UNAMID supports the rehabilitation of Lumbati Basic School, North Darfur
On 8 July 2015, UNAMID's Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) and Child Protection Sections, in collaboration with local nongovernmental organization Friends of Peace and Development Organization (FPDO), Sudan Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC), as well as the Ministry of Education, North Darfur, officially launched the construction of three classrooms, one office and toilet facilities at the Lumbati Basic School in Kafoud, 65 kilometers north-east of El Fasher, North Darfur.
This rehabilitation project is part of the Community-based, Labour-intensive Projects (CLIPs) programme led by UNAMID DDR; it is aimed at providing skills training on manufacturing environmentally-friendly bricks to 40 at-risk youth from the local community as well as promoting peaceful coexistence and reducing violence through the provision of basic services. Additionally, the project will incorporate sensitization and awareness-raising campaigns on peace building, tolerance and coexistence.
This rehabilitation effort was originally proposed by the Sudanese Liberation Army-Free Will (SLA-FW), a signatory of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) as well as an Action Plan submitted to the United Nations (UN) committed to ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers. SLA-FW has registered 217 children with the SDDRC for reintegration and submitted progress reports to the UN on the full implementation of its Action Plan, underscoring its dedication to promoting social cohesion in Darfur and benefiting children.
Speaking at the event, UNAMID DDR representative, Mahmoud Elnayer, said that the project will provide a unique platform for Darfuri youth to acquire income-generating skills.
Alma Tafani, the Child Protection representative, in her remarks, welcomed SLA/Free Will resolve to promote the protection of children, stating that the project is very significant for the development and education of children in the Lumbati area and surrounding villages. Ms. Tafani also encouraged the local community to continue their commitment to the protection and development of their children.
On his part, Dr. Kamal Hassan Abdallah, representative, Ministry of Education, North Darfur, commended UNAMID's efforts in the construction of schools across the region. Dr. Abdallah said he believed such projects help improve the educational environment and act as catalysts for increased student enrolment in schools. Community leaders present on the occasion requested UNAMID's assistance in providing vocational training to the youth in the area.
Additionally, former SLA-FW commander, Alsadig Amin, expressed his appreciation for UNAMID's support to furthering school education in Kafoud and reiterated the movement's commitment to protecting children. He also commended the SDDRC and FPDO for providing skills training to 40 youth engaged in the ongoing construction activity and urged parties to the ongoing conflict in Darfur to abide by applicable international child protection obligations.
The event was combined with the ongoing campaign, "No Child Soldiers – Protect Darfur." In this regard, the Mission's Child Protection and Communications and Public Information Sections distributed advocacy vests, UNAMID mandate flyers, water rollers, footballs, volleyballs, stationery, T-shirts and scarves to more than 700 students and members of the community.
Since its inception, more than 100 projects have been successfully implemented through the Mission's CLIPs programme, in collaboration with local partners, across Darfur.