World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Refugees, Prizing Education, Defer Return to Sudan

Refugees, Prizing Education, Defer Return to Sudanese Homeland – UN

New York, May 23 2005 11:00AM

In a Ugandan camp run by the United Nations refugee agency, southern Sudanese women and girls acknowledge that their access to free education has caused them to delay rushing back home, even though a peace accord went into effect in the region in January.

“When I was brought from Sudan, I didn’t know what education was or what school was,” says 18-year-old Mary Night, who fled war-torn Sudan with her parents 10 years ago. “In fact, it was my good luck that I ended up being a refugee. If I had been in Sudan all this time, I would not have been in school.”

Her priority now is to get a university education in accounting or economics, but she is not sure whether she would find that opportunity in Sudan.

Refugees outside the country often list education above peace and security as their main requirements for ending their exile and coming home, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says.

Preparing for the return of 4.5 million refugees with educational ambitions for themselves or their children, starting in October, UNHCR is rebuilding 26 schools around the towns of Luthaya, Yei and Kajo Keji.

The agency is also putting up several health centres, as well as upgrading water supplies and clearing landmines.

Food and money are in short supply, however. Children in Yei cheerfully attend school without shoes, uniforms or breakfast.

“They want to learn, but the problem is hunger,” Alphonse Moi, headmaster of St. Joseph’s Luthaya Primary and Secondary Schools, says, standing under one of the shady trees that serve as classrooms while the brick school buildings are being constructed. “They can’t learn when they are hungry.”

Mr. Moi, dressed in clean, pressed clothing that is threadbare in parts, says he returned from a northern Ugandan refugee camp to help the local children, including those of refugees returning home without UNHCR’s help, and his wife now farms to put food on the table for their five children.

He wonders whether South Sudanese teachers now working in refugee camps in Uganda, Kenya and other countries in the region, should be offered financial incentives to return home.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC