The new crisis that affected CAR since December 2012 caused hundreds of thousands of families to leave their home with their children, while damaging seriously the country’s school system. Thousands of teachers fled and hundreds of schools had been looted or damaged and are unable to provide adequate learning conditions to children.
With the beginning of the transition Finn Church Aid started implementing transitional educational programs to assist thousands of girls and boys have access to educational support, in form of temporary Learning Spaces (ETAPEs) and major interventions in rehabilitations, equipment, community sensitization and pedagogical support to resume normal schooling.
During the month of June, Finn Church Aid launched a new partnership with UNICEF, under the general framework initiative of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to implement transitional activities in support of the reopening of school in the provinces of Ombella M’poko and Ouham-Pendé. The program aims at providing school rehabilitation and pedagogical support (school kits and catch-up classes) to assist children resuming formal schooling and remain on track with their education. More, the program provides a first input to CAR local educational authorities to enhance monitoring of teachers’ presence.
The UNICEF/GPE project complements another major Finn Church Aid intervention just launched in Nana-Mambéré and Ouham-Pendé prefectures thanks to the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. In total both programs, which proposes a parallel and complementary set of activities, target more than 28.000 students in around 60 schools in the three provinces.
In this fragile period of the transition, Finn Church Aid remains committed in ensuring transitional educational opportunities as a valuable response to the crisis. Thanks to added-value partnerships with UNICEF/GPE and the MFA of Finland thousands of kids will finally be allowed to look to the future with more hope while building their way toward peace and development.
Text: Andrea Trevisan and Nicolas Servas