Stories from the Field
A closer look at the issues confronting families, communities and development experts around the world. The section includes entries from Eastern and Southern Africa; West and Central Africa; South Asia; Middle East and North Africa; Central and Eastern Europe/Commonwealth of Independent States; Latin America and the Caribbean; and East Asia and the Pacific.
Sudan: Community radios reach the unreachable
KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 2005 – In a country where rural areas remain hard to reach, adult populations are often illiterate and the number of local dialects is said to exceed 500, communication can be a real challenge.
Djibouti: Parents’ determination keeps girls in school
Ardo, Djibouti, June 2005 – While in many of Djibouti’s rural villages poverty, lack of educational facilities and cultural constraints prevent girls from going to school, in others these obstacles have only reinforced the community’s determination to do what is best for its children.
Djibouti: Girls in rural villages missing out on education
DJIBOUTI, June 2005 – Aisha Mohamed Hassan may not know how old she is, but she knows how much she likes school. One of very few girls to go to school in the remote rural village of Koutabouye, this six- or seven-year-old is still in her first year and, if given a chance, would certainly like to finish her education.
Nigeria : UNICEF and partners create a model
Model Primary School, New Owerri, Nigeria, is a bold testimony that initiatives to make schools child-friendly can succeed. Before 2000, it was just another neglected primary school, with buildings in various states of dilapidation and a school population not very different from those of schools in similar conditions.
Girls are equal to boys in Philippine schools. Or are they?
Metro Manila, Philippines, 16 May 2005 – “In my class, it’s mostly boys who drop out,” said Vernelou Kidro, 16, during a recent theater rehearsal at a community center in Tondo, a Manila neighbourhood interweaved with warrens of shacks. “Often, they lack interest or are just too poor to afford school.”
The Gambia: Zeal of communities gets girls into school
The young actor steps forward. “I will not budge,” he scorns his co-stars on the makeshift stage who are begging him to send his daughter to school. “My daughter will not go to school. There is no value in these western teachings. She will stay at home, do the cooking and find a husband.”
‘Scholarship Plus’ for Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa
Mentors. Community involvement. Female role models. HIV/AIDS education. Those may not sound like parts of a typical scholarship program. But then, the African Girls Scholarship Program is not typical.
Egypt: Community mapping transforms youth
Community Youth Mapping is a process – developed by the AED Center for Youth Development and Policy Research – through which young people canvass local businesses and organizations and document where to find resources for children and families.
India: Project helps child labourers return to school
DHARMAPURI DISTRICT, Tamil Nadu, India, 26 May 2005 – Their young hands should have held pencils and crayons. Instead, they touched deadly chemicals in matchbox factories, handled worms in silk farms, or were scalded by hot tea while serving customers in tea stalls.
South Sudan: New struggle for former rebels
RUMBEK, South Sudan, 31 May 2005 – For six years, Reuben Meen fought on the front lines of Africa’s longest-running civil war. Today, he is a soldier in a different battle: the effort to bring both girls and boys into the classrooms of the ‘New Sudan.’
Senegal: School doors open for girls
DAKAR, Senegal – It is early in the morning and not all the children have arrived yet, but the school yard at Ndiarème B primary school in the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal, is already bustling.
Sierra Leone: Partners take community education
to children in rural areas
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 26 April 2005 – “Every child must have the opportunity to access education in Sierra Leone,” said Dr. Alpha T. Wurie, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, during the launch of the Community Movement for Education (CoME) Initiative at Rogbesse Community School in northern Sierra Leone.
Bhutan: School shortage forces pupils to leave home
BHUTAN, 28 April 2005 - Chandra, 9, Tika, 8, and Lela, 7, are sisters attending Beteni Community School in the district of Tsirang in south-central Bhutan. Because their home is a 6-hour walk from the school, their father, a farmer, has built a small hut for them to live in during the week.
Pakistan: Setting new trends for girls’ education
ISLAMABAD, 25 April 2005 — The students of Pitao Banda Primary Feeder School are among the trailblazers for girls’ primary education in the remote hamlets that are scattered throughout the foothills of the Hindu Kush, in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province.
India: Girls speak out for equal access to education
NEW DELHI, India, 11 April 2005 – Girls in India are demanding greater, sustained support for equal access to a good education. At a workshop organised by UNICEF in the Indian capital New Delhi on 7 April a group of around fifty girls from seven Indian states came together to discuss and share their experiences of schooling.
Somalia: Communities unite around education
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 7 April 2005 - In war-torn Somalia, where a devastating civil conflict has fractured families and ravaged national institutions, communities are finding common cause in the drive for education for all.