OTTAWA, April 25, 2016 – UNHCR welcomes Morneau Shepell’s renewed commitment to provide secondary education to refugee girls in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya.
Morneau Shepell, UNHCR’s largest corporate donor in Canada, announced today a contribution in the amount of CAD $1.375 million over a five-year period, in support of The Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls, in Kakuma Refugee Camp.
“We welcome Morneau Shepell’s long-term commitment in support of refugee girls’ education. The renewed funding will help to ensure that the quality of education services will remain uninterrupted for girls already enrolled and will open up new spaces for other students,” said Furio De Angelis, UNHCR Representative in Canada.
“I am grateful to be in the Morneau Shepell School,” said Zahira, a Sudanese refugee student at the school. “When I compare myself with other students in other schools, I count myself lucky in life.”
Within the framework of the renewed partnership, the announced contribution will be directed towards the operating costs of The Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls, starting in 2016 until 2020, inclusive. The funding will also allow for a gradual increase in enrollment at the school from 250 girls in 2015 to 360 girls in 2017 onwards.
“Adolescent girls represent little more than 10 per cent of the entire refugee youth enrolled in high school in Kakuma,” said Alan Torrie, President and CEO, Morneau Shepell. “Since its opening in 2014, Morneau Shepell Secondary School is helping to change this trend, as the school grows to its goal of 360 girls by 2017. I am proud to say that Morneau Shepell and its employees across the organization have been raising funds in order to provide education for these young women and we look forward to seeing continued progress at the school.”
Thanks to a series of fundraising initiatives, including the employee payroll donations, Morneau Shepell and UNHCR first entered into a unique multiyear partnership in 2012 that led to the construction of The Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls. In 2014, the School officially opened its doors and now responds to approximately 28 per cent of the total female student population’s needs in Kakuma Camp. The School currently employs 13 teaching staff members, including 3 refugee teachers.
UNHCR‘s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. In its efforts to achieve this objective, the Office strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, and to return home voluntarily. By assisting refugees to return to their own country or to settle permanently in another country, UNHCR also seeks lasting solutions to their plight. Ensuring the provision of education is a core component of UNHCR’s international protection and durable solutions mandate. Refugees value education and place it high on their priorities. Quality education that builds relevant skills and knowledge enables refugees to live healthy, productive lives and builds skills of self-reliance.
Morneau Shepell is the only human resources consulting and technology company that takes an integrative approach to employee assistance, health, benefits and retirement needs. The Company is the leading provider of employee and family assistance programs, as well as the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans and the largest provider of integrated absence management solutions in Canada. Through health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves approximately 20,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With almost 4,000 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, inthe United States, and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit morneaushepell.com.