New UNICEF learning spaces allow children in Bushagara displacement camp to return to lessons
After a week of letting parents know about the new facilities, more than 2,000 boys and girls aged 6 to 11 have already been enrolled.
When Muhawe Wimana realized that fighting was nearly getting closer and closer to her village in North Kivu, she dropped everything, collected her kids from school, and fled. This was at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.
Her 7-year-old son, Isaac, had just started his first year at primary school and was distraught that when he arrived at the Bushagara displacement camp there was no school to take him in. Like many of the displaced children, Isaac was unable to finish the school year.
Because the children were bored and had nothing to do, they started getting into mischief.
Muhawe Wimana was very relieved when she heard about the 17 new temporary learning spaces being built by UNICEF and GRÂCE, a local NGO, to serve children from the Bushagara camp as well as from the host community. The new structures have wooden walls and a sheet metal roof to ensure durability.
Muhawe Wimana and other parents are delighted.
“The children will be busy at school during the day,” she said. “They will come home, do their homework and then go to bed. This routine gives us a bit of normalcy and it keeps the children out of harm’s way.”
Children will be taught by qualified teachers who are also displaced.
After a week of letting parents know about the new facilities, more than 2,000 boys and girls aged 6 to 11 have already been enrolled. Double shifts will allow as many children as possible in Bushagara to be educated.
“I want all my children to fulfil their dreams – to become doctors or lawyers or teachers,” Muhawe Wimana said. “This is only possible if my children study. It all starts with the basics at primary school.”