To resource and advocate for the education of children and young adults living in refugee camps in Sub Saharan Africa.

We envision healthy, hopeful, productive and self-sufficient people, resettling and rebuilding their communities despite having been in refugee camps.

In 2017, Watoto Read’s goal is to build 10 schools in refugee camps in Chad, Sub-Sahara Africa. Watoto Read is partnering with Jesuit Relief Service (JRS), a well-established humanitarian organization, to implement educational projects in refugee camps in Sub Sahara. JRS currently oversees the administrative needs of a large number of refugee camps globally and has infrastructure in place to provide for education; however, it is grossly under-resourced.

Most refugees in Chad camps have fled violence in neighboring Sudan. An estimated 1.5 million refugee children in Chad alone are without access to education. The largest barrier is the lack of adequate shelter and sanitation. At present, children attend school outdoors under harsh sun with high temperatures, dusty winds, and occasional rain.

Many parents are reluctant to send their children to school without proper shelter or sanitation facilities (bathrooms).


Watoto Read

Sub-Saharan Africa

Since the violence began in the Darfur region of Sudan, over a million people, including large numbers of women and children, became refugees in crowded camps in neighboring Chad. Though the tragic violence in Darfur does not get as much media attention these days, the needs of refugee children has not gone away.

Primary Education

When the children of Darfur and their families fled their villages for their lives to Chad, they lost not only their homes but also their schools. Without education, a whole generation of children will be lost to the future, with little hope of becoming self-sufficient.

Safe and Accessible Schools

We are striving to provide safe structures so that children can get out of the elements to learn, close to where they live so that all children can walk to school. Parents are often reluctant to send their children to school if the conditions are unsafe and unsanitary.


We strive to raise awareness for this important cause. Many people don’t realize the need for education in refugee camps throughout Africa. Often, relief funds run out after providing for housing, food, and medical needs, and education remains unfunded.

Board of Directors

Dr. Thomas Conrad, PH D
Rev. Thomas Hanover, Senior Pastor, Lewis Center UMC
Allan Leary, Energy Efficient Engineer, DNV GL (Co- Founder)
Carolyn Rothermeel, CPA (retired)
Dr. Kerry Dixon
Dean Gibson
Scott Slutz, SPHR, Vice President – Human Resources, United Church Homes, Inc.
Rev. Casey Wilson, Senior Pastor, Centenary UMC (Co-founder)
Michael Rumbaugh

The Team

Rev. Claudine Leary, Co- Founder and Executive Director
Chet Cox, Accountant
Patrick Dunkley, Co- Founder and Director of Media
Danielle Jones, Assistant Executive Director
Ernestine Krehbiel, Regional Director (Wichita, KS)
Terri Litchfield, Database Analyst
Michael Mattox, Co- Founder and Director of IT
Rev. Marty McMichael, Program Developer
Leonard Nsabimana, Photographer
Sharon Ryan, Co- Founder and Director of Marketing and Communications
Alice Slutz
Carolyn Stewart, Director of Human Resources