Hasani is 10 and lives in Obo, in the east of the Central African Republic. He tells us: «I was not going to school for 6 months, because my school became a centre of welcome for the refugees coming from South Sudan». South Sudanese refugees are numerous in the region of Haut-Mbomou, were is situated Obo town. Host country suffers for the lack of resources and for this raison it was not more able to provide to the needs of everybody and the cohabitation of the local population with the refugees became problematic. In particular, the structures devoted to the integration of the two cohabiting populations were missing.
First stage: to rehabilitate existing structures
COOPI tries to resolve this complicated situation and for this raison it has implemented a project for the education of the vulnerable children in Obo since December 2016, with the financing of UNICEF. COOPI is the only NGOin the region of Haut-Mbomou and it works on the territory by some projects of humanitarian assistance since 2009. COOPI has identified 3 schools as beneficiary structures for rehabilitation work to address the need for emergency education intervention, in collaboration with school inspections and members of the Parents’ Associations. The 3 schools identified have been rehabilitated and returned to the students, thanks to the supervision of a COOPI engineer. COOPI has built 7 emergency toilet facilities where needed, because some schools did not have them. Moreover, 3 recreational facilities were installed to ensure the psychosocial wellbeing of children, both in the city and in the refugee camp.
It was not always easy but…
«We are satisfied of our work at Obo! We have offered the children useful spaces for the education and the integration» has declared Lucien Amani, COOPI project leader, «It was not always easy, but the result can be considered a real success! In fact, more than the rehabilitation of the 3 schools foreseen in the project, we had also to work to the rebuilding of emergency of the canopy of a school that was been taken away by a violent wind. Reinstalling the canopy, we have allowed to the students of this school to finish the school year».