The city Zara lives in was greatly affected by the conflict and insecurity that began in December 2012, rocking the country and causing thousands of people to flee their homes. During the years of conflict, many schools were closed and children were forced to drop out of school. Some children were even coerced into joining armed groups.
Zara stayed at home for nearly two years which her mother regrets: ''I was sad that my daughter could no longer go to school because it is brilliant. She spent so much time without receiving an education, it was a mess.''
In 2015, Plan International implemented the Second Chance programme which offers children who have fallen behind in their studies the opportunity to catch up with their education, allowing them to re-join formal primary schools.
In special classes, girls and boys aged between 8 and 12 years receive intensive support to help them regain their grade level and continue their education.
Second Chance classes have helped 486 children including 227 girls find their way to school and prepare for their future.
Zara is top of her class and has rediscovered the pleasure of learning. Next school year, she will be able to return to her primary school.
"I am very happy to go back to school even if it's weird after all this time spent at home. I especially like learning maths. I like to learn new things. When I grow up, I'd like to become a teacher to teach others what I know,” says Zara.
Plan International is implementing this programme with local partners in the southwest of Central African Republic. The project also includes the provision of school kits to children taking part in the programme (notebooks, bags and school uniforms) and the training of teachers to ensure the standard of tuition is high