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Educational in Emergency is not only right but in the situations of emergencies it is a fundamental necessity. It provides physical, social and cognitive protection which can be both life saving and life sustaining. Education sustains life by offering individuals particularly children and adolescents safe space for living as well as the ability to identify and provide support for affected people. The above is a picture of school children being taught under a tree; this is obviously not conducive for effective teaching and learning. The village lacks classrooms, either permanent or temporary, to accommodate the young children who are definitely very eager to learn. During the rainy season studies can not be conducted and children are forced to remain at home. What is worse, a lot of parents have not embraced the idea of education, so there are a lot of children who have reached school going age but have not yet been enrolled into any kind of school. The Somali communities of the three districts (Jowhar, Ballad and Mahaday) have had adverse effects of ethnic strife and an absolute distraction of all amenities through the current and previous insurgency; these have deprived the majority of the middle shabelle children of their right to Education.
Together with the building of schools, wocca is also involved in the water and sanitation part of this. It is important to raise class attendance as much as possible by reducing infection rates caused by water borne diseases and poor hygiene. So hygiene awareness and the construction of latrines are part of wocca’s education program.
Wocca has undertaken in several education projects whose overall objective is to resume and improve access to basic education for conflict affected children (with particular attention to IDPs) as a tool for protection of their human rights and dignity, and empower the community and the schools community with life saving information. The programme is informed by the ever present hunger for education among the young and especially among the youth and the urgent need for awareness in the schools and communities on matters that affect them directly in one way or the other. WOCCA has carried out several Emergency Education Response projects in Jowhar, Mahaday and Bal ‘ad Districts of Middle Shabelle; and Lower Shabelle. Wocca’s Education Programme main activities mainly include:
Wocca improves access to education by taking part in the extensive establishment of infrastructure including building temporary schools and latrines; and Provide furniture for the temporary schools and distribute didactical materials. The furniture’s distributed to the schools include blackboards, mats for sitting on, school bells, note books and pens for teachers and the deductible materials which are given to the most vulnerable children, they include pens, note books and basic books. Other activities include: Recruitment of teachers and educators
A careful consideration is given to gender aspect whilst building or supplied equipment to the schools. Its imperative the understand the dynamics of culture and religion in Somalia. Girls reaching puberty time have the most difficult time during schooling. This specific group has difficult attending schools if there are no latrines of access to water. Most its important for the school to get a female teacher in a country dominated by males.
Girl-child is given special attention at the school we support. Increased basic rights to access to latrine for instance is a major step in a country were otherwise people go the bushes to defecate. Our strategy has ensured an increase in attendance of girl-child. Also their attendances decrease the chances of them going to collecting firewood, or rearing cattle where most rape cases take place.
WOCCA conducts advocacy and capacity building trainings and campaigns to the teachers, students, Community Education committees and the community at large. These include: Training teachers on Education, the rights of women and children, child protection, Mine risk education, SGBV, health, hygiene, sanitation and peace promotion; Awareness raising for the students and the community on Education, the rights of children and women, mine risk education, SGBV, health, hygiene and sanitation, peace promotion in the constructed schools, and trainings the Community Education Committee on record keeping, school management and disaster risk preparedness and response. Its a comprehensive approach but unfortunately not a lot of donors are willing to fund education sector in Somalia as they think there are more priorities such as livelihoods.
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