Refugee Education Trust — Protecting through Education
In the Eastern Chadian camps, the situation remains protracted and severely unstable, with regular occurrences of violence and kidnappings targeting the local populations, refugees, IDPs and humanitarian workers, as well as a return of armed conflict and inter-ethnic violence, all of which resulting in a difficult and harsh environment to live and work in.
There is no likely voluntary return for the Sudanese refugees any time soon, with the violence in Darfur continuing as it is. This has led to a strengthened call for better service provision in the Eastern camps, as the socio-economic situation is already unsteady and the continued influx of refugees is resulting in cramped conditions and a higher level of competition for the few services already provided, such as education. The provision of education in the camps is hindered by the lack of qualified teachers and materials, and exposure to accredited curricula. IN addition, certain cultural practices regularly rob girls and young women of their right and access to education.
The RET provides Sudanese refugees in the Eastern camps with formal and non-formal post-primary education, either directly in schools or via Secondary Education Distance Learning programmes (SEDL). Youth living in these camps have very few recreational or educational opportunities, thus the RET projects ensure their access to accredited secondary education and marketable skills, that will promote social inclusion and job creation for the displaced youth. Along with the International University of Africa (IUA, Khartoum, Sudan), the SEDL programmes provide both refugee and local youth with the opportunity to learn four compulsory subjects (Arabic, English or French, Mathematics and Islamic Studies) and two option courses in both the Arts and Sciences.
In addition to the SEDL courses, the RET also provides activities to teach basic cognitive skills (such as literacy and numeracy) and interpersonal life skills (leadership, learning to live together, human rights, sport and health) to youth aged 12 to 24, to help build their capacities and engage them in meaningful activities, thus eliminating the risks they encounter on a daily basis as a result of being inactive and idle in the camps.