Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative Fund

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"DAFI" redirects here. For the airport using that ICAO code, see Tsletsi Airport.

The Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative Fund (German: Deutsche Akademische Flüchtlings Initiative Albert Einstein or DAFI) grants deserving young refugees scholarships at universities, colleges and polytechnics in their host countries. The programme, the only of this kind in the world,[1] has been sponsored since 1992 by the government of Germany.[2]

Refugee scholarship programme[edit]

The main aim of the DAFI programme is to contribute to human resources development as part of a broader strategy of promoting self-reliance and durable solutions for refugees.[3] Refugees with higher education qualifications are more likely to attain self-reliance.

DAFI objectives[edit]

  • Develop qualified human resources to contribute to the reconstruction of the country of origin upon repatriation;
  • Achieve self-reliance of the beneficiary student and his/her family through gainful employment;
  • Serve as a model for other refugees to further their education, particularly female students;
  • Contribute to the refugee community – as teachers or through other work – pending a durable solution or repatriation.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who is administering the DAFI programme worldwide, considers repatriation as the preferred solution for refugees. A DAFI graduate who returns home not only finds a durable solution for themselves and their family, but is also likely to find employment and contribute to the reconstruction and rehabilitation process for the whole community.

Ex-DAFI students are sometimes the only doctors or teachers in their area of return. While the numbers of DAFI students are small, their impact is huge because of their areas of expertise. Some work in business and government, others are employed by UNHCR and other United Nations agencies.

Some key facts and figures for 2010.[4][edit]

Number of students: 1,911

Countries of study: DAFI students enrolled in courses in 37 countries.

Countries of origin: Refugees on DAFI scholarships originate from 38 countries.

Length of studies: Between three and four years

Main study subjects: Education and teacher training; commerce/business; medicine and health; social studies; mathematics and computer sciences; engineering; agriculture, forestry and fisheries


  1. ^ Martin, Susan Forbes (2003). Refugee Women. Lexington Books. p. 80. ISBN 0-7391-0589-2. 
  2. ^ "German Government Awards Scholarships to Refugees in Ghana". Accra Mail (Ghana). 2004-08-26. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  3. ^ Egziabher, Kisut Gebre (2007-08-17). ""Lost Boy" among graduates ending Ethiopian exile to help rebuild South Sudan". AlertNet. Reuters. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  4. ^ "Annual report on the DAFI programme". UNHCR. 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-08.