UN Peacekeeping Mission
Vietnam's Engineering Unit Rotation 2 Starts Activities for Children in Abyei
A delegation from the Engineering Unit Rotation 2 of Vietnam and the Ministry of Education and Construction of Abyei have conducted a survey in schools in Abyei to help develop support measures for local authorities and students, reported People's Army Newspaper.
Senior Colonel Nguyen Viet Hung, chief of the Engineering Unit Rotation 2 and commanding officer of Vietnam’s peacekeeping force at the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), and Education and Construction Minister Nyinkwany Aguer Bol led the delegation.
|Servicewomen of the Engineering Company Rotation 2 and kids in Abyei. Source: PANO|
According to the survey results, up to now, there are about 10 schools of different sizes in the Abyei. The school which has nearly 200 students is located 20km from the center of Abyei and struggles with extremely difficult driving conditions. The largest school has nearly 3,000 students gathered from seven local schools.
However, the number of teachers is relatively small. Most of them are volunteer teachers from other African countries. The professional qualifications of local teachers are not high and uneven.
Survey results also show that schools in Abyei face the same problems such as poor facilities, not enough classrooms, canteens, and toilets. Moreover, there are schools with a large number of students and a small number of classrooms. Therefore, each classroom has to accommodate from 100 to 150 students.
|The classroom is overloaded because of the large number of students. Source: PANO|
After the survey, the delegation had a working session with the Ministry of Education and Construction, during which they discussed plans to upgrade infrastructure and material conditions in schools.
Senior Captain Phung The Khanh, civilian-military coordination (CIMIC) officer of the Engineering Unit Rotation 2, said that together with professional expertise-related activities, Vietnam’s Engineering Unit is always determined that helping people is a regular and long-term task. Effective task implementation requires high coordination and determination between Vietnamese peacekeepers at the UNISFA