DevTech Systems Inc. (S4SIPMS and MEL Projects) visited the IDP (internally displaced persons) camp located at New Kunchingoro, Games Village, FCT Abuja on Thursday March 14th, 2019 to distribute children’s reading materials donated by DevTech staff and delivered by Skip Waskin during his visit to Nigeria in January 2019.
New Kuchingoro is a community in Lugbe Division, a suburb of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, near National Stadium, by Games Village in Abuja. The New Kuchingoro IDP camp is currently home to about 1,550 inhabitants who were displaced in 2014 from their ancestral homes in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and Bauchi states, by insurgency and Fulani Herdsmen. The majority of inhabitants are women and children who have no way to support themselves and their families.
The standard of living in this camp is better imagined than experienced, with issues of hygiene and security a major concern. The entirety of the camp shares one open pit latrine and one bathroom provided by an NGO, causing overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. The government does not provide security for the camp, and instead security is provided by the Civilian Joint Task Force, who are themselves IDPs. Members of the JTF do not have any type of professional security training, and police only become involved if criminal behavior is reported to the local division.
The camp’s primary school was the focus of DevTech’s visit. The primary school serves 120 students and runs without professionally trained teachers and with minimal educational resources. The school is run by Principal Enoch Yohanna, who has a degree in statistics, but never taught or worked in a primary school until coming to New Kuchingoro as an IDP. Several DevTech staff were part of the visit, including Nigeria S4SIPMS Chief of Party Carol Shepherd, Nigeria MEL Activity Deputy Chief of Party Salima Mutima, and S4SIPMS Regional Finance Officer Pricewill Ekeocha. With so much uncertainty and difficulties faced by the camp and the school in general, Principal Yohanna discussed several major points:
- The Importance of Education: The need for continued education for the IDP Camp children. It’s importance, he said, cannot be overemphasized. Education will go a long way to mitigate the social vices and even the insurgency being experienced in the country, as an educated person will be more likely to get work and understand the social, political, and economic context of their situation and that of their country. To this end, the school supports a sponsorship program for students. The program entails taking responsibility for the upkeep of a sponsored child (or children). N3,000 (~$8.5) per month will cover a uniform and other materials for one child. The program encourages sponsors to make visits to the school to get to know the students and understand how they are contributing to the child’s educational advancement.
- Need for Resources: The school is in need of uniforms, writing materials, and reading materials. During the visit most of the students were dressed in street clothes, and Principal Yohanna said that any individual or group support in these areas is greatly appreciated.
- Need for Volunteer Teachers: The school welcomes individuals or groups who can volunteer to teach. They are looking for teachers in all subject areas who can work with students to increase their knowledge base.
After much discussion the DevTech representatives presented the collected books to the students. Principal Yohanna and the students thanked DevTech for the contribution. See pictures below.