Children on the Edge

Early Years Education for Congolese refugees

We wish to expand our community-based Early Years programme in the Kyaka II refugee settlement in Uganda, so at least 1200 more 3-6 year old Congolese refugees can learn, play and gain the foundational skills and resilience they need to have the best possible start in life.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 PM, 30 November 2021 to 12:00 PM, 7 December 2021

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1101441)

Check mark Match funded

Campaign target


Amount raised




Championed by The Coles-Medlock Foundation


  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Refugees/Asylum SeekersRefugees/Asylum Seekers




90% of brain development occurs in a child’s first six years, and fleeing conflict and growing up in a refugee camp can do lifelong damage at this age. Early Years Education (EYE) can buffer young refugees from these stresses and give them the resilience and skills they need to reach their potential. However EYE is chronically underfunded in refugee settings, and thousands of young Congolese children in Uganda’s Kyaka II settlement roam unaccompanied and are missing this key window for learning.


When the 30 preschools we support in Kyaka II shut during lockdown, teachers started teaching small groups of children in open-air, community settings. We soon realised that longer term, this low-cost ‘community cluster’ model could help us offer quality Early Years education to many, many more children in Kyaka II, without a costly building programme. Well-trained refugee teachers, and parent-led, volunteer committees will ensure clusters are community-owned and sustainable.