11.06.2004 Regional News

Classrooms being constructed at Buduburam Refugee Camp

11.06.2004 LISTEN

Accra, June 11, GNA - Mr Giancarlo Izzo, Italian Ambassador to Ghana, on Friday cut the sod for work to begin on a block of six classrooms with toilet and library facilities for the local primary school estimated at 72,000 dollars at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in the Central Region to provide quality education for the community. Mr Thomas Albrecht, Country Representative of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the Italian Embassy provided 62,885 dollars and Ricerca E. Cooperazione, an Italian non-governmental organisation provided 9,115 dollars.

He said in cooperation with donors, the beneficiary communities and the Government, emphasis would be placed on a broad-based integrated community development approach to ensure that both the refugee children and Ghanaian children got better education.

He commended the Italian Embassy for their financial contribution towards the project and the Catholic Church that provided the land. The project was an important part of a comprehensive programme by the UNHCR and its partners to provide the people in the community with good education.

He said education was an important value in itself adding that the real value laid in the opportunity for Liberian children of the host communities in and around Buduburam to have the doors to the future thrown opened.

"For some it will pave the way to become the competent leaders of tomorrow and for all it will ensure that they had the basis for judging their leaders and for taking their own part in the democratic and peaceful development that the region and all people living in it needed and deserved.

He said within the framework of impending voluntary repatriation of Liberian refugees, it was critical to support UNHCR's goal of ensuring well-prepared and sustainable refugee return.

Empowering refugees in the country of asylum with education and other transferable skills was a key investment in peace, security, stability and prosperity in Liberia.

Mr James L. Ballah, Headmaster of St Gregory Catholic Primary and Junior Secondary School (JSS) in the Camp, said the pupil population from Kindergarten to JSS two stood at 967, out of which 420 were females.

He said some of the pupils did not have their parents here and lived with relatives and friends, who sometimes found it difficult to pay their school fees.

Dr Gianna Da Re of Ricerca Cooperation said when completed the building would be handed over to the camp management authority. Mr Rod Nii Odai-Anang, of Rodott Ventures, the contractors said work on the project would begin by next week and it would be completed within six months.

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