Mary Maker, Refugee Activist and Co-Founder


In 2021, she co-founded a non-profit which gives larger schooling alternatives to college students at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. The PIE caught up along with her after she gave an impassioned keynote to delegates at The PIE Dwell North America on ‘find out how to win’ as a refugee.

What has been your proudest profession second up to now?

Creating Elimisha Kakuma which is a non-profit that helps refugee youngsters entry larger schooling and now seeing them of their sophomore yr.

Inform me a few defining second in your profession, or lifetime? 

Deciding to start out Elimisha Kakuma. Regardless of rising up in a refugee [camp] myself; struggling by way of the realities of a refugee camp and preventing my method to get to school, giving again when it comes to creating entry was my largest defining second in life. I clearly bear in mind the primary acceptance into faculty for our college students. My crew and I have been tearing up, in disbelief, laughing and having an enormous sigh of reduction. We didn’t know it might be potential. The scholars additionally knew it was not a certain deal. That to me is extra rewarding than my very own success story of beating all odds.

What’s the most important problem to you for the time being within the work that you simply’re doing?

Feeling like only a story and a quantity. Having to personal that and to really feel like there’s a lot to Mary Maker. There may be a lot to each single refugee, extra than simply the refugee and that title.

What recommendation would you give to somebody who’s contemplating embarking on a examine overseas expertise?

Possibilities will go you in the event you truly don’t create them, you’re the likelihood. I don’t consider in luck. I really feel such as you get to create the luck for each single particular person. So don’t anticipate different individuals to return and provide the assets to do it.

What podcast or guide would you suggest which sends a message you assume the worldwide schooling sector ought to hear?

It’s referred to as Little Bee by Chris Clive. At first a part of it, he talks about scars. Scars aren’t ugly, that’s what the scars make us need to really feel like. However scars are stunning, they’re an indication of survival. Typically you might have hidden scars inside you, whether or not it’s psychological or bodily. All the time see them as one thing – as an indication of survival. Then transfer previous survival, and reside.

What’s a very powerful ability for somebody working in worldwide schooling to have? 

Networking and following up. Networking to me means creating visibility and advocating for what you consider in. In worldwide schooling individuals perceive the language of academia, the worth of schooling and the creation of areas for these whose likelihood is minuscule. When one learns the facility of networking they can begin uncomfortable conversations, name individuals in as a substitute of out, and new relationships the place entry is feasible are made.


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