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.

We are working to raise funds in 2018 to build 10 more schools in refugee camps in Chad. This will provide learning facilities for 600 children.


Watoto Read

Sub-Saharan Africa

Since the violence began in the Darfur region of Sudan in 2003, over a million people, including large numbers of women and children, became refugees in crowded camps in neighboring Chad. Though this protracted refugee situation does not get much media attention these days, the need of the 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 address the most urgent obstacle to primary education in the refugee camps: school buildings. These safe structures will enable children to get out of the harsh 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.

Our Partner

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 oversees a large number of refugee camps globally and has infrastructure in place to provide for education; however, it is grossly under-resourced.

Board of Directors

Dr. Thomas Conrad, PhD
Rev. Thomas Hanover, Senior Pastor, Lewis Center UMC
Allan Leary, Energy Efficient Engineer, OSU (Co-Founder)
Carolyn Rothermel, CPA (retired)
Dr. Kerry Dixon, PhD
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
Leonard Nsabimana, Photographer
Sharon Ryan, Co-Founder and Director of Marketing and Communications
Alice Slutz
Rev. Tracey Sumner