Learning used to be a huge challenge for the children of Tomaji Primary School in Maban County. Students were learning under trees and would be forced home at the first sign of rain.
Seeking a more stable school environment, some children in the community used to make the two hour journey to Gasmallah Primary School, where they could learn under a roof. But in peak rainy season, the route between Tomaji and Gasmallah is prone to severe flooding, leaving both communities stranded either side of the overflowing river.
David Dera, the Chairperson of Tomaji Primary School’s ‘School Management Committee’ (SMC), brought his fellow SMC members together to discuss this issue. The inadequate learning environment was top of the agenda. The SMC decided to mobilise community members – asking each adult to contribute 500 SSP towards the construction of two classrooms. It took them three weeks to collect all of the money and one month for construction, which was completed by the community members.
David praised the School Governance training that they received from County Education Officer, Wani. Through the training, David realised the power of bringing individuals together to work towards a common goal, stating, “one hand cannot clap, but with two hands we can clap”.
Now, the children of Tomaji can learn in comfort all year round. Girls no longer have to make the two hour journey to Gasmallah every morning and evening, which, with recent clashes between host communities and refugees, is vital to ensure their safety.
David feels very positive about the progress that the SMC has made in a short space of time, and feels optimistic about what’s to come, “We are leading our children to a brighter future”.
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