Sudan: humedica Pre-School in Camp El Sereif

by Michaela Baumann, 2008/03/07

El Sereif is the name of the smallest refugee camp in South Darfur which is supported by humedica. The 3,900 children living in this camp of 14,000 have already seen and suffered through so much, and their hope of a better future should not be allowed to be taken away. This protection of hope is why one of humedica’s main goals is in helping the children. In the past months, multiple schools in and around the refugee camp have been renovated and built. Since March, the attention has also been directed to those younger still: together with the humanitarian organization “Children First”, humedica is now running a pre-school in El Sereif.

Many young children live in El Sereif. Photo: humedica

When one opens the door to the pre-school, children’s laughter and the babble of voices can be heard coming out of the classrooms. Separated by age and ability into five rooms, there are around 280 children there at the moment. They all come from families who had to flee because of the civil war, and at the moment, the refugee camp El Sereif is their home. The number of pre-school aged children living there is higher, but the classrooms are already too overcrowded. The building of two additional classrooms has been planned.

In order to protect the children from the constant sand, wind and dust, the wood walls of the classrooms have been covered with bamboo mats. All of the material used for the construction comes out of Sudan, even the three teachers, who try to bring in a little peace. It is very difficult to describe what it’s like to teach under such extreme conditions; they have little material available, and the groups are too large to be able to work with the children individually. But they don’t let the stress show- committed, they try to teach the older children how to read and write.

On the schedule are reading and writing. Photo: humedica

Every small achievement is motivational. An early education is not the only reason why humedica decided to build these pre-schools. These institutions also give humedica the ability to regularly examine the children in the near-by clinic. In addition to learning, the children also receive a small portion of bread every day – for many this is their only meal. The subject of “hygiene” is also a part of the syllabus of these pre-schoolers, so that they can learn how important it is to regularly wash their hands. If you would like to support our work, so that we can continue to give these and other children this early mentoring, every form of support is welcome. Thank you for your help!

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