Morneau Shepell, a leading North American provider of human resources consulting and technology, is UNHCR’s largest Canadian corporate supporter.
The partnership began with the Company’s recognition that refugees, and particularly girls living in refugee camps, were routinely denied access to education. In 2010, their employees, led by the Company’s then Executive Chair, Bill Morneau, visited Kakuma refugee camp (now home to 180,000 refugees) in Kenya. Partnering with UNHCR, Morneau Shepell’s generous donations funded the construction of the Community Technology Access (CTA) Centre in the camp. The Centre offered computer-skills training so refugees could advance their employment and resettlement opportunities.
The initiative began in 2010, leading Morneau Shepell to invest in funding the building and operating costs of The Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls in Kakuma camp. Morneau Shepell has generously agreed to continue supporting the operating costs of the School through 2020. Opened in 2014, the school now has 340 girls enrolled.
Educating and engaging its staff about the School and the plight of refugee girls is a key part of the Morneau Shepell fundraising strategy. Employees have made significant contributions through company events and payroll deduction plans.
*Kakuma students expressing gratitude
At the Kakuma refugee camp, only five girls are enrolled in school for every 10 boys, a huge disadvantage that prevents girls from improving their lives and futures.
Panther Kuol, a pension analyst at Morneau Shepell and former refugee himself, says, “After living in the Kakuma refugee camp for 13 years, it is clear to me that education is a priority for those hoping to develop a better quality of life. I am grateful to be part of a company that is passionate about giving back to the international community, especially to an initiative that is close to my heart.”