From March 2010-early 2011, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, implemented nearly $300,000 of DDT funds raised for education in Djabal refugee camp. The funds were allocated based on an annual needs-assessment carried out by UNHCR, implementing partners, and the refugees themselves. By supporting primary education, we are providing the Darfuri refugee students with the educational tools they’ll need to rebuild their communities and Darfur.
About Djabal Refugee Camp
Djabal refugee camp is located in eastern Chad, along the border with Sudan. It sits in a valley surrounded by low hills and is unique among the 12 Darfuri refugee camps because the soil is fertile enough to plant crops to supplement the refugees’ diets, as well as grasses and bushes that can be used to construct homes and other structures. At the end of 2011, the camp was home to more than 17,000 Darfuri refugees; nearly 60% are under the age of 18.
How DDT Funds Improved Djabal's Primary Schools
In 2011, there were 4,174 students enrolled in one of the six primary schools in Djabal: Obama, Sultan Tadjadine, Sudan Djedid (New Sudan), Dorotie (Ocampo), Ali Dinar A, and Djabal Marra (Ali Dinar B).
Enough Project and i-ACT staff members visited Djabal four times between 2010-2011 and with each trip there were visible improvements in the quality of primary education. With DDT funds, UNHCR and its implementing partners were able to:
Provide a safer learning environment and create a feeling that school campuses are a special place in the community for only educational purposes by:
- Hiring, training, and supporting security and attendance guards for each campus. The security guards ensure that the schools remain safe and closed while school is out. The attendance guards open the campus gates before school, during breakfast, and after school, locking them each time the students have entered or left.
- Constructing fences to surround each campus. The fences not only keep students on campus during the school day, but also keep animals such as goats and donkeys out of the classrooms. In addition to being a distraction and a nuisance, animals entering schoolyards also create sanitation problems.
- Installing at least one water pump per school. Water is a precious resource anywhere, but especially for the refugee students who live on the fringe of the Sahara desert and often attend class with the temperature reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Improve teaching performance and provide more support by:
- Recruiting 18 new teachers in Djabal, two of whom are female, which lowered the student to teacher ratio.
- Providing teacher trainings on methodology, psychology, and child development and protection. All of the teachers are refugees themselves, so continued learning and training is critical to their classroom performance.
- Increasing teachers' monthly salaries on a tiered system with levels based on academic qualifications, number of classes taught, and number of trainings attended: $62, $80, and $102.
Improve the learning environment by:
- Providing textbooks for Math, Arabic, English, and other subjects, as well as new rulers and globes.
- Purchasing and delivering tables, benches, and chairs to decrease the number of students and teachers who sit on mats or crowded classroom floors.
- Delivering more than 3,000 student uniforms. Since most of the students and teachers have lived in Djabal for close to a decade now, many own just a few outfits which has been a contributor to truancy. So uniforms in Djabal are not only creating an academic atmosphere, but are also contributing to higher attendance rates by both students and teachers.
Build and improve classroom and storage space by:
- Building two new concrete buildings which include classrooms, administrative and teachers' offices, and storage space. The new classrooms have cement floors which can be swept, high ceilings to encourage better ventilation, built-in blackboards, and metal doors and windows with locks so that supplies and materials can be left in the classrooms when school is not in session. The new classrooms are much brighter, breezier, and easier to keep clean than the older ones. The new administration building also has storage space for school supplies, mats, and blackboards.
With your help, we are delivering on our promise to support quality education in Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad. The current round of fundraising will go toward education in Goz Amer refugee camp. Learn more about Goz Amer and how to support education there as well.
To see more photos of the improvements you've helped us support in Djabal, check out our Flickr slide-show: