The Darfuri Refugee Books Project

Why is this project important?

REACT is targeting a vital, but overlooked, aspect of refugee life for young people. Once refugees, children no longer have access to their former schools or textbooks. Being excluded from their national curriculum they are unable to gain vital qualifications or enter University – something that can offer them professional employment and a recognized standing in their community and country.

In Chad, young Darfuri, desperate for educational tools, often choose to re-enter Darfur, and travel vast distances across deserts and war zones simply to obtain textbooks and sit exams in their native towns.

REACT aims to provide refugee communities with the educational tools that will – post conflict – allow them to re-enter their society as equals.

How many children and books?

According to the UNHCR, there are currently approximately 240,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, almost all of whom are located in 12 refugee camps in the country’s east. Over 56% of the refugee population are women and over 60% are under the age of 18. Two circumstances that call for particular attention to sectors such as education and health.

The children in primary school age represent more than 30% of the entire refugee population, somewhere in the range of 80,000 school-age children.

The benchmark for operational relief activities in textbooks provision according to humanitarian standards, is to match at least the ration of 1 book in 3 children. In Eastern Chad this amounts to at least 25,000 children as the absolute minimum set aim.

Activities

REACT works in close consultation with the refugee community in the Am Nabak refugee camp with a population of at least 17,000 refugees, according to the UNCHR. There are some 4,000 school age children in Am Nabak Camp.

REACT has successfully procured 1,200 books covering 12 titles and serving classes from 1st to 5th. The titles have been identified by the Head-teachers and Teachers of the Am Nabak refugee camp in April 2007.

REACT works in partnership with British Council and UN agencies who have been providing much need logistical support.

How much it costs

The cost involved in purchasing, transporting and distributing the books to the refugees in Eastern Chad is of £ 2 per book. In its first year, REACT aims to provide at least 5,000 books to the refugee children, for which it will need to fundraise at least £ 10,000 pounds. Find out how you can help.

Forthcoming Plans

REACT is planning to replicate the Books Project to reach more refugee children by completing the basic provision of text books and serving the remaining school children in Am Nabak camp. For them, it needs to raise enough funds to cover the costs of at least 3,000 books to be delivered by June 2008.

It also plans to conduct a needs assessment to identify a new refugee camp where to outreach to at least 1,000 children and teachers. REACT will travel to Eastern Chad at the beginning of February 2008 to evaluate the first pilot project and identify further needs.

By the end of 2008, alongside the provision of textbooks, REACT aims to start a pilot project to coordinate teachers support activities and training of teachers in at least one camp. More to come!

Upcoming Activities

School Links

Get Involved

phil@wearekash.comThe Darfuri Refugee Books Project