630 Eritrean Refugee Children Start
New School Year at Wad-Sherifey, Sudan
By
Osman Ahmed, School Supervisor

The teaching staff and school committee of elders are pleased to announce  that
the  Wad Sherifey Refugee School in Eastern Sudan  started its 28th academic school
year in mid-June by enrolling 630 Eritrean refugee children.

The  school, which uses Arabic, Tigrigna and English as the media of instruction
based on adapted Eritrean curriculum,  usually enrolls more than 600 children at the
start of every school year but ends with a bit lesser number because of the mobility
of refugee families due to change of residence in Sudan or chances of third-country
resettlement. For instance, the last academic year was started with 623 children in
June 2011 and ended in March 2012 with 573.

A little over 42% of the newly enrolled students are females. The vast majority of
the students are in elementary grades 1-6, and those in grade 7 and 8 who are
taught in English constitute only about 70.

The Wad-Sherifey Eritrean Refugee School, founded in 1984 by the Eritrean Red
Cross-Crescent Society (ERCCS) still administering it, used to receive adequate
budgetary support of international charities until the independence of Eritrea. But in
the years that followed, the school faced critical funding constraints. In 2005, the
Geneva-based ASEE (Association Suisse Enfance-Erythrée) with partnership and
generosity of Aba Marino Haile of Milano and his friends at ASPE-ONLUS in Italy
helped to renovate the school buildings and since then continued to cover major
parts of the running costs. This year, however, ASEE and its Italian partners related
to the Catholic Church are having difficulties of obtaining funds and have advised the
school administration to appeal to other beneficiaries.

  This year, school equipment, including the student benches, are in bad shape and
in need of most urgent replacement. But more serious need is for modest funds for
the renovation of the class rooms, surrounding walls and the  water supply system.
The disquieting situation of the school building can be seen in the pictures below.

The school administration has proposed to ASEE and to other old friends of the
school that include the Eritrean Democratic Association (EDA), a non-profit
association registered in USA, to help fund a partial renovation project costing only
€14,500 so that the learning environment at Wad-Sherifey could be improved soon.

On top of that, the writer of this report and other  members of the school
administration, who belong to the ERCCS, wish to appeal to all Eritreans to come to
the help of this worthy school which throughout the years helped thousands of
refugee children from poor families to go to school.

In particular, Eritreans who happened to start their early education at Wad-Sherifey
are called upon to form associations that can help the school until the situation in
Eritrea is normalized.

Your individual or collective support can reach us through the following addresses:

In Europe

ASEE Association Suisse Enfance-Erythrée
11, ch. De Vers,
1228 Plan-les Ouates – Suisse
Postal Bank:  CCP No. 17- 492816-8
Email: Pierro Winter bluprint1@mac.com
WWW.ASEE.CH

In North America

5438 Giuffrida CT
San Jose, CA 95123
U.S.A.
Or email at:
eritreacare@yahoo.com
WWW.Eritreacare.org