Congolese refugee children ask govt to join UPE schools

Kampala. Refugee children from DR Congo have asked the government of Uganda to allow them access the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and later technical education to enable them shape their future.

In a meeting at Bondeko Centre in Najjanakumbi, Kampala on Friday, the children said with the unending war in their country, their future is in jeopardy if schools in Uganda do not admit them.

“We need education to determine what we will be. But as refugees, we are not admitted to UPE schools and even if we were admitted, we will need scholastic materials,” 13-year-old Jealovie Mbuyi, said.

Another child, Gloire Lembe, commended the Ugandan government for hosting them but added that when the war ends and they return home in DR Congo, they will remain poor for life for lack of formal education.

The caretaker of Bondeko Peace Centre, Ms Martha Akena, said most women and children in the camp are traumatised because some were raped and others lost their relatives.

The children also appealed to rebels in their country to stop fighting so that they can leave the refugee camps and return home.The children’s meeting was organised by African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims in preparation for commemoration of the World Torture Day on June 16.

Uganda is currently home to more than 40,000 DR Congo refugees and another 100,000 from South Sudan, according to the United Nations.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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