KASAI – Kamiji Territory, situated in Lomami Province, was the scene of clashes between the security forces and Kamuina Nsapu militants. The violence forced entire populations to hide in the brush, far from basic services. During these months, the children were unable to continue their education.
More than 100 schools have been completely destroyed
Now that peace has returned to the Kasaï region, families are coming back to their villages and the children have made their way back to school. But in Kasaï region, more than 100 schools have been completely destroyed and Kamiji territory was particularly badly affected: 19 schools lie in ruins.
In Kamiji, lessons were taking place in hastily-constructed classrooms and pupils were exposed to bad weather, studying on the damp earth with their feet in the mud. These conditions were far from favourable to a quality education.
Return to school in Kasai
Faced with this situation, UNICEF decided to organise temporary learning spaces in Kamiji territory. Advocacy activities amongst community representatives and village leaders sought the involvement of the community in setting up these spaces. No parent remained uninvolved: every single one agreed to take part in setting up the new classrooms!
4 temporary schools in tents were put up in two days, thanks to the involvement of the community! Getting everyone involved and engaged allowed the setting up of 24 classrooms and 4 administrative offices. The population were overwhelmed by joy:
“Now I have a school!”
“I won’t have to go home when it rains any more!”
The population of Kamiji has shown enormous gratitude towards UNICEF. The temporary schools aim to ensure education for all, as stated in Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which guarantees access to education for all children.
The activities of UNICEF and its partners
UNICEF intends to create 100 temporary schools across the Grand Kasai region, which will allow a total of 33,000 children to get back to school. It is critical for the children that they return to school in order to restore a feeling of normality in their lives after months of fear and uncertainty.
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Translated from the French by Julia Bayton
Sylvie Lovwa est C4D Officer au bureau de Mbuji-Maji
Sylvie Lovwa is C4D Officer at UNICEF Mbuji-Maji
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