Ahmad Ismail, 46, is a father of 11 and a teacher at the Darfur School in Treguine Camp, Eastern Chad.


'I’d been in the refugee camp for almost a decade living in harmony; there was social cohesion, but then with the reduction of food, removal of the pay book for treatment at the health centre and the school transition, they all became a real cause of problems in the community.'


Change is a difficult concept for societies and individuals alike - but when living in a disconnected microcosm, such as a refugee camp, anything that alters can be amplified and cause real tension. Cord’s education programme, and in particular a series of initiatives led by the Moura Village Peace Committee, including mediation, dialogue, educations of girls and child protection, really sparked Ahmad’s interest in addressing the growing tensions.


'With Cord’s Intercommunity Dialogue, I suddenly understood that no refugee was responsible for the changes. So what good is it to quarrel and get angry with one another?''


Cord’s presentation of relational space helped ease the community tensions and Ahmed describes how harmony was restored. The workshops also made him realise that funding from organisations was not always going to be available, and that to be sustainable the school needed to generate income themselves. Cord works with School Parent associations within four of the refugee camps developing ideas for income.