Voices of children in Sudan’s West Darfur

The story of Omer from Al-Geneina

Abdalla Dagot
Hygiene club, Tahamyam school
27 February 2022

Omer Mohammed is 11-years old, and from a nomadic group in West Darfur. He is in Grade five at the newly rehabilitated El-Zahran basic school in Krinding , a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Al-Geneina, West Darfur.

In the last two years, many students stopped attending El-Zahran school due to the poor learning environment. It was around the same time that Omer made the decision to stop going to school if it was not improved, but his parents kept encouraging him to continue his education as other schools are far from their residence.

UNICEF stepped in to create a better learning environment and experience for Omer and his colleagues.

“Now I feel that I can accomplish my dream of becoming a doctor. I now study in a nice classroom and I have textbooks and exercise books,” said Omer.

CERF west darfur
Omer Mohamed inside his classroom at El-Zahran basic school

When asked why many children are now attending El Zahran School, Omer said, “El-Zaharan School is very beautiful and now students have nice classrooms, seating and latrines for boys and girls. The buildings were rehabilitated and painted. We feel safer now. We hope for additional classrooms, a fence, trees and classrooms for grade eight.”

The school now has a newly constructed latrine unit for boys and girls.

“UNICEF’s endless support is not only for education, but also for water and sanitation, “said Omer’s teacher who said that the school will support him to become the first doctor to graduate from this school.

In total, UNICEF rehabilitated nine classrooms and constructed four classrooms. For a more holistic intervention, 13 teachers including 5 female teachers were trained and 1,500 students, 850 boys and 650 girls, received learning material

This project was implemented through a partnership with Peace light for rural development organization and was funded by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)