Opening Doors to Education
|Volume 15, No. 1
for Children of Famine
As the young refugee children of Somalia's famine begin to regain their strength under the watchful care of international relief organizations, many are heading back to class in one of the several elementary schools existing in the refugee camp of Bokolomanyo and other nearby camps in Dolo Ado, Ethiopia. For their older brothers and sisters, the nearest high school is more than 60 miles away leaving displaced refugee families desperate to find an accessible and safe place for their adolescent sons and daughters to complete their education. Responding to their needs and a desire to help, IOCC in cooperation with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter Church Aid Commission (EOC-DICAC) is constructing the first high school in Bokolomanyo for teen refugees.
Access to a school and regular class attendance will be the first step in restoring some normalcy to the turbulent lives of the more than 500 youths from ages 15 to 20 that have not had an opportunity to complete their education because of famine and civil unrest. The first phase of construction will include four classrooms, an administrative office, storage rooms and living quarters for the school staff. Classrooms will be equipped with desks, blackboards, and teaching materials, and a new water and sanitation facility will provide the children and faculty with clean, running water.