Lake Chad. Beyond the emergency: educational support for displaced children
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27-05-2024 | di COOPI

Lake Chad. Beyond the emergency: educational support for displaced children

In Chad's Lake Province, attacks by non-state armed groups are forcing communities to flee and abandon all their assets and livelihoods, thus becoming even more vulnerable. In response to this emergency, humanitarian actors have activated the “Rapid Response Mechanism” (RRM), which enables intervention in less than two weeks to aid people in need.

From Jan. 14 to Jan. 23, 2024, attacks by non-state armed groups hit several island villages in Mamdi Department, causing the population to be displaced to the nearest refugee camps: 4,703 people in Kaya Badou, 9,000 in Tchoukou Kapi, and 13,700 displaced people in N'Gorerom.

COOPI, thanks to European humanitarian aid (European Union Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid Operations) has intervened through the Rapid Response Mechanism under the project “Inclusive and quality response to the educational needs of the most vulnerable children and youth affected by the Lake Chad crisis.”

In the three displacement sites, COOPI is providing an integrated response to children's educational and protection needs: in fact, it has built 13 temporary learning spaces where more than 2,600 children are supervised by teachers trained in psychosocial support and detection of signs of distress. In addition, COOPI organizes recreational activities, distributes school and hygiene kits, and trains adolescent girls about menstrual hygiene. The project then carries out care activities for children who are sick, unaccompanied, separated from parents or have special needs, issues birth certificates and distributes hot meals.

On April 23, 2024, during a monitoring visit to the Kaya Badou site, the “boulama” (i.e., the camp's village head) Alhadji Mboulou, stated:

since we arrived at this site about three months ago, COOPI has never stopped helping us. Our children are enrolled in school and are assisted in case of health problems thanks to the intervention of COOPI, whom I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart for their assistance. Thanks to the various activities carried out for them in these learning centers, especially concerning education to which we attach great importance, today the children feel fulfilled. I would like to thank the donors who have come from far and wide to learn about our situation, and we hope that COOPI can continue to provide support to our community.” 

COOPI has been working in Chad since 1976, intervening with a multi-sectoral approach. In the Lac and N'Djamena regions, it provides emergency education for internally displaced children and local communities, offers psychosocial support to victims of trauma, and promotes peacebuilding, with a particular focus on women's empowerment, gender-based violence and discrimination, and conflict prevention.