Professional Certificate Programmes

The demand for higher education by refugees and other marginalised communities was clear from JWL’s earliest assessments. However, the Diploma in Liberal Studies (our flagship programme) and other, longer academic programmes are not necessarily responding to the needs of those itching to address the diverse and pressing needs of their communities  (too long, too academic, for example). We therefore initially launched a set of vocational, onsite/classroom-based Community Service Learning track courses. In time, further assessments showed that in order to scale, ensure the delivery of even higher quality and relevant courses (with appropriate certification), as well as meet the daily challenges faced by many of our students, would require a review and shifting of these programmes.

JWL and its partners have developed a set of new, 6-month professional certificate courses designed to provide learners with professional knowledge, skills and competencies. Piloted between 2018 and 2019, these courses are practical-based, occupationally-specific and help the participants improve their skills and practices, enter the workforce, or access tertiary education programmes:

  • Learning Facilitator
  • Peace Leader
  • Youth Sports Facilitator
  • Ecotourism
  • Creative Writing and Design
  • eEducation Tools
  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Productivity Programme


The professional certificate courses have been developed within the framework of Ignatian experience which seeks to develop the whole person, or cura personalis, with student learning structured around the concept of experience, reflection and action.

We will be working with our university partners to ensure that certification provided is in line with the UNESCO standard of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).


Learning Facilitator

The Learning Facilitator professional certificate course, certified by the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, was developed in response to the overwhelming desire and need for learning and education - at all levels within refugee and other marginalised communities (and even beyond). Around 258 million children and youth are out of school, according to research by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

Learning technologies extend the reach of education and this applied, 6-month course integrates best practices of online and onsite facilitation. It culminates with a practicum through which learners apply educational principles and practices to address a collective concern within their local community.

Course outcomes:

  • Understand the importance of learning facilitation, how to reflect upon and evaluate the Facilitator’s role to motivate, instruct, coach or lead the learning process.
  • Use instructional media and technologies to create learning experiences online and onsite with learning communities and learners.
  • Plan instruction so learners meet learning objectives by drawing upon knowledge of teaching and learning, as well as knowledge of their students and the community context.
  • Use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners, and the students they will teach, in their own growth to measure and monitor learning, and knowledge-based decision-making.
  • Understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage active learning, questioning, and remembering at each of Bloom’s levels of higher understanding.
  • Appreciate individual differences and understand diverse cultures and communities so learners meet high standards in an inclusive and learner-friendly environment.
  • Encourage active learning with children, youth and adults without discrimination regardless of gender, ethnicity, language, culture, religion or learning ability.
  • Work with the learning community to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning.
  • Implement positive strategies to manage student behaviour.
  • Ensure the classroom environment supports learning through the physical arrangement, and the use of clear expectations with predictable procedures and daily routines. 





Course delivery:

The course consists of the following five units:

1. Learning Facilitation

2. Planning for Learning

3. Teaching and Learning Strategies

4. Learning Differences

5. Learning Environments

During the latter half of this course, learners engage in a practicum. This 40-hour experiential learning practicum concludes the work required by the learner. As a competency-based programme, all learners are expected to achieve the learning outcomes.

Time frame: This 6-month course is comprised of 480 hours of instruction and a 2-month practicum of 40 hours.

Find out more about Learning Facilitator and KU



Course delivery:

The course consists of the following 12 sections:

  • Introduction to the Concept of Youth
  • Project Management
  • Understanding Youth Issues
  • Getting Started with a Sports Program
  • Working with Young People
  • Building Psychosocial Support and Protection of Youth
  • Sports Approaches and Methods for Development
  • Injury Prevention and Minimizing Risk
  • Community Support and Communication
  • Managing Conflict and Building Peace
  • Sustainability and Program Evaluation
  • Presentation of Final Projects


During the latter half of this course, learners engage in a practicum. This 80-hour experiential learning practicum concludes the work required by the learner. As a competency-based programme, all learners are expected to achieve the learning outcomes.

Time frame:

This 6-month course is comprised of 480 hours of instruction and a practicum of 80 hours.

Youth Sports Facilitator

The Youth Sports Facilitator (YSF) professional certificate course, certified by Metropolitan State University of Denver (USA), trains refugee and host community facilitators to create, manage and sustain a youth sports programme in marginalised communities with an emphasis on forcibly displaced populations.

