Rebuilding shattered lives : Cara

Cara helps academics who are unable to return to their own countries in the short term, due to the continuing risk, to rebuild their lives in the UK. Cara helps many to regain their former professional status in academia or in an allied profession, and to make a positive contribution while they are here.

A new graduate of Benghazi University takes a selfie in front of a ruined building at his university, 27 October 2016. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Many academics who are unable to return to their own countries because of the high level of risk find it hard to accept the long-term loss of loss of home, career and community.   Cara supports and guides them to reconnect with the world of academia by providing Fellowships and offering employment advice to enhance their employment prospects.

Cara offers Fellowships to cover basic maintenance, bench fees and associated costs (including childcare, stationery, laptops and printers etc) to support re-qualification in the UK.

Cara’s Employment, Training and Education (ETE) service offers UK-wide careers advice to Fellows, in partnership with Cara Network Universities.  The service offers access to careers-related resources, work-shadowing, placement and mentoring opportunities.

Where Cara cannot offer expert advice or support, it refers individuals to specialist professional and community organisations.

When the security situation improves, some Cara Fellows return to their home countries to take up positions in higher education or an allied profession.  They take with them the knowledge, skills and experience they have gained in the UK.

“Cara’s support restored my self-confidence which I was losing having stayed in the UK without a good job. Studying in the UK gave me the opportunity to access many resources and broaden my understanding.”

Alier, Head of Technical Affairs, South Sudan National Petroleum & Gas Commission

Alier's Story

Alier was first arrested in 1992, accused of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, a multi-ethnic resistance group based in the south. He was released, but then faced with conscription into the Sudanese state’s army. He fled to the UK. He was supported by Cara to do an MSc in Water Management. Following the 2005 Peace Agreement he returned home and worked for a UK charity as a Water and Sanitation Engineer. After South Sudan’s independence, he took over a senior position in the Directorate of Water Resources Management, before beginning a new role as the Head of Technical Affairs, South Sudan National Petroleum and Gas Commission in January 2015.