Education, a priority!

Published on 24.01.2023

The theme of the fifth International Education Day is “Investing in people, making education a priority”. As the international community reaches the halfway point of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in 2023, it is clear that their achievement has been hampered by the Covid-19. But education remains a strong lever for accelerating progress in many areas. Hence the International Education Day, which was created in 2018 to draw the attention of as many people as possible to the fundamental role of education in peace and development.

On this 24th of January, we at SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde would like to take you to the Central African Republic where, since 2020, we have been strongly involved with our local SOS partners in projects for children, projects that concern their protection and education and aim to enable them to have a valuable education in the best possible conditions.

Significant progress at Kokoro 2 School

A first emergency education project was carried out between autumn 2020 and spring 2022 at the Kokoro 2 public school, near Bangui. It has led to significant achievements and confirms the desire to improve the learning conditions of girls and boys, affected by years of civil war, in a sustainable manner through better access to quality education in a protective and inclusive teaching environment.

Durant la première phase du projet, trois salles de classes ont été réhabilitées dans l’école Kokoro 2, améliorant les conditions d’apprentissage des enfants
During the first phase of the project, three classrooms were rehabilitated in the Kokoro 2 school, improving the children’s learning conditions – © SOS Children’s Villages CAR

More than 1,700 pupils participated in the library’s activities

The results speak for themselves: 2,370 children received school kits; 30 teachers received teaching kits; 1,185 of the 1,300 students who took the end-of-year exams were admitted to the next grade; more than 2,400 students had access to tutoring; more than 1,700 children participated in the mobile library activities and 4 reading clubs were created.

A fence now protects the pupils of Kokoro 2

The school environment for the pupils has been made safe so that they can learn and feel protected. The construction of a fence around the Kokoro 2 school was greatly appreciated by the school community, the local community and the families. The construction and renovation of separate latrines for girls was also appreciated. Among the works undertaken, we can note that: 3 classrooms and a room for teachers were built; 12 classrooms were renovated; 15 classrooms were equipped; 16 latrines were built or renovated; 1 playground (football and basketball field) was rehabilitated and equipment was distributed; 1 fence was built; and 1 classroom was renovated.

Essential to their safety, a fence several metres high has been built around the school to protect pupils from intrusion and possible attacks by armed groups roaming the area. A similar fence around Kokoro 1 school is planned for 2023. – SOS Children’s Villages CAR

Expanding actions at Kokoro 1 school

Following the encouraging results of this emergency education project at Kokoro 2 school, a new integrated project to support the resilience of displaced persons and host populations started in May 2022 to reinforce the achievements of this school and extend the action to Kokoro 1 public school.  The objective remains to improve the learning conditions of girls and boys, all of whom have been affected by the crisis, and to provide them with a quality education in a safe and inclusive environment. The project also aims to strengthen the resilience of families and communities so that they are able to independently ensure the protection of children and take care of their basic needs. Some 5,200 direct beneficiaries, including 3,500 school children, are involved.

Six separate latrines built at Kokoro 1 school

For the time being, awareness-raising activities on the importance of schooling, especially for girls, have started for parents and guardians; the mobilisation of Parents’ Associations has also started, as well as the distribution of 1,000 school kits for the most vulnerable children in Kokoro 1 school (3,500 kits will be distributed in total in the two schools). The latter will be provided with around 300 books to form a library. On the construction side, two blocks of three separate latrines for girls and boys have just been built.

Two blocks of mixed latrines have been built and two others have been renovated to provide the necessary comfort for the pupils. The same work is underway in the neighbouring school, Kokoro I – © SOS Children’s Villages CAR

Co-funded by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, this project is supported by the ATOZ Foundation under the aegis of the Fondation de Luxembourg.

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