One of the most urgent obstacles to primary education in the refugee camps is the lack of school buildings. There are over 100 classrooms needed in Goz Beida, Chad refugee camps. Many children currently learn outdoors sitting in the sandy dirt under the hot desert sun. Watoto Read is renovating dilapidated classrooms and building new classrooms in multiple camps in Goz Beida. These safe structures will enable children to get out of the harsh elements to learn and will be close to where they live so that all children can walk to school. Parents are often reluctant to send their children to school if conditions are unsafe and unsanitary.

Classroom under construction in Djabal refugee camp.

Inside of new classroom in
Goz Amir refugee camp.

Classrooms are constructed by local refugee craftsmen, which provides a source of employment. Each classroom accommodates 60 children at a time. School sessions are held in half-day blocks, so a classroom accommodates 120 refugee children each day. In addition to providing shelter for instruction, these classrooms may also be used for vocational training, extracurricular opportunities, and community gatherings.

Classroom under renovation in Djabal refugee camp.

Renovated classroom in
Djabal refugee camp.

Each new classroom costs approximately $15,000 to construct. The newly constructed classrooms also include enough benches to accommodate 60 children, a desk for the teacher, and blackboard.

Watoto Read executed the first transfer of funds to JRS in late 2017 for the construction/renovation of six classrooms. Three dilapidated classrooms were renovated in Djabal refugee camp and were in use by fall of 2018. Three brand-new classrooms were completed in Goz Amir refugee camp and in use by early 2019. In 2019, additional transfers were made to JRS which provided for the construction of three more brand-new classrooms as well as three teacher offices in Djabal refugee camp. In total, the nine newly constructed/renovated classrooms provided by Watoto Read host nearly 1,100 students each day.