Finn Church Aid has opened 16 classrooms in four schools in South Sudan, which is struggling with armed conflicts and food shortages. The opening ceremony was held in Mingkaman on Saturday the 11th of October together with the Country Commissioner and FCA team.
The newly-built classrooms are located in the state of Lakes and its border regions, taking into account that the neighbouring state, Jonglei, is one of the worst areas of the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. Most of the students in FCA’s schools have fled from Jonglei.
The situation of the education sector in South Sudan is alarming. More than one thousand schools are still closed because of the conflict, and the teachers have not received their salaries in months. As a whole, there are nearly one million people left outside of education.
Finn Church Aid’s 16 new classrooms are basic, easily-built classrooms. Toilets for boys and for girls are also built adjoining them. Altogether, Finn Church Aid will provide 35 new classrooms, 4 rooms in one school. The official opening of the16 classrooms means that the project is almost half way done. All construction work is due to be finished by the end of the year.
“We hope that the opening of new schools brings hope to children who have had to escape from their homes and drop out of school. It is essentially important that the children have the possibility to continue their studies and have secure place to go during the day. This is equally important because we know that in South Sudan the children are in danger to be recruited as child soldiers”, said Kalim Ul Masih, the South Sudan Country Manager of Finn Church Aid.
1 900 boys and 1 600 girls will get to go to the new schools. Most of them are internally displaced people. The aim is that once the IDPs will be able to return home, the school buildings will remain to be used by the local population.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland funds building of the schools with 800 000 euros.