Bangladeshi peacekeepers boost educational opportunities for children in Rocrocdong-Wau

unmiss bangladesh south sudan wau school education peacekeepers united nations un peacekeeping

Bangladeshi peacekeepers serving for peace with UNMISS in Wau hand over books, stationery and sports equipment to students from local schools in Western Bahr El Ghazal. Photo by Jimmy Lundanga/UNMISS.

8 May 2024

Bangladeshi peacekeepers boost educational opportunities for children in Rocrocdong-Wau

Jimmy Ludanga

WESTERN BAHR EL GHAZAL - For many children across South Sudan, going to school is just a dream.

Years of conflict has devastated infrastructure, including educational facilities, as well as caused severe economic hardship, and a dire humanitarian situation which is depriving many children of the chance to access the education they need to succeed in life.

Recognizing this need, Bangladeshi peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in Wau have reached out to support local schools by handing over much needed textbooks, school bags, pencils, teaching materials and sports equipment, including footballs and volleyballs. Their priority is to provide opportunities to the most vulnerable, including young learners who have been displaced by conflict or other challenges in the area.

“I am thrilled to have books in my hand. It has been a dream of mine for a long time,” said Lino Madut Bong, a student at the Rocrocdong Primary School. “This gift brings us hope.”

Teachers at the school, many of whom continue their work despite suffering significant delays in salary payments, say the lack of educational opportunities is a persistent problem even as the country transitions from conflict to peace.

“Every child has the right to go to school and learn. Yet for many of our children, proper schooling remains a distant dream,” said Rocrocdong Primary School Head Teacher, Martin Aleu Aleu.

“This donation will go some way towards helping them, but much more support is needed to enable our children to reach their full potential in life.”

The Civil Military Coordination Officer for the Bangladeshi battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Md Golam Mostofa, highlighted the important link between education and peaceful coexistence.

“We are passionately working to help secure sustainable peace in South Sudan, but without education, it will be hard to achieve that goal. For this reason, we want to contribute to building the capacity of the schooling system in South Sudan.”

The Rocrocdong students are grateful for every opportunity to learn.

“We are extremely heartened by this support. It is a struggle to ensure we continue our education, but these kinds of gestures motivate us,” said student Mary Adau Madit.

At the handover ceremony, the Jur River Education Inspector, Valentino Chol also expressed appreciation for the support and encouraged students to continue their learning, despite the odds.

“Although the education sector faces crippling challenges, we are committed to doing everything in our power to establish vibrant and results-oriented public education services that prioritize learning,” he said.