, virtually none exclusively offer secondary or post-primary. The RET is in a unique position to do so. Our singular focus is providing post-primary education for displaced youth. Through education, we are helping the displaced youth become self-reliant and better equipped to voluntarily repatriate, contribute to the reconstruction of their home countries/region and to the peace and stability of the surrounding area. If young people are not adequately protected and offered ample opportunities to learn skills required to live productive and independent lives, they are likely to contribute to the next round of conflict. Education is the way out of hardship and despair. Therefore, we are driven to provide access to quality post-primary education to the largest possible number of refugee students in developing countries, while promoting the full involvement of girls and young women, thus, favourably impacting their roles in their family lives, their society and future generations. Protecting refugees and finding solutions for their problems is a shared global responsibility. At the RET we provide Relief Education in Transition. We are committed to providing education and self-reliance to youth at a most vulnerable age and time, bridging the gap between emergency relief for displaced youth while in exile and providing development solutions in the home country, during and after the repatriation process. While many intergovernmental organisations and their partnering non-governmental organisations offer protection, food, water, and primary education, virtually none exclusively offer secondary or post-primary education. The RET is in a unique position to bring together those who can help to those in need. In the situation of displacement, we believe in addressing the root of the problem and in finding solutions that involve local capacity building and are sustainable, thus empowering the communities, and those we help directly, to actively participate in the decision-making. We believe in teaching youth to become self-reliant through life skills, relevant marketable trades that will foster autonomy, and peaceful conflict resolution. We believe in self-help schools and in a market-based approach engaging parents, teachers and the community in the decisions associated with the education of their youth. The RET's choices in programmes, approaches to education and implementing partners all contribute to durable solutions, sustainable development, voluntary repatriation, reconstruction, and sustainable peace and stability in the affected regions in the world. We do not believe in perpetuating dependencies. We warrant that our programmes apply holistic and innovative approaches to formal and non-formal education, ensuring that displaced youth are either trained in classical education per the approved curriculum of their host or home country or in marketable trades, literacy and numeracy. Typically, intergovernmental organisations and governments allocate funding for displaced yuoth in emergencies and/or for education as development. The crying need for post-primary education of refugee youth falls between the two types of budget lines, thus further complicating the realities of the conflict situations. The RET facilitates bridging this existing and widely recognised 'gap' where refugee youth fall between emergency and development solutions.

The Foundation for the Refugee Education Trust, headquartered in Geneva, with offices around the world, was founded in December 2000 by Mrs. Sadako Ogata, then United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in response to a crying but barely addressed need for greater access to and quality of post-primary education for refugees, returnees and the internally displaced. The RET is an independent, impartial, non-partisan organisation, with no religious or political affiliation, purposefully set up to be independent from UNHCR. Although financially independent from UN agencies, we have strategic alliances with both UNHCR and UNESCO - IBE, and welcome other opportunities to deliver our mission with greater strength and magnitude.

  • Civil Society
  • Economic Foundations for Growth and Development
  • Education
  • Education (basics, secondary, life skills, teacher training, vocational training, tertiary)
  • Employment Generation
  • Gender
  • Humanitarian Assistance
  • Humanitarian Protection
  • Physical Infrastructure and Reconstruction

Education (basics, secondary, life skills, teacher training, vocational training, tertiary)

While many intergovernmental organisations and their partnering non governmental organisations (NGOs) offer primary education, virtually none exclusively offer secondary or post-primary. The RET is in a unique position to do so. Through education, we are helping the refugee youth become self-reliant and better equipped to voluntarily repatriate, contribute to the reconstruction of their home countries and to the peace and stability of their region.
Between 50.000 to 1 million CHF per annum
  • Capacity and development training
  • Direct project implementation
  • Financial support
  • Policy advice
  • Project support services
  • Research and policy development
  • Technical assistance
Description of activities
Education- and infrastructure-related / Post-conflict countries
Education- and infrastructure-related / Post-conflict countries
Education- and infrastructure-related / Post-conflict countries
Education- and infrastructure-related / Post-conflict countries
Education- and infrastructure-related / Post-conflict countries
INEE - Minimum Standards on Education in Emergencies / Post-conflict countries
Education- and infrastructure-related / Post-conflict countries

Civil Society

  • Capacity and development training

Gender

  • Americas
    • Central America
      • Panama
    • South America
      • Ecuador
      • Colombia
  • Africa
    • Central Africa
      • Chad
    • Eastern Africa
      • Sudan
      • Kenya
      • Burundi
  • Asia
    • South Asia
      • Afghanistan
      • Pakistan
    • Western Asia
Refugee Education Trust International (RET)
Chemin du Grand-Montfleury 48, Versoix
Geneva CH-1290
Other
From 3 to 10 years
Between 1 million to 50 million CHF per annum
29
Chemin du Grand-Montfleury 48, Versoix
Geneva CH-1290
Headquarters

Organisational Headquarters

5
Mrs
Zeynep Gündüz
President and CEO
Mrs. Zeynep Gündüz
President and CEO

Network

INEE

Type: 
Academic
Description: 

Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies.

Partnership

IOM

Location: 
Geneva partnership
Main purpose: 
Project Implementation
Description: 

International Organisation for Migrations

UNESCO

Description: 

IBE International Bureau of Education

Partner organisations: 
United Nations

UNHCR

Location: 
Geneva partnership
Partner organisations: 
United Nations