The Ethiopian Catholic Church' Social and Development Commission with the support of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) constructed 4 schools for South Sudanese Refugees in Ethiopia in Kule and Terkendi camps, in Gambella regional State, Ethiopia.
The Church has been supporting refugees in both camps with various interventions since the conflicts in South Sudan occurred. While inaugurating the schools with a blessing and a prayer, Bishop Angelo of the Apostolic Vicariate of Gambella said that the schools constructed in both camps at a cost of 9 million Ethiopian Birr are part of the Church’s support to the refugees. He said, “we are here today to show our solidarity with the displaced people of South Sudan and contribute to educating the young children of South Sudan who have come to Ethiopia to seek shelter because of the conflicts in their country. We must thank God for giving us this opportunity to assist the refugees by constructing these educational facilities.”
Mr. Aterfa Mostafa, representative of the Gambella Regional President, on the occasion thanked the Catholic Church for all the social development works implemented in the region. He said “The construction of these schools will tremendously increase access to education for school aged children, it is truly a good news for the community.” He also assured the Church to count on the support of the regional government for all her development interventions.
More than 4800 children are expected to benefit from the 4 schools constructed with funds secured through CRS. The construction also included water points and latrines for boys and girls. All the class rooms are furnished with the necessary school desks and blackboards. While the construction was going on the teachers were also given training and 4 school health clubs were established as part of the project.
According to the project agreement, the Norwegian Refugee Council will take over the responsibility of running the schools. Executive Director of the Ethiopian Catholic Church Social and Development Commission Mr. Bekele Moges, Country representative of CRS Ethiopia Mr. Matt Davis and representatives of partner organisations and beneficiary community members were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
(Makeda Yohannes, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE))