October 25 marked the first day of school at a new elementary school in Ngourtou Koumboua in Chad’s Lake province. Humanity & Inclusion helped open the doors of the village’s only school, which is now home to more than 7,000 people displaced by violence.
Since 2018, the village has served as a host site for thousands of internally displaced persons who fled violence of armed groups affecting the region since 2014. Until now, the village has been without a school.
Two years in the making
Through the PROSOLAC project, aimed at protecting and educating children in the Lake Region, Humanity & Inclusion built six classrooms to finalize the construction of this school, two years in the making. Built according to the "Temporary learning spaces" model, which favors the use of local materials and metal structures, the new classrooms are adapted for emergency contexts and can accommodate more than 300 students for the 2021-2022 school year. The project is funded by the European Union through 2023.
For parents, who have been unable to send their children to school until now, the opening of this school is particularly important.
"We are very happy this morning," one father shared at the opening ceremony. "For us and our children who have waited so long in Ngourtou Koumboua, the school year can finally begin. I am so glad to see this school opening."
The official opening ceremony was held in the presence of the departmental inspector of the Provincial Delegation of National Education and Civic Promotion of the Lake, the residential chief, the representative of the canton chief of Nguelea and the students’ parents.
School supply kits–containing 1 bag, 4 notebooks, 1 slate, 2 pencils, 2 pens, 1 box of colored pencils and 1 ruler–were distributed to the 161 newly enrolled students.
Humanity & Inclusion in Chad
Humanity & Inclusion has worked in Chad since the 1990s in the sectors of inclusive and emergency education, mine action, victim assistance, peace building, physical rehabilitation and economic integration of people with disabilities. Teams currently run projects in N'Djamena; the Lake, Logone Occidental and Logone Oriental provinces; and the Borkou, Ennedi and Tibesti (BET) regions.
This education project is part of Humanity & Inclusion’s ongoing initiative to improve access to school and quality of schooling for more than 9,000 children in Chad’s Fouli and Kaya departments.