Lake Chad Crisis: is it possible to protect and educate children?
02-08-2018 | di COOPI

Lake Chad Crisis: is it possible to protect and educate children?

COOPI and Handicap International (HI) are working together to improve the quality of life of people affected by the Lake Ciad crisis, trying to reduce the causes of vulnerability in the area (poverty, food insecurity, poor access to health care and education) and focusing in particular on the most vulnerable children and girls, as it is oftentimes more difficult for them to access the aid, thus slowing the development of everything.

COOPI - one of the few NGOs located throughout the entire region - will intervene in collaboration with HI with a strategy based on two different sectors: education (tailored to the needs of children in the specific context of the Lake Chad crisis and including children with special needs) and protection (including psychological support), to provide children and their families with a place sheltered from danger. These two sectors will be supported by an economic support plan aimed at helping the most vulnerable families and will be developed with an approach that takes into account the different needs of the most vulnerable people and those with specific needs, such as girls or children with disabilities.  

Stephen Tull, Resident coordinator of the United Nations System and Humanitarian coordinator in Chad, said: «In the context of chronic poverty and poor human development in Chad, all humanitarian actors agree that deep vulnerabilities - and often chronic - affecting the Chadian peoples require not only emergency humanitarian aid programs, but development programs more targeted at the root causes of these vulnerabilities as well».

The project "Support to the protection and quality-inclusive education of displaced and indigenous children affected by Lake Chad crisis" is part of the COOPI four-year transition strategy in the Lake District and the region, part of the education in emergency program supported by the EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) - the heart of the problem of intervention exacerbated by the lake crisis - in accordance with the minimum standards of child protection in humanitarian intervention. The project will cover the Bol subprefecture and will reach 21,288 vulnerable people directly in 24 school communities. The project is designed in synergy with the actions carried out by the other actors operating in the area concerned, i.e. the other NGOs, UNICEF and the Ministry of National Education, in order to coordinate their actions.

COOPI has significant experience in education in emergency and child protection, in the Lake Chad region and at regional level as well. Since 2015, COOPI has started several projects, still ongoing, in addition to education projects in Niger for hosting populations, refugees, returning migrants and displaced persons, as well as protection and education projects in Nigeria, Cameroon and N'Djamena, Chad.

COOPI works in collaboration with HI - active in Chad since the 90s - which has considerable experience in anti-landmine interventions, assistance to victims and physical rehabilitation for vulnerable people and those with disabilities. This Consortium, through its presence, has led to an improvement of the situation in the protection and inclusion sectors within the Lake region and is seen as one of the key players to reduce the needs of humanitarian aid for the populations of this area.