"Without an education, children, including adolescents, are less likely to be healthy, grow strong, be safe or fully participate in their communities. Without an education, communities are less likely to achieve their other development goals." - UNHCR
An estimated 60% of the population in Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad are children. Many of the children have lost one or both of their parents in either the conflict or the journey to Chad. Some of the children have witnessed horrendous atrocities that are extremely difficult for any adult or child to process or move past.
Education in a secure and stable school environment will help children overcome traumatic experiences and prepare them for a brighter future.
Since 2004, the United Nations has worked to provide Darfuri refugees in Chad with a quality education. However, their resources are limited, and attendance is inconsistent. While enrollment is high and children want to go to school, a shortage of qualified teachers, poorly built school buildings, and lack of supplies make it difficult to provide the refugees with a solid primary education. The primary education goals in the camp are to increase access and enrollment, improve quality and provide enhanced protection for the refugee children.
The Darfur Dream Team Sisters Schools Program firmly believes that education is a right, a protection tool, a durable solution, an international obligation and the basis for sustainable development.
Education is a right
Education is viewed by UNHCR as a priority from the onset of an acute crisis or emergency through to the durable solution phase.
Education is a protection tool
Education can provide physical, psychosocial, and cognitive protection, especially for children. Educational programs can serve as a means of addressing issues such as the promotion of gender equality, peace and tolerance, preventative health education and landmine awareness.
Education is a durable solution
Education prepares individuals for the future. Basic skills of literacy and numeracy enhance an individual’s capacity for self-reliance. For youth, education provides them the knowledge and skills for employment and also provides a venue for them to develop their individual identity and responsibilities within their community.
Education is an international obligation
Displaced populations and children themselves consistently prioritize quality education and access to higher levels of educational services. UNHCR is looked upon by displaced communities to provide a wide range of educational services and education is increasingly being included in emergency response strategies.
Education is the basis for sustainable development
A refugee who goes without education cannot look forward to a more productive and prosperous future. A refugee who is unable to attend school or a vocational training course is more likely to become discouraged and involved in illegitimate or military activities.