COVID-19: Helping displaced children return to school

Almost 7 million children have benefited from one of the distance education measures supported by UNICEF.

Angèle Wakusomba Museme et Joël Wells Djalumvor (translated from French by Sophie Bassi)
Moise, 15 ans, lit assis devant son abris de fortune
UNICEF DRC Wakusomba
08 September 2020

Moise, 15, has been living for over a year in a camp for internally displaced people in Bunia, in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). While growing up peacefully in Djugu territory, inter-communal clashes escalated, forcing Moise and his family to flee.

"I saw the militiamen moving around with weapons to kill innocent people and burn down huts and schools," Moise recalls. "My parents, my brothers and sisters and I walked many kilometers between our village Waga and Bunia", continues the young boy. Since the day he left his village, Moise has lived in a small tarpaulin hut and could no longer go to school.

When the state of health emergency was declared in the country, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health developed distance learning alternatives. Exercise books have been specifically printed to meet the needs of children who do not have access to technology-based media such as radio, television or the internet.

Every day, Moise works for two hours with his notebook, remembering his old lessons. "I lost all my notebooks when we fled the atrocities," recalls Moise, who has not lost his taste for learning.

On Monday August 10, Moise returned to school like all sixth grade students. "I am hopeful that I can face TENAFEP because I have been preparing since I started using my workbook," Moise concludes.

Almost 7 million children have benefited from one of the distance education measures supported by UNICEF with support from the Global Partnership for Education and USAID.

UNICEF wishes to express its sincere gratitude to  Gavi, the Global Partnership for Education, the Solidarity Response Fund, the DRC Humanitarian Fund, the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank GroupUnilever and the Governements of CanadaJapanMalta, the United KingdomGermanySweden and Switzerland for their contributions to the coronavirus response in DRC.