Despite floods, displaced Chadian children receive an education
By Cindy Cao
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 14 November 2012 - Dimanche is 12 years old. She dreams of her future. Education is the key.
But Dimanche is from in Walia, an area in the capital, N’Djamena, which has been devastated by flooding. She now lives with her family on a site for flood victims in Toukra.
School, in an emergency
Since July 2012, Chad has been in a situation of emergency because of floods. But, despite the many difficulties caused by the waters, school has continued.
The emergency school in Toukra opened on 18 October. There are nine classrooms housed in tents provided by UNICEF. The enrolment is 1,621 pupils. They are taught by nine teaching staff, among whom are two principals.
UNICEF, along with the Ministre de l'Éducation Nationale, has provided teaching and educational materials to the school. In the coming days, the distribution of supplies will be organized, and the students will receive school bags, pens and notebooks.
Dimanche attends the new school. She is in Grade 4. She smiles on her way to school. “I like school,” she says. “I like my teacher.”
“I love geography, history, reading ... I love everything!” she exclaims.
One school, much hope
One day, Dimanche stands on the ruins of her collapsed house, her younger brother in her arms. She says, “This is where I lived before, but my house is ‘broken’ now.” She recalls, “It was at night. We were all asleep, but my mother was not asleep. She woke us up. She said: ‘Wake up! Wake up! There is water in the house!’ We woke up, and everything was wet!”
Wandering over piles of bricks and carefully avoiding puddles and mud, she continues: “We stayed in the bush for three days. We had nothing to eat. Then, we lived in my old school for five days, but we could not stay. We had to come and live in Toukra.”
Now, Dimanche has plans for the future: “I want to become a teacher like my grandmother. My grandmother loved teaching.”
Education increases the opportunities Dimanche will have – and also the opportunities for her family and community. Education is not only a fundamental and universal right, but it is also a lever for opportunity.