Central African Republic is one of the poorest nations in the world. According to the 2017 Fragile State Index -listing, the country is the 5th most fragile state in the world. More than half of the population (2,5 million) are in need of humanitarian assistance.
The military conflict in 2013 forced people to flee their homes and inflicted significant damage on the country’s education system. Soldiers took over schools and laid waste to their equipment. Over a million central africans have fled their homes, and more than half a million have taken refuge in the neighbouring countries Chad, Cameroon and The Democratic Republic of the Congo.
FCA established a country office in Central African Republic in autumn 2013. The aim is to meet the acute need for humanitarian assistance in the country. Our operations are particularly focused on promoting peace and revitalising the school system.
FCA continued its peace work in the Central African Republic in 2017 by training communities in reconciliation skills for conflict situations. The religious leaders and imams have received training that has reinforced their skills and roles as peace mediators.
There is an urgent need for teachers, as the great majority of them fled persecution to neighbouring countries during the civil war. FCA has provided teacher training to parents in local communities to ensure that children have access to the education they deserve.
FCA has established parents’ associations that not only develop school activities, but also improve the livelihood strategies of families. Commitment to children’s education has grown as parents have realized that school activities benefit the entire family. In 2017, a total of 161 parents were involved in starting a small business as part of the activities related to the parents’ associations.
In collaboration with the World Food Programme, FCA organized school meals for 8,594 pupils in 2017. Four schools were able to establish school gardens, which provided ingredients for the lunches of 1,808 pupils.
FCA is the only Finnish NGO operating in the Central African Republic.