School girls in South Darfur

Improving Protection and Access to Education for Children in South Darfur

As armed conflict erupted in the Darfur region in 2004, thousands of people fled their homes to find refuge in host communities or in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps set up by the government and humanitarian actors in the country.  

Kileik village, Shataya locality, 120 kilometers south of Nyala the capital city of South Darfur, was one of the villages heavily affected by armed conflict. 

With the gradual improvement of the security situation in different parts of Darfur, hundreds of people have been returning to their homes. These returnees face challenges such as lack of access to basic services including access to education, health services and livelihood activities.  

World Vision Sudan, with support from the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF), is responding by providing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), health, nutrition, and protection support to over 145,000 returnees, host communities and refugees in Shattaya, Alradoum, Alsalam, Al Sunta, Demso and Kateila in South Darfur State.  

Through the protection programme, one of the schools supported is Kileik Primary School in Shataya locality. World Vision has renovated six classrooms and three teachers' offices as well as provided desks and chairs to the school. Students also received school uniforms and stationery, while teachers received office furniture and teachers’ kits with stationery and registration books. 

12-year-old Mazin Khalid is a fifth-grade student at Kileik Primary School. Mazin’s favourite subject is Arabic language and the improvements made school more enjoyable for him. “Previously, five students had to share one school book but now each student has his own book for each subject,” says Mazin. 

According to 11-year-old Nahla Adam, a fifth-grade student at Kileik Primary School, previously there weren’t enough seats for all students. “We now have comfortable seats and no longer have to sit on the ground,” says Nahla. 

To improve the quality of education and promote child protection in the area, World Vision, in collaboration with the South Darfur Ministry of Education, has facilitated training for 50 teachers from the locality and members of the Shataya Parents-Teachers’ Association (PTA).  

Kaltoum Mohammed, an Arabic language teacher at Kileik Primary School, says that the training sessions have helped her understand gender-based violence (GBV) and child protection issues.  

“I now feel prepared to introduce as well as discuss issues of GBV with both girls and boys,” she says. “Most importantly, I learnt that termination of GBV starts from school. The more we educate children and let them know that they have equal rights and the importance of peaceful co-existence, the more we encourage them to renounce all forms of violence,” observes Kaltoum. 

Kileik Primary School Headmaster, Ahmed Mohammed is grateful to SHF and donors for supporting improvement of the school environment.  

“The total students enrolled in 2021 was 175 students but with the school rehabilitation implemented by World Vision, the number of students enrolled has increased to 500,” says Mr. Mohammed.  

According to Adam Abduljabar, Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) representative in Shataya locality, 90 percent of the population of the locality fled their villages at the start of the armed conflict. However, the locality has been experiencing an increase of voluntary returns recently.  

“The humanitarian needs created by the influx of returnees have not been fully met yet. World Vision’s intervention in Kileik village, is one of vital interventions towards addressing returnees’ basic needs,” says Mr. Abduljabar. 

The protection programme has contributed to the rehabilitation of another primary school in Al Radoum locality and directly benefitted over 3,000 children, 130 teachers and PTA members in South Darfur.