Comparable to most European countries, all schools in Central African Republic were closed in the wake of the corona pandemic. We are using this shutdown to renovate a primary school entirely.
Despite its wealth with regards to raw materials, Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world. It ranks last out of 188 countries in the UN Human Development Index of 2016. Roads, hospitals, and schools are only partially found here – but there is plenty of oil, uranium and diamonds. The battle over raw materials is one reason for the civil war that has been going on for years. In addition, there are religious conflicts and territorial struggles. Our goal for the reconstruction of the destroyed country is the construction of an interdisciplinary hospital complex in Bossembélé, to provide a solid foundation long-term health care in the region.
Working together with the residents
The first COVID 19 case in Central Africa was announced on 14 March 2020. Since then, the numbers increase daily. Regarding our new corona-measurements in the Central African Republic, we strongly focus on the cooperation with the residents. For instance, we trained our local staff in the hospitals, and provided mouth and noise protection tailored by local seamstresses. On the one hand, this strengthens the local economy, on the other, it involves the local people in our measurements, thus they can spread their knowledge of protective measurements in their communities. In addition, we set up stations at crowded places, such as schools, churches and marketplaces, where people can wash their hands and disinfect them.
To halt the pandemic and ensure safe treatment for infected patients, we are currently converting the tents we used for the measles epidemic earlier this year to quarantine stations for potential corona patients.
Changing a ruin into a school
As children are currently at home due to the corona lockdown, we use this time to quickly implement construction measures that have been planned for some time. For instance, almost 400 children from the surrounding villages had been taught in Bondio in a ruin for some time. This will change soon: In the next three months, our local team will construct a completely new school building including four classrooms, an office for the headmaster, a warehouse and new and hygienic toilet facilities. This will enable the children to learn in a modern and clean environment, as soon as they come back to school after the lockdown.