Refugee English Program Continues to Grow

About 2,000 Darfuris are now enrolled in refugee-organized English classes in three refugee camps in eastern Chad, nearly double the number from a year ago. The classes have grown dramatically, from an initial 400, since we started supporting the refugees with Headway ESL textbooks from Oxford University Press. See video from the classes below and learn about our plans to expand this highly successful program.

Solar Lighting Showdown

Video below. Our quest for portable, rugged, solar-rechargeable lighting for refugee camp and village classrooms in Chad is down to a two-light showdown. The two contenders are 1) a new lighting system designed in partnership with electronics manufacturer AltusLumen and 2) the winner of our prior field tests of off-the-shelf equipment, the SOLUX-LED-50.

Videos Showing Our Impact

Watch videos below. To help demonstrate the impact our donors are having, and to show what is really happening in education in the refugee camps in eastern Chad, we sent a Flip camcorder and memory stick to our field partner CORD. The many videos that came back far exceed our expectations, and we'll be sharing them gradually over the next several weeks.

See Who You Are Helping

If you donated to provide English textbooks for refugee-organized English classes in eastern Chad, or if you are considering supporting the English classes, here is a photo you should see. Taken in May 2009, it shows several hundred of the English students from Bredjing Refugee Camp. These are some of the Darfuris we are directly helping.

Solar Lights and Dictionaries Distributed

Our recent shipment of 1,750 pairs of reading glasses to Darfur refugee camps and villages in eastern Chad also included a variety of solar lights and bilingual English/Arabic and French/Arabic dictionaries – all tools needed to support reading. Below are photos showing the arrival of this aid and some of the Darfuris who will play a critical role in integrating it into the camps' educational system.

Solar Lighting Field Tests

Field tests in eastern Chad are under way to determine the best solar lighting solution for schools and outdoors literacy classes in refugee camps and villages there. This page will be an ongoing summary of results, which we are sharing not only with supporters of our project, but for the benefit of other aid organizations. We have found very little public literature comparing lights that meet our needs: ultra-portable, rugged, wide-beam for group reading, inexpensive, easy to use and maintain.

Reading Glasses Reach Refugees Despite Carjacking Attempt!

Major news from eastern Chad! Our shipment of 1,750 pairs of reading glasses has reached Bredjing Refugee Camp! This despite an attempted carjacking on May 26 en route from Hadjer Hadid to Abeche, Chad, which our partner CORD's drivers narrowly escaped. With shots fired at point blank range, it is fair to say that the brave aid workers have risked their lives in delivering the glasses to the refugees. We are tremendously thankful that they were not harmed, and inspired by the incredible photos below of the glasses being distributed.

English Classes Successful in Refugee Camp

Exciting news about the success of English classes for Darfur refugees in Bredjing Refugee Camp, eastern Chad! The English teachers, themselves refugees, have reached an important milestone thanks to the Headway curriculum we supplied, which has now been used for about eight months. Everyone who contributed should take pride in this accomplishment. From Anne Goddard of CORD, Education Program Manager in Bredjing:

Bakhita Village Primary School Needs Your Help

In this brief report from eastern Chad, Anne Goddard, Education Programme Manager for our partner CORD, describes how villagers in Bakhita are chipping in to build their new primary school. To complete construction, though, they need your help. Please consider donating for school construction to help the villagers help themselves through education.

Every Picture Tells a Story: Refugees Receive ESL Books

Our second shipment of Headway English textbooks has just reached the Darfur refugee camps of eastern Chad. The following report and photos from our on-the-ground partner CORD capture the moment the refugees received this "lifeline." We are now half way to meeting the needs of the English classes in the camps, and ask for your support to enable additional shipments.


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