Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Saturday, 17 February 2024
MECC: Rehabilitation of four schools in Al Sahweh and Al Yadouda in rural Dara’a :

The Diakonia and Social Service Department, at the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), continues its efforts to provide a safe and healthy environment for students by renovating and rehabilitating schools that have been damaged by war in various Syrian governorates.

In Dara’a, the MECC team of the Diakonia and Social Service Department worked on the rehabilitation of four schools in the villages of Al Sahweh and Al Yadouda.

The rehabilitation activities included the rehabilitation of water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and pertinent equipment, namely maintenance of the pipes and water networks, as well as installation of taps, toilets, windows, doors, tile, ceramic, electric cables, water pumps, and tanks, in addition to completing the required painting work. The entire school was painted, along with the provision of new classrooms benches, fences for every school, and canopies were installed in the courtyards to protect students from the sun and rain.

It is worth mentioning that 987 students benefited from the rehabilitation and also received hygiene kits.

The director of one of the targeted schools said, “Most of the bathrooms were out of service, forcing students to go home when they needed to use them. This laid a significant responsibility on us and led to absenteeism among students. We feared for girls who had to use the bathrooms, especially those whose homes were far from school."

She added, “Bathrooms were not the only section affected by the war; the school building was full of holes, and there were classrooms where we had to fill gaps with blocks that didn't protect students from the cold in winter, especially with the absence of heating. All these issues made students reluctant to come to school, and they preferred staying at home.”

As well as, she said “Thanks to your help, the school has become much better. It looks like a new school, unlike what it was in the previous academic year. Students, parents, and the teaching staff are happy with this change. Regarding the WASH facilities, they are now new and clean, and we no longer fear for female students to use them. The number of benches in classrooms was not enough for students, but now they are all new, comfortable, and sufficient for all students, helping them focus in class. Thanks to the painting work, the school looks beautiful, and students love coming to it.”

A fifth-grade student of one of the targeted schools, said, “I used to fear entering the school bathrooms because they were so dusty, the doors were broken and didn't close properly, and they had a foul smell. But when I had to use them, I would ask my friend to accompany me and wait outside. I felt like I would faint from the extreme filth in the place. I couldn't wash my hands as well because the faucets were broken and out of service.”

She also mentioned that “the bathrooms are much better now. They are now clean and safe, and the girls' bathrooms are separated from the boys' bathrooms. I can go to the bathroom without feeling afraid. I can now wash my hands and drink water because of the new faucets. The whole school has become beautiful, the benches are comfortable and sufficient for everyone. Before, four students would sit on one bench, and we couldn't write our lessons properly."