Dubai Cares launches new education programs in UgandaDecember 3, 2017, 11:00 am GMT
A Dubai Cares delegation led by its CEO Tariq Al Gurg has successfully concluded a field visit to launch three new education programs in Uganda. The first program provides education for South Sudanese refugee children who fled the civil war in their home country and are now settled in Northern Uganda, as well as children from the host communities in Uganda; the second program aims to promote science and technology among Ugandan primary and secondary school girls; while the third program supports the enrollment and integration of children with disabilities into mainstream primary schools. The three programs, which are set to benefit more than 21,500 children and young adults in Uganda, are worth AED 11,356,142 (USD 3,091,368).
According to a UNHCR report in 2017, the majority of South Sudanese refugees have sought safety in Uganda. By the end of March 2017, the country was hosting 852,300 South Sudanese refugees and is struggling to cope with the ever-increasing needs. Some 195,000 South Sudanese arrived in the first three months of 2017 alone, an average rate of 2,000 refugees each day. Over 60 per cent of the new arrivals are children. An estimated 400,000 new arrivals from South Sudan are expected to enter Uganda in 2017.
Discussing the significance of the new program, Tariq Al Gurg said: "The South Sudan crisis is one of the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises in the world. The education needs of children in this region are immense, and with the continuing influx of refugees, the majority is not enrolled in schools, causing major protection concerns. The Adjumani district has also very poor education infrastructure and is struggling to cope with the enrolment of large numbers of South Sudanese refugee children. As part of Dubai Cares' Education in Emergencies strategy, our aim is to target girls and boys in the refugee settlements to give them access to quality education that will lead to relevant and effective learning outcomes."
In Adjumani district, Dubai Cares has launched a 15-month education in emergencies program titled 'Providing Emergency Education to Refugee and host community Girls and Boys in Uganda', in partnership with Plan International. This AED 4,172,930 (USD 1,135,955) program aims to provide education to South Sudanese refugee children and adolescents, as well as children from the host communities in northern Uganda. Another new program has been launched in Lira district in partnership with the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education among girls in Uganda. This AED 4,365,146 (USD 1,188,280) 3-year program seeks to address gender disparities and barriers girls face in STEM.
The third program launched in Amolatar district in partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) aims to ensure that 500 children with disabilities are enrolled in mainstream primary schools. This AED 2,818,066 (USD 767,134) 'Inclusive Education in Northern Uganda' program will indirectly benefit more than 21,400 members of the community, including teachers, parents, and government staff.
Al Gurg said: "This program falls under Dubai Cares' new mandate of inclusive education for children with disabilities. Based on recent research, special needs schools in Uganda are scarce, and the cost is prohibitive for vulnerable families. In addition, there are only 11 of them distributed throughout the country - none of which are situated in Amolatar district. We believe that incorporating children with disabilities into mainstream education is the best option with regards to future integration in society, not to mention sustainability. Opportunities for children with disabilities will be curtailed, if they are not provided with access to education, and their exclusion further perpetuates the cycle of poverty for them."
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