Rehabilitation of Hudur Primary School brings hope to communities in Southern Somalia

In the Southern part of Somalia, the Hudur District consists of a total population of 93,049 residents and 18 Internal Displaced People (IDP) sites. The entire district only has 4 primary schools, which were unable to serve this large of a population, which resulted in low student enrollment and a general lack of hope, but luckily the district received funding from the Local Development Fund (LDF), which is managed by the United Nation Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), under the Joint Programme Local Government (JPLG) and the Southwest State. The LDF project was intended to create an enabling environment and improve local government service delivery. In this regard, Hudur District prioritized the rehabilitation of Hudur Primary School which was severely devastated.

In early 2019, the district benefited from an LDF grant and completely rehabilitated Hudur Primary School, and constructed an additional two classrooms, built eight segregated latrines (4 for boys and 4 for girls). The existing classrooms’ roof was very damaged, the walls looked worn-out. Currently, the school is serving 743 students. The number of girl students increased 249 percent in the last two years.

Moreover, the school is the only school that enrolled internally displaced school-age children from affected areas, where it had 246 students, 56 percent of them are IDPs. The school building was run-down, and there were not enough classrooms for the students forcing them to study at home. Also, the water and sanitation facilities were inadequate. All these factors contributed to the dwindling rate of school enrolment in the area.

The school provided free education, created job opportunities and returned the hope of the local communities. Also, the school got additional support from RCRF (Somali Recurrent Cost & Reform Financing Project funded by the World Bank) and GPE (Global Partnership for Education) through the Southwest Ministry of Education.

UNCDF’s Regional Programme Manager, Dmitry Pozhidaev, stated: “UNCDF works to improve the public investment function of our partner local governments across Somalia. But, a public investment is much more than bricks and mortar. It is the content that makes changes in the lives of people. Hudur Primary School is the example of a public investment that produces multiple positive impacts on the access to education for host and IDP populations, empowerment of girls and employment creation.”

Apart from provision of free education to IDP children, the school has also created employment opportunities for the community in the Hudur District, where the school has employed 2 headmasters, 17 teachers, 2 cleaners and 2 security guards. In addition to this, the school has also attracted women sellers in the villages to open small-scale business centers in front of the school whereby the school shed is in a prime location for four women sellers to sell their products, promoting self-employment among vulnerable traders, thus increasing income and local ownership.

Additionally, the principal of the school has also stated that the fact that they can bring their children to schools has improved public services. The message of free education has replicated in the IDP and host community settlement resulting the increase of school enrolment to 743 students.

For example, Kadro Mostaf, 11 years old girls who is a student, is from the remote village of Qeydar Edde. Four years ago, she walked 30 kilometers with her family when the 2017 drought paralyzed their village, destroyed their livestock. With no livelihood means, her family settled in Dhursheen Shibeel IDP Camp on the outskirts of Hudur’s Bakool Region.

Mostaf informed: “I want to graduate from university, and I want to work and build a house for my family.”

Mostaf, had never gone to school before as her parents can’t afford to cover her school fee. There was no fully-functioning school available for IDP children in Hudur, which led her to lose any hope to ever get education. She stayed at their IDP shelter and helped her mother with the household chores.

“Kadro and her sister were among the first IDP students who enrolled in the newly-rehabilitated school,” said Mr. Yusuf Hassan, the Hudur Primary school Principal. “Kadro and her sister did not know how to write and read. However, over the last 4 years they have made significant progress and now they are literate.”

Through local transformative finance, UNCDF is implementing a Joint UN Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG) for Somalia, which develops local governance capacity, broadens civic awareness and participation, and supports fiscal decentralization and local development through a Local Development Fund to support local transformative projects in 32 districts across Somalia. The JPLG is comprised of five UN Agencies: UNDP, ILO, UNCDF, UN Habitat and UNICEF, and it has been implemented since 2008.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

This Press Release has been issued by APO. The content is not monitored by the editorial team of African Business and not of the content has been checked or validated by our editorial teams, proof readers or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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