IDP Children in Sudan Creatively Commemorate World Humanitarian Day

29 August, 2016
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A record 65.3 million people are now forcibly displaced, over 60% of who remain within their own country making them Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Darfur marked World Humanitarian Day 2016 by holding a drawing competition at Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Children in a camp for internally displaced persons in Darfur drawing pictures at a contest organised by OCHA to celebrate World Humanitarian Day (Photo: OCHA 22 August 2016)

Children in a camp for internally displaced persons in Darfur drawing pictures at a contest organised by OCHA to celebrate World Humanitarian Day (Photo: OCHA)

Fifty children from eighteen primary schools in the camp participated in the competition that was organized by OCHA in collaboration with UNICEF.

Located in El Fasher, just outside the state capital, Abu Shouk camp has hosted people displaced from parts of Darfur affected by conflict since 2005.

The displaced children, between 8 and 15 years old, some of whom were born in the camp, drew pictures reflecting their lives as IDPsand their future dreams. A panel of six judges including teachers, community leaders and OCHA and UNICEF representatives selected the ten best pictures, and prizes were awarded.

“It is sad that many humanitarians have lost their lives while assisting people in need, let us silence the gun and let us use the pen as a means to achieve peace,” said Abu Al Basher Ali Ahmed, Education Coordinator of Abu Shouk IDP camp. “We want OCHA, UNICEF and other partners to focus more on education because children are the future of this country.”

“We are pleased to take part in this event in celebration of World Humanitarian Day, and we are grateful to both OCHA and UNICEF for their assistance,” said Ahmed Mohamed Hussein, Head of the Higher Education Council in Abu Shouk IDP camp. “We know OCHA coordinates the work of humanitarian organisations and its free Hotline which enables IDPs to report issues with camp services is very helpful, and UNICEF has provided considerable assistance particularly in the area of education.”

“Thanks to OCHA and UNICEF for organising the competition, UNICEF is a friend of children. We welcome more such activities in future,” the community leader of Abu Shouk camp said.

“UNICEF built 17 schools in this camp and OCHA coordinated the humanitarian activities of 49 organisations in the area,” said Ahmed Atem, Camp Coordinator at Abu Shouk. Said Moussa, Head of OCHA in Darfur, highlighted the importance of World Humanitarian Day and underlined the need for solidarity to continue assisting those in need. He reminded those present that it is not just humanitarian organisations supporting people in need in Sudan, but also the local Sudanese communities who do a lot to help their brothers and sisters.

The competition was attended by representatives of local education authorities, the governmental Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), the Higher Council for Education in Abu Shouk IDP camp, Abu Shouk Education Coordination Body, Parent and Teachers' Association (PTA) and camp community leaders, as well as OCHA and UNICEF.