Plan International Uganda, a Child rights organisation with support from the European Union and Swedish development cooperation has commissioned 15 early learning centers for South Sudanese refugee children in Adjumani refugee settlement.
The launch of the integrated early learning centers is part of Plan International’s commitment to increase children’s access to education in a safe and protected learning environment. The organisation has since 2014 been responding to the influx of South Sudanese refugees crossing into Uganda through the project promoting Education, Protection and Peace for South Sudanese refugee girls and boys (PEPPS) in Adjumani district. The project is funded by the European Commission and SIDA.
“Children make up the majority of refugees worldwide and are extremely vulnerable during crises. They need protection and an environment that is safe to play and learn. For the South Sudanese children, these learning centers will be a gateway to knowledge and future life chances. The EU dedicates 4% of its humanitarian budget to education in emergencies. It’s well worth investing in the future of refugee children and the countries that are kind enough to host them,” said Filomena Santoro, expert at the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).
Speaking at the commissioning of the centers, the Country Director of Plan International Uganda; Rashid Javed said that with the investment of € 584,000 from the European Union and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Plan International Uganda will be able to reach 3,481 children (1,691 girls; 1,790 boys) with basic numeracy, reading, singing, playing at the 15 Early Childhood Care and Development centers for the 0-6 year olds.
“Our unique ECCD model supports children to have a healthy start in life, acquire early stimulation, improved social skills and readiness for school; culminating into a smooth transition to primary schools level, said Rashid. He added that over the last one year, Plan International Uganda graduated over 900 children in the resettlement to primary level.
The ECCD centers which have been certified by the Ministry of Education, Sports, Science, Technology and Sports begin their activities at 8.00am and end at 11.00am under the care of the 78 trained child Care givers. These ensure that children learn in a safe and friendly environment.
The launch of the integrated early learning centers is part of Plan International’s commitment to increase children’s access to education in a safe and protected learning environment.