Help our local partners realise their vision of hope for their communities
Since the latest wave of conflict broke out in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in 2011, the Government of Sudan (GoS) has targeted civilians with aerial bombardment and ground assaults, killing thousands and displacing more than 500,000. Aerial bombardments have been directed towards schools, churches, mosques, villages, marketplaces and other infrastructure central to the wellbeing of the community.
Today, the humanitarian situation in the Two Areas (Blue Nile State and the Nuba Mountains) is further deteriorating. The denial of humanitarian access to the region by successive Sudanese governments has exacerbated the crisis, leaving thousands without access to basic needs.
For as long as HART has worked in Blue Nile State, education has been the top priority for our partner the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) and the communities they serve. HART partner and NSCC Executive Director Benjamin Barnaba, consistently tells us there is nothing more important to them than education.
There are currently 47 community established primary schools in Blue Nile. Many of these community schools are built out of local materials such as wood and grass and all lack scholastic materials. Many of those not built from local materials were badly damaged by Sudanese Army bombings in 2011 at the beginning of the civil war, whilst others have been destroyed by flooding and have fallen into disrepair.
Moreover, teacher capacity in the region is very low. There is currently one qualified professional teacher in the region, who, with HART’s support, received an education qualification in Uganda. Furthermore, it is difficult and expensive to qualify as a teacher in Blue Nile and so teacher training is a significant priority.
In 2015, HART supported efforts to improve education provision in Blue Nile by funding educational and scholastic materials. Whilst the materials were well received by the community schools, more support was required to establish the foundations needed to produce long lasting, sustainable change. HART’s partners believe that a strong foundation must be established for an effective education system to emerge in the region.
That’s why, this year, HART secured a £35,000 grant from the Aall Foundation to help NSCC to provide scholastic materials such as blackboards, textbooks, stationary, exercise books and chalks. Furthermore, teacher training was organised for and delivered to 43 teachers who were trained in general methodological pedagogy, professional conduct, school discipline, classroom management and organisation. The teaching lasted 14 days and all participants were eager and enthusiastic to learn new skills.
One of the trainees, Lucy Jeser told us, “through this project, women and girls have acquired important knowledge to produce a brighter future.”
Head teacher of Yabus primary school Mr L. Augustino said, “this training is the first training ever to be organized in Blue Nile as a whole since 2015, we really appreciate this effort and the support from HART which NSCC is implementing, the training content has met our expectations and beyond; because we never knew these knowledge and skills which we got from this training.”
The teacher training programme has seen the communities of Blue Nile take the first step to producing the long-lasting change that is needed to bring high quality education to the region. However, the work is not done: