We are delighted to have been able to fund the construction of a pop-up school in each of two IDP communities (Nkah and Benakuma) in the forest regions this year, and to provide learning materials for a third community school in the semi-urban community of Chinde. This project has enabled over 300 children who have been out of school for almost 4 years, to get back to learning in a safe environment. In normal times, these would be the kind of schools that we would be aiming to replace with solid, brick built classrooms that would last for 50 years – but life in these remote IDP villages is not stable, and hopefully the IDPs will be able to return to their home villages before too long. In the meantime, however, these little pop-up schools provide a place of safety and normality for the children. As well as the school buildings themselves and the books and equipment, we have been able to fund some small payment for the teachers (also IDPs) so that they are able to earn their living. Each teacher has received some training in psycho-social counselling in order to help the children work through their traumatic experiences of the war. We were also able to fund the hand-washing facilities and masks as well as training in limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
This is the Village Head of Nkah – one of the hard-to-reach communities of IDPs we have been able to support this year, with emergency relief supplies, COVID prevention supplies – and now a new community school. The Village Head is one of the teachers in the school.