The course is designed to introduce participants to the fundamentals of planning, implementing and evaluating a youth sports programme focusing on the development of leadership, collaboration, fairness, tolerance, and responsibility for youth between the ages of 14-24 years in a supportive, fun and healthy environment. Facilitators will engage youth by bolstering their physical, emotional and psychological well-being, building ethical mindsets, teamwork, sportsmanship, and moral character.

Participants will learn how to build a sense of safety and security with a focus on protection, inclusiveness of gender, conflict management, psycho-social first-aid, understanding referral pathways, and building cross-cultural relationships among youth. The YSF programme aims to become a vehicle to transform a community through the interactions that young people and others in their communities – including host communities – have through sports. Facilitators will develop skills to inspire leadership and team-building skills in youth through their participation in sports.


Course outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of youth development models, theories, methodologies and approaches for working with youth
  • Explore the strategies of psychosocial first-aid for youth to provide a safe, supportive and healthy environment
  • Explain how sports can be used as a means for protection and development of youth
  • Examine how sports can be a vehicle to engage and develop character, self-identity, resilience, leadership, empowerment and cross-cultural relationships among youth
  • Develop a strategy to create, manage and sustain a youth sports programme
  • Develop and execute a project management plan
  • Develop skills to create a cohesive working team
  • Examination of personal values and experiences and as it relates to the creation of a youth sports programme
  • Describe an inclusive environment with a focus on gender, disability and LGBTQ
  • Foster community engagement through the development of individual and team youth sports
  • Explore approaches to conflict management and resolutions
  • Examine standards for minimising risk and injury prevention in sports

Peace Leader

The Peace Leader professional certificate course, certified by Hekima University College (Kenya) is an applied, 6-month blended learning introduction to the role and practices of a peace leader. The programme endeavours to integrate selected best practices from peace and leadership studies. As peace leaders in training, students will examine and practise personal and communal skills and values that are foundational for nurturing a culture of peace. The course is designed around three core themes of Self-awareness and Cultural awareness; Conflict resolution and reconciliation; and Servant-leadership. Each theme is presented with theory and applied exercises designed to enhance the student’s awareness, skill, and familiarity with foundational methods and practices for Peace Leader development. The programme culminates with a final project in which students apply Peace Leader principles and practices to address a collective concern within a local community.






Course outcomes

  • Assess and identify the cultural context in which conflict exists
  • Articulate the values of a Peace Leader
  • Demonstrate skills for self-awareness practices in peace leadership
  • Evaluate the issues within the conflict for possible resolution
  • Determine possible resolutions, and models for change
  • Use conflict analysis tools and skills
  • Identify resources needed to carry out resolve conflicts
  • Provide guidance and strategic planning to mitigate the existence of conflict
  • Develop coaching, mediation and conflict resolution skills 

Course delivery:

The course consists of the following four units:

Introduction to Peace Leaders in Training

  • Self-care and Conflict Coaching as a Peace Leader
  • Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation
  • Forming an Integrative Peace Leader Disposition


During the latter half of this course, learners engage in a practicum. This 40-hour experiential learning practicum concludes the work required by the learner. As a competency-based programme, all learners are expected to achieve the learning outcomes.

Time frame: This 6-month course is comprised of 480 hours of instruction and a 2-month practicum of 40 hours.


The Ecotourism professional certificate programme, awarded by the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (Spain), addresses the needs of communities all over the world to promote responsible tourism that allows the generation of income, while preserving the community's fragile resources.

Course delivery

This course is divided into 8 units, spread across 24 weeks:

Unit 01: Introduction to tourism

Unit 02: Tourism destinations and planning

Unit 03: Sustainable Development Goals and tourism

Unit 04: Ecotourism and the role of communities

Unit 05: Introduction to Strategic and Operational Marketing in Ecotourism

Unit 06: Macro-Micro analysis for ecotourism projects

Unit 07: Tourist Behavior: the ecotourist

Unit 08: Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning

Course outcomes

The programme provides both understanding and skills in managing ecotourism resources. It introduces the concepts and principles of tourism and ecotourism and the necessary knowledge and practices to design and promote sustainable tourism-related products and services.

The participants have the opportunity to practice throughout the programme with well-targeted case studies and onsite activities.

Creative Writing and Design

The Creative Writing and Design professional certificate programme, awarded by St Joseph’s College Bangalore (India), equips learners with specific technical skills that will immediately increase their employability, notably their chances to work online or develop their own business.

Course delivery and outcomes

This 6-month programme is divided into three 8-week courses:

Creative Writing introduces the participants to creative writing, to enable them to express their thoughts and plans creatively with text.

Graphic Design is an overview of the graphic design field. It introduces the participants to expressing their ideas and messages graphically with attractive visuals and appealing designs.

Through Web Design, the participants will move one step further and learn how to create their own websites, blogs and other engaging content with a corporate style, combining written and graphical creations.

eEducation Tools

Over eight weeks, the course participants will get to know different teaching methods and their implementation along with digital tools. The focus is on the parallel, direct implementation of what has been learned in order to make the students' learning more effective and sustainable for their teaching practice. The course therefore introduces tools and focuses on the direct testing of what has been learned in practice.


Course delivery

Unit 01: Basic concepts in digital learning environments

Unit 02: Getting a lesson started, raising interest and checking previous knowledge

Unit 03: Communication in digital learning environments

Unit 04: Content presentation & independent working methods

Unit 05: Deepen the knowledge

Unit 06: Initiate reflection on the learning process

Unit 07: Flexible use & analysis of eEducation tools

Unit 08: Toolbox - eEducation tools

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Productivity Programme


COURSE 01 Computer basics & Microsoft Excel

This course introduces the students to the fundamentals of computing, explains the basics of a computer, how computers can be used in different aspects of life, preparing the students for the Microsoft certified examination in Office tools namely Word, Excel and PowerPoint.



Programme outcomes

  • acquire basic skills necessary to succeed at a workplace by knowing  how to use the computer.
  • acquire practical knowledge on Microsoft Office tools that are expected to solve various problems quickly and precisely using computer tools.
  • receive Microsoft certification on word, excel and power point after the successful completion of the examination conducted by Microsoft in the respective examinations.



See what our students are doing



“Sport brings people together and fosters peace,” says Keth, one of our Youth Sports Facilitator graduates in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. She sought to join the course in order to teach youth within the community and beyond, as well as to gain access to further professional opportunities. Keth was born in Kakuma but her family is originally from South Sudan. “ We South Sudanese girls,” she told us, “we don’t have opportunities like boys.” This includes not being able to participate in sports. Increasingly convinced of women’s ability to do more and to change the world, the YSF course inspired her to start a volleyball team for women and girls within the camp. Having approached women and girls around the camp, as well as their parents, the team now meets three times a week in the afternoon and has succeeded in uniting two rival tribes!

Abdullah has been working as English teacher in Afghanistan. He was intrigued when he heard about the Learning Facilitator professional certificate course, and sought more information. It became clear that it would provide him with the skills to achieve his goal of lifting his under-served community, as a learning facilitator. Members of the community are hard-working and motivated to learn – they just don’t have access to the opportunities to do so.

According to him, “the most precious way of helping the people is providing or facilitating for them education possibilities,”  and the acquisition of knowledge “is the only way that we can develop our community and removing the negativity from the community.”

Learning Facilitator professional certificate students learn to use instructional media and technologies to create friendly, inclusive online and onsite learning experiences for learning communities, applying multiple methods of assessment to engage their pupils, and encourage all persons – without discrimination – to actively learn and question.

On top of the flexibility made possible through the blended, mobile learning approach, being able to interact with peers from around the world has also contributed to this positive experience. Abdullah has already been able to apply some of what he has learned, by being able to guide his colleagues through designing effective lesson plans.


When Shaker began the our Peace Leader programme at Domiz Camp, he was already a change-maker and involved in peace-fostering initiatives. A Syrian Kurdish refugee, he believes that “people in the Middle East, they no longer want war in the region” and that youths are longing to return and rebuild the community.

As Project Manager for Youth Speak (and international NGO that works with youths in conflict-affected areas), he supports youths through the create of peacebuilding projects that engage them, such as book-exchange events, books clubs, different peace-building activities, and interviews persons that are actively engaged in the community, among others. Shaker is also a trainer at Y-Peer Education Network, which focuses on strengthening peer-to-peer education in the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

The Peace Leader professional certificate course has allowed him to build upon and cement the knowledge he has acquired over time, as well as allowed for in-depth discussions about relevant topics, taking into consideration different points of view. “Be the change that you want to see in the world,” is one of the most important things he has learned through Peace Leader and other similar experiences. “I’m always improving my skills, so the best way to start is controlling yourself,” says Shaker, adding that “this course helped me to control myself more in madness, so that leads me to listen to all my teammates…”


What next? Shaker plans to continue to serve his community through his work with Youth Speak and Y-Peer. His dream is to studying International Relations, in order to someday become an diplomat. “I believe I can change and I can make the world better.”