Rural Community school in Eastern Equatoria State receives new classrooms
“We have the right to eat, we have the right to live, we have the right to education!”
The chanting of children in Eastern Equatoria State’s rural Iballany community was loud and joyful as they and their teachers, both categories clearly alive, received a precious gift aimed at better responding to their demand for institutionalized learning: a building containing three brand new classrooms.
“We hope that this handover of new facilities will lead to more boys and girls in Iballany and neighbouring communities enrolling and remaining at school, where they can learn and co-exist peacefully,” said Caroline Waudo, Head of the UN peacekeeping mission’s field office in Torit as those present toured the classrooms, each one sporting 60 desks.
The construction, implemented by the national non-governmental organisation Community Needs Initiative and funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, is a Quick Impact Project, local initiatives worth no more than 50,000 USD and typically finished within three months.
The Iballany community school, established in 2010 but in disuse for years following the outbreak of civil war in 2013, desperately needed an expansion. Children in the area were often faced with walking several kilometers to attend classes in Torit town, with many of them never enrolling or dropping out.
The State Ministry of Education has pledged to support the learning institution as best it can.
“Educating all young girls and boys is a collective responsibility. We will provide the school with assistance, stationery and additional teaching staff to boost learning,” said Lopeyok Sami Aperegole, Minister of Education in the state.
Over the years, the peacekeeping mission has completed 27 Quick Impact Projects in Eastern Equatoria State alone, including classrooms, safe houses, court halls, police posts and the provision of solar powered systems of different kinds. The initiatives that have been funded have been selected based on the needs expressed by local communities across the state.