Friday, 9 January 2015

Adjumani (Uganda) and Al Fakiha (Lebanon): Sant’Egidio in support of education

The website www.santegidio.org has recently published news regarding the support provided by the Community to assist minors who, in different contexts, have been forced to leave their land due to ongoing conflicts. Sant’Egidio’s help allowed them not to lose their right to an education and to continue to harbor the hope for a quick return to peace and
normality. 
One of the two settings described in the website is Northern Uganda. Thousands of refugees from South Sudan live here, in the Nyumanzi Settlement, in which the Community has opened a primary school. The project - financed by way of a collection that saw the participation of all of Sant’Egidio’s families around the world - comprises seven classes and involves about ten teachers and hundreds of boys and girls age six through 14. After having started the classes under the trees we moved to large tents with desks and we expect to soon begin the building of brick classrooms. 
Shifting to another region of the planet, we are encouraged by what has been set up in
Lebanon, in the Beqaa Valley, near the Syrian border. As a consequence of the violent clashes occurring in the area, thousands of refugees have congregated here, including families with many children, often very young ones. Thanks to Sant’Egidio’s efforts, a School of Peace has been set up here. It has been in operation for three years already. In the township of Al Fakiha various spaces have been leased in order to allow the continuation of the educational journey of several hundred children. They now alternate in two shifts, morning and afternoon, and follow the curricula of their own country which they left three years ago. This reflects a desire to remain connected with one’s history, a reaffirmation of the faith that peace and coexistence are destined to reestablish themselves in the region. 

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