Chad

Our work in Chad focussed around the Sudanese refugees, forced to flee the genocide in South Sudan over a decade ago. With over 99,000 refugees living in four of the largest camps, Cord have been working with these people since 2005, and our role has grown and developed hugely in that time. 

It is something of an 'altered' society model with which we must work - and this presents challenges of its own. People in the camps are not allowed to move more than 2km from the camp, for their own security, which leads to a very insular style of living.

Shortage of firewood has caused conflict with Chadian locals and their food is largely determined by the UN. Chad itself was not equipped to take in such a large number of refugees (numbering 280,000 in total across 12 camps) - ranked the 5th lowest on the 2011 Human Development Index. The Chadian people need our help, too, to minimise the impact of the Sudanese refugees on their resources and, in time, help to create a positive contribution to the country. 

And it's not an easy place to live - with 45 degree heat and dust storms in summer, and the risk of hypothermia in winter, together with destructive rains in the wet season, making this a challenge just to get through each day. 

But - we are humbled by the resilience and fortitude of the Sudanese refugees. They have built communities, civil societies - have worked to contribute to their own sustainable future and, most impressively, they have committed themselves heart and soul to educating their children. The school network is impressive, the results are outstanding, both boys and girls are believing in their futures and achieving high school attendances and academic results. We have trained teachers, built classrooms and toilets - developed an educational infrastructure that is creating generations of educated young people...some of whom are now teachers themselves. 

Parent groups are, with our help, developing small enterprises to fund the schools - finding ways to regain independence from aid. Our solar cooker project is hugely successful and has greatly alleviated pressure on local resources of firewood. This is the first project that is going to directly and positively impact on the local Chadian people, as the refugees participate in rolling out a programme to provide this incredible resource to their host neighbours, too.

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