Thuraya is an advocate for Education
Thuraya is a 40-year-old mother of seven children living in West Darfur, an area affected by repeated outbreaks of violence. She is a member of the Parent-Teacher Association in Alsadaga Primary School, where her children study. To cover the basic needs of her family, she also works as a cook and cleaner in another school. Thuraya is glad that she can provide for her children, especially as her life has been severely affected by displacement.
She explains: “Due to armed conflict, we fled from our hometown nearly 20 years ago. We lost our house and farm, where we used to grow okra, sorghum and beans and settled in Aljabal area. We were comfortable there. Then, in 2020 violence erupted again and our house was burned to the ground, displacing us once again. Now we live in an area with many other displaced people families. Our house is quite small, only 3-4 meters wide and made from local materials. We are living side by side with lots of people clustered together. “
Thuraya is the only breadwinner in the family. Education is a priority for her, and she uses her modest salary to pay for her children’s school expenses. She says:
“My eldest son has already entered college and the youngest two are seven and ten years old. They go to a school in Altijariya area because it is close to home. I have to walk for an hour to reach the school where I work, that is why they are not studying there.”
Thuraya never went to school in her childhood. Yet, she is very aware about the importance of education, one of the reasons why she became a member of the Parent-Teacher Association in her children’s school.
“I always wanted to study but did not have the chance. Through the parent-teacher association’s work, we encourage parents to send their children to school. A lot of students have signed up. We also try to resolve any issues or conflicts within the school. “
Thuraya continues to explain how school can help to keep children safe: “There are frequent quarrels within the camp as all the people are under high pressure and affected by what has happened. My children must be always careful to stay out of troubles. In the school they are safe. Here they can learn and become respected, independent individuals within the communities. Maybe they will become engineers and doctors. That is my dreams for them, and I work hard to make this come true.”
Alsadaga school is supported by the European Union Education in Emergencies project implemented by Save the Children. Activities include the construction/rehabilitation of physical learning spaces and infrastructure, contributing to a safe, inclusive and accessible learning environment. Further, the provision of support to both formal and non-formal education, capacity building trainings, relevant awareness raising, educational materials and advocacy campaigns for teachers, volunteers, parents, children and communities with messaging related to educational pathways. More than 25,000 children are being supported through the intervention.