Future Plans

MAKE A CONTRIBUTION TO EAHA’S PROJECTS IN SUDAN

Following the successful implementation of Phase I of EAHA’s Eritrean Refugee Schools Project, EAHA has developed a number of proposals to continue this important work. In 2013-14, we will be focusing on the following:

• School uniforms

The average wage of a labourer in eastern Sudan is approximately $100 per month. Work opportunities, however, are extremely limited, exacerbated by drought and discrimination toward Eritrean refugees by local communities. Many families live on or below the poverty line and are forced to survive by pooling meagre wages, earning small amounts of money in the informal economy, relying on the generosity and communal sharing of neighbours and friends, and on remittances sent from family members overseas.

Despite the poor conditions and harsh environment, Eritrean refugees value education highly and parents will work tirelessly for their children to be able to go to school. One of the costs involved in sending a child to school in Sudan is the requirement that they wear a school uniform. The cost of a uniform for one child is around $12. Understandably, this amounts to a significant cost for poor families, particularly as it is common for these families to have many children, and represents a barrier to families sending all of their children to school.

EAHA propose purchasing school uniforms for 1,800 students at five schools where relationships have been established with school principals through Phase I of the project (Nadal, A’edoun A and A’edoun B, Wadsherifay and Shagarab elementary schools). Such a purchase, when bought in bulk, would represent a considerable savings for refugee families and will reduce the barriers to some children (particularly girls) attending school.

• Books and stationery

Following on from the success of Phase I of the Eritrean Refugee Schools Project, which saw the purchase and distribution of $7,000 worth of school supplies to 1,700 students to four schools in Kassala and Wadsherifey, Sudan (This included: 5,000 text books, 5,000 exercise books, 2,000 pens, 5 boxes of chalk, 2,000 pencils and 2,000 erasers), EAHA proposes a similar project be undertaken each year to ensure all students in these schools are able to start the school year with the necessary equipment to study. These books and stationery can be purchased and distributed locally using the contacts that EAHA has established.

• Supplementing teacher wages

There are 50 teachers currently employed in the Eritrean refugee schools in Kassala, Wadsherifay and Shagarab. Each teacher is paid $17 per month from the fees paid by families. This salary is insufficient for any of the teachers to live on ($100 per month is considered a subsistence wage), and subsequently teachers are forced to seek supplementary employment and are unable to focus on the educational needs of students. This is despite the enormous sacrifices that these experienced teachers make as part of their commitment to future generations of Eritreans. The result of the extremely low teacher wages in Eritrean refugee schools is the limitation of educational opportunities for students.

EAHA propose a supplementary salary scheme that would enable teachers to earn an adequate salary to be able to focus solely on the education of these disadvantaged students. An increase of $20 per month per teacher would have a significant impact on the educational opportunities of Eritrean refugee students in this area.

How to make a donation

If you would like to make a donation or provide support for any of the projects detailed above, or to find out more information about these projects, please contact EAHA.

RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF ERITREAN REFUGEES

If you are part of a school or community group, EAHA is happy to come and present at an event about the plight of Eritrean refugees in Sudan and Ethiopia. We have video footage and photographs, and our presenters are experienced in speaking to groups from any age or background.

To organise a speaker, contact EAHA.

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