Darfur Dream Team Program Assistant Meghan Higginbotham is on her way back home after spending two weeks visiting the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad, which we covered here on Enough Said. During her trip, Meghan met with students, teachers, and camp leaders from the Goz Amer and Djabal refugee camps, where she learned about the challenges to a quality education in the camps. She was also able to see first-hand the tangible differences that funds raised by the U.S. Sister Schools have made in improving education in Djabal, and how the money raised for Goz Amer will be used.
Last month UNHCR released a report highlighting the difficulties in providing a quality education for refuges. Among these challenges is a lack of materials including books, low attendance rates especially among girls, a shortage of trained teachers, and poorly constructed or non-existent classrooms. To the students of camp Djabal and Goz Amer these challenges are their education realities.
This is especially true in Goz Amer, where Meghan reported about classes being held outside under a tree, a lack of books, and the need for more trained teachers. Knowing that the needs in Goz Amer are great, our U.S. Sister Schools have been hard at work fundraising, and we are excited that starting next year our partner UNHCR will start implementing the over $200,000 raised.
Meet some of the people Meghan spent time with in Djabal refugee camp:
Meghan also saw the first-hand impact of DDT funds in Djabal, where a new block of classrooms were built, desks purchased, teachers trained, and security improved around the schools. These funds have had an immediate impact creating a true school atmosphere, Meghan said. The positive impact made by the DDT funds on education in Djabal is promising as we begin implementing funds in Goz Amer.
We also have some exciting updates from DDT students Ali, Rahma, Murtada, and Bussaina, who were able to meet with Meghan and share some updates on their lives, including new career ambitions and soccer skills. Watch this video of Bussaina where she tells us that she is now a teacher at Sultan Tadjanie School teaching English and math!
Bussaina is truly a role model for the other students, showing the opportunities that come through education. Bussaina is also giving back to her community by educating the future leaders of Darfur, while breaking down barriers as one of only a handful of female teachers!
Once Meghan returns, she will begin compiling a trip diary that will include personal videos, photos, and stories from her trip. The diary will feature updates on the students and schools in Goz Amer and Djabal,refugee camps. In addition we will be uploading new photos and videos to our Facebook page, so be sure to like us!