Student portrait – Yacouba: “I am proudest when serving others.”

Yacouba took our online course on the rights of refugees. He tells us about his experiences defending human rights and the impact the course has had on his actions.

Yacouba is based in Bamako, Mali, and he decided to take the online course to broaden his knowledge of the rights of refugees so that he could support and help them. For him, this support is obvious because he believes each person has the right to lead a normal life. The course has helped him better understand the daily challenges refugees experience along their journey.

The course helped me understand the difficulties experienced by people forced to leave their homes because of war, persecution or natural disaster. It helped me understand that any one of us could face these threats.


He decided to conduct a campaign to assist refugees by teaching people to be tolerant and respectful towards them and by raising awareness where he lives. The biggest challenge he faced was the realization that many people were totally unaware of the existence of refugee rights. Armed with definitions from the course, he was able to inform those around him.

One of the course components that has been useful to me is the definitions. The distinction between refugees, migrants and stateless persons causes a great deal of confusion and I can now explain the differences between these different situations.


Yacouba is now raising awareness in his neighbourhood and is in contact with people who can help the refugees. He holds street meetings, distributes flyers, uses social media and even talks about the rights of refugees on the radio.

After taking the course on refugee rights, I realized that I was already engaged in a fundamental battle and that there are millions of people fighting to defend the rights of refugees.


After completing his university studies, Yacouba decided he wanted to serve others and give a voice to those who have none. The next step? To create a platform to defend refugees in his country. If you too would like to know more about human rights, you can take our online course on human rights defenders.