13 January 2012
A Sudanese girl walks with her Egyptian friend, left, at the private school, Yed el Hesshan, in Alexandria, Egypt. (photo: Sean Sprague)
In the September 2009 issue of ONE, Liam Stack wrote about life for Sudanese refugees in Alexandria, Egypt. While Alexandria provides a better life for many, these refugees still face some challenges:
Sudanese families must also meet the additional expense of enrolling their children in private schools. Under Egyptian law, non- Egyptian students do not have guaranteed access to public schools.
Fortunately, the vicariate goes to great lengths to fill the gap, locating and paying for suitable private school programs for Sudanese children in Alexandria. Last year, it put 113 Sudanese children through school, from kindergarten through the last year of high school, at a cost of $25,626.
Father Jal keeps a record of every student supported by the vicariate — as well as his or her school registration and receipts — in a crisp manila folder in his desk. It bulges with slips of paper.
“The public schools are cheap, but they are for Egyptian children,” explained the priest. “[The vicariate] has some places in those schools, but only a few.”
Among the private schools where children are placed is Yed el Hesshan, located near the seashore in downtown Alexandria. A high wall encloses an adjacent schoolyard where children play games, sing songs and talk about the popular American show “Hannah Montana.” It could be anywhere in the world.
To learn more, read Alexandria’s Struggling Sudanese.
Tags: Egypt Refugees Africa Sudan