South Sudan

Joy in rural Eastern Equatorian community as UNMISS hands over classrooms for 200 learners

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© Okello James/UNMISS

OKELLO JAMES

UN peacekeepers in Torit in Eastern Equatoria State have handed over three new classrooms to the community of Enyif. They are bound to make a huge difference.

“Our children, especially the young ones, can’t go to Torit during the rainy season, when the river Kinete sometimes overflows. As a result, they have missed out on a lot of schooling, but not anymore,” said Ikoki Ester, a content women’s representative living in the area.

The block of classrooms built for the nursery and primary school is one of the peacekeeping mission’s Quick Impact Projects, initiatives aimed at quickly and inexpensively improving the living conditions of communities in need. The new structure, worth 50,000 USD, was built by Child Mentor Africa, a national organisation.

Some 200 keen learners from villages in the Ifwotu payam (administrative division) are set to benefit from the new facilities, with the communities hoping to add a few more classrooms in future.

“This community-driven school will be fully assisted by the state Ministry of Education and its partners. You will be provided with textbooks and incentives for the teaching staff,” affirmed Oliha Gabriel, the Director General of the ministry.

On his part, Anthony Nwapa, Acting Head of the peacekeeping mission’s field office in Torit, stressed the importance of education for everyone, both towns and in rural areas.

“We will not fail you. We will continue to work with you to help develop communities in South Sudan,” he said.

Since 2012, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan has financed 26 Quick Impact Projects in Eastern Equatoria State. Previous initiatives include water sanitation facilities, courts, medical centres, police posts and water pipelines.