CAWU Learning Centre website is now live

Sent On: 
Thu, 2021-11-18
Newsletter Number: 

Dutch interns Lieve and Janneke Wijman, Oda Algera, Emma Pieters and Sabeth Vater have contributed greatly to the development of our Learning Centre for refugees in Egypt. They have now completed a beautiful website that can be found here. We are very grateful for the translation into Arabic by Egyptian intern Kenzy Manousaki. Our website is thus truly a great intern achievement!!

The aim of our Learning Centre is to present refugees with a high-quality British style international recognised highschool diploma. Until today such opportunities do not exist for refugees in Egypt. This is hard work since we need to work towards recognition of the Ministry of Education and Cambridge Assessment. This needed a much more experienced Principal whom we have found in Peter Mathias, a very experienced British school principal and former lead inspector with the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED). Peter has taken over the responsibility of leading the learning centre from founder Cornelis Hulsman who has returned to the Netherlands but from here remains involved with various forms of support and fundraising since it is obvious that our learning centre entirely depends on the financial support received from people and organisations who wish to give refugees from non-Arabic speaking countries a better learning opportunity, including a prospect to join later a university such as the American University in Cairo (AUC).


Of course, Peter Mathias cannot do this alone. He is supported by a great team of dedicated teachers and support staff. They are all highly motivated and experts in their own respective subjects and are trained by Peter Mathias to work in our refugee learning centre. Such a teacher training program has until now not existed in any of the current refugee centres in Egypt.


Our learning centre came into being through cooperation with the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Zamalek, Cairo, where they operate a great learning centre for Eritrean refugees. They have become a major feeder school for our learning centre since they provide primary school education and we continue with secondary school education. Another refugee feeder school is the Africa Hope Learning Centre where they too only provide primary school education. Secondary school education is so much harder to organise since this demands specialized teachers that are not in rich supply with the limited salaries that we are able to pay. We hope and expect that the achievements made in our Learning Centre will also flow to these and other refugee learning centres in Egypt.


Our website also highlights our partners. Our NGO had become an official partner of the United Nations. Very important is our partnership with the American University in Cairo. We are very pleased with the proposal of Prof. Dr. Thomas Wolsey of the Department of Educational Studies to move our learning centre to the AUC old-Campus premises. Once that happens, we will be in a much better position to request recognition of the Ministry of Education. 


We, in particular, have to thank Apostolic Vicar Bishop Claudio Lurati for his recommendations and encouragement, Kindermission Sternsinger for their support and advice, Pour Les Autres of the Bishopric of Rotterdam, Caritas Poland for their support with the start-up, the PKN Church in Alphen aan den Rijn and the Christian Reformed Nebo Church in The Hague, both in the Netherlands. Mazaya company in Egypt is providing our refugee students with a daily lunch. Majorel Egypt company provided us with support for the refugee choir in December 2020, chairs, second hand computers and internet connections for students at home (we often hardly realize how disadvantaged our students are in comparison to most other students in their age group in Egypt. The ACE club in Maadi-Cairo supported our summer school this year and the NCIBIS international school in Cairo is looking into ways to facilitate support to our learning centre.


It is obvious that we won’t be able to build such a unique school for refugees in Cairo without a dedicated principal, teachers and staff and partners who are truly wanting to see the growth of our refugee learning centre into a proper school for refugees in Egypt will succeed. It is not easy to work with insufficient funding and thus we hope you will support our work. This can be small or big, all support is welcome. This is possible in the form of supplies, providing support for the school fees of one of our well-performing students, company support, etc. See:



Cornelis Hulsman,

Editor-in-Chief Arab-West Report

Founding Principal of the CAWU-Learning Centre (2018-2021)