Representatives from Dubai Cares recently concluded a series of field visits in Sudan to inspect schools in North Kordofan and Gedaref states. The field trip aimed to evaluate and monitor the progress of various educational, sanitary and behavioral change programs, which were funded by Dubai Cares and carried out in partnership with international aid and development agencies. As part of the trip, the delegation headed by Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares met with H. E. Hassan Ahmed Sulayman El Shihi, UAE Ambassador to Sudan, Sudanese government officials and other dignitaries.
In partnership with Save the Children, Dubai Cares is supporting a Safe, Healthy, Inclusive, Effective Teaching and Learning in Development (SHIELD) School Model, which was developed specifically for Sudan. The program, which received approx. AED 16,500,000 (USD 4,500,000) funding from Dubai Cares, is being implemented in North Kordofan, Blue Nile, Red Sea, North & West Darfur and displacement camps in Khartoum and has achieved significant results:
The program had a direct impact on a total of 54,916 children (48 percent girls and 52 percent boys) 116 basic schools provided with a package of basic education interventions, including construction of 125 new classrooms, rehabilitation of 30 old classrooms, distribution of desks and benches for 4,000 students and establishment of 30 school latrines (separate for girls and boys) with hand-washing facilities.
A total of 662 teachers, head teachers and officials (56 percent were female teachers) were trained on basic teaching methodologies, lesson planning, classroom management, and safety and protection measures in schools
The program also trained 433 members of Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) who received capacity building training on PTA management. The trainings aimed to improve their knowledge and skills on how to perform their roles, responsibilities, resource mobilization, and development of School Improvement Plans (SIPs).
In Kasala, Gedaref, Red Sea and West Darfur, Dubai Cares has partnered with UNICEF to improve education opportunities and promote quality of learning for nomadic children by constructing classrooms/learning spaces, training teachers, providing educational materials as well as enhancing community awareness and capacity in school co-management. The program, which received approx. AED 8,300,000 (USD 2,250,000) funding from Dubai Cares, has accomplished a substantial impact:
158 classrooms and 24 teacher offices were constructed in 88 schools in 29 localities in West Darfur, Kassala and Gedaref states benefiting 7,900 children. Moreover, through Dubai Cares contribution, 17 food stores were constructed in 25 nomadic schools in Kassala and West Darfur - enhancing implementation of school feeding programs that have mainly been provided by World Food Program (WFP), benefitting approximately 4,250 children 430 pupil kits, 60 school in a box kits, 360 teacher kits and 180 recreation kits, have been procured and distributed to about 26,300 nomadic children in Kassala, Gedaref and Red Sea 615 teachers and head teachers have been trained on learner-centered methodologies in Mathematics, Sciences and Life Skills.
During the trip, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: “I am delighted to witness first-hand the positive impact that our programs have had in Sudan. Our primary education interventions have granted children access to formal and non-formal education with average enrollment increasing by 12% in target schools. We met with education officials during our trip, who demonstrated a high level of interest in particularly replicating the SHIELD school model in their respective areas. We are proud to say that this is a direct indication of the success of our holistic development and partnership approach.”
Commenting on the visit, H.E. Hassan Ahmed Sulaiman Al Shehhi, UAE Ambassador to Sudan said: "We highly value the great philanthropic role played by Dubai Cares in Sudan, helping in strengthening bilateral relations in our common interest. Stemming from the strong ties that bind UAE and Sudan, Dubai Cares’ support is in line with the ambitions and vision of the leaders and people of both countries, especially the wise leadership of the UAE represented by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Vice President Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Cares’ interventions in Sudan reflect the UAE’s commitment to its foreign policy, which grants priority to humanitarian issues, especially since providing a helping hand to needy communities has always been a fundamental pillar of the UAE foreign policy. We are also delighted to convey the significant impact that these initiatives have had on the people of Sudan and the appreciation of Sudanese officials who continuously assert that such initiatives represent the generosity of the UAE leadership, government and people. We commend the contributions of UAE philanthropic organizations, particularly Dubai Cares."
Geert Cappelare, UNICEF Sudan Representative, expressed his appreciation for the Dubai Cares contribution and for the visit to the education programs: "With the help of Dubai Cares, UNICEF was able to build more classes in remote areas in Gadarif. The number of boys and girls enrolled in those schools increased and the children in the local nomadic communities were given unprecedented access to education. UNICEF is hoping for further partnership with Dubai Cares in the near future to support access to education for the most vulnerable, especially girls and nomadic children.”
Elatyeb Omer, Country Director, Save the Children Sweden said: “The delegation has paid a successful visit to one of the SHIELD school projects funded by Dubai Cares and implemented by Save the Children Sweden (SCS) in North Kordofan. Government representatives, community leaders, teachers, parents and children were very excited about the visit and they are very grateful and appreciative of Dubai Cares support that created safe, healthy, inclusive, effective teaching and learning environment for children. Some indicators of improvement after the support given by Dubai Cares are reflected in average girls enrollment which has increased by 12 percent in the SCS targeted basic schools. Dubai Cares support has resulted not only in increased enrollment, retention and children performance but also in positive change in attitudes and behavior of children, teachers and families as reported by a sample of them. Continuation of partnership between Save the Children Sweden and Dubai Cares will enable thousands of children in Sudan to get an education in a safe and protective learning environment”.