Coursera for Refugees brings transformational learning to vulnerable populations around the world. Since 2016, the program has brought free access to Coursera’s catalog to more than 11,000 refugee learners. Meet Abdullah, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee living in Indonesia who participates in Coursera for Refugees through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
In his own words, here’s his story:
My name is Abdullah and I am 18 years-old. My parents are originally from Afghanistan but I was born in Pakistan and raised in Iran. I’m currently living in Indonesia as a refugee with my siblings and mother. I spend most of my time at an informal school for refugees called the Refugee Learning Center, which I co‐founded with four other friends. We provide basic education to 160 refugee children and over 100 adult men and women.
As refugees, we are not allowed to work or study in Indonesia and I could not finish high school back in Iran. I heard about Coursera through UNHCR and now I’m continuously taking courses to increase my knowledge and skills.
The first course I completed was the Fundamentals of Graphic Design and I loved everything about it. The course helped me tremendously — one of my responsibilities at the Refugee Learning Center is to create posters and maintain our website. One day, I hope to pursue a career that combines all my interests: graphic design, photography, and journalism.
I plan to continue taking courses on Coursera. There’s a Persian proverb that says, “Study from cradle to grave.” It means you should always be trying to gain more knowledge. There’s no limit to how much one can learn in life.