Dreams drawn with chalk
For many displaced children in the Lake Chad basin, school means hope
Since 2015 around 100,000 people have fled violence in their islands in the Lake Chad basin related to Boko Haram. Today, children enrolled in school take a stand on the conflict and work towards a better future, using chalk and slate as their tools.
I have never been to school before. I was living on an island in the Lake Chad when Boko Haram attacked our village. Now I have the opportunity to go to school and I wish I could take a plane to discover the world. “ says Zara Idriss, 15, an internally displaced girl in Chad.
“It was 3:00 pm that day when a woman came. She approached me and asked me for water to drink. I heard her phone ring but she would not pick up. I heard a blast and woke up in the hospital, “ says Yekoura Malay, a survivor of a suicide bombing in Bagasola in 2015.
“We have made new friends in school. We are studying together with the locals but there is no fighting between us. My dream? Living in peace forever.”
When Issa Oumar,12, fled his island, he did not imagine that he would ever have a chance to sit on a school bench one day.
“What I like most about school? Writing. Sometimes I take my slate and chalk and I mix letters to create my own words “ says Kimé Madrom, 11.
Fulfilling children’s right to be in school and learning helps to break the cycle of crises and delivers high economic and social returns.
“School is the chalk we use to draw our future. One day, I will go home and build a big house where my parents can live in peace” says Ali Kallaye, 16, a boy displaced in Chad.
Basic quality education during conflict counters the underlying causes of violence and supports the reconstruction of peace.