The educational sector in Sudan is still considered one of the sectors that suffer the most from severe weakness and lack of support, whether from humanitarian organizations or authorities. This has prompted students and teachers in the region to launch several initiatives in which they are active voluntarily and provide services to children for free.
The Initiative Teaches Dozens of Children
A group of female students at the Red Sea University launched a free initiative in the city of Port Sudan to teach children in displaced camps coming from Khartoum State, fleeing the scourge of war, free of charge. The initiative teaches dozens of children in displacement camps the principles of arithmetic, mathematics, and the Holy Quran, in addition to holding sessions to support children fleeing the ongoing conflict between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, which has now entered its seventh month.
Amna Adam, a twenty-year-old student at Red Sea University and the founder of the initiative, says that the idea for the initiative began with their desire as volunteers in shelter centers to gather children in a cool place, away from the summer heat. They aim to involve the children in academic and artistic programs to entertain them through games, drawing, and coloring.
The initiative’s goals include teaching the English language and various other subjects, as well as providing vocational training in several trades. The initiative targets a large number of displaced children of both genders. The initiative aims to entertain displaced children in the camps and alleviate their suffering by making interactive programs that combine learning and fun, enabling them to acquire basic skills.
Fatima Idris, a teacher in the initiative, says that their program received a great response from children of all age groups, and they eagerly awaited the initiative’s start, even during the holidays. She added, “Education is beneficial and more productive for children than idleness. It is better for us to take a step by teaching them to fill their free time, ensuring they do not forget how to read. When we began teaching, we noticed a growing interest among the children in reading, and they started attending school as they did before.”
UNICEF Warns of Educational Disaster
More than 5.5 million children residing in areas less affected by the war are waiting for local authorities to confirm whether schools can reopen.
According to statistics from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), approximately 19 million children in Sudan are out of school, about six months after the start of the conflict between the army and the Rapid Support Forces. UNICEF warns of “a disaster for an entire generation.”
Approximately 6.5 million children have lost access to education due to increasing violence and insecurity in their areas, with at least 10,400 schools closed in areas affected by the conflict.
Ihsan Muhammad, a child benefiting from the initiative, says that the program helped her learn the Holy Quran, reading, arithmetic, and mathematics. She praised the role of her teachers, saying, “I read with my colleagues, and sometimes they bring us together to read the Quran, read magazines, and draw. This means we engage in various activities, and Amna’s program started a month ago. They are good teachers and teach us important values.”
The initiative’s efforts did not stop there. Within two months, it has helped more than two hundred students in several shelter centers located in the city of Port Sudan on the western coast of the Red Sea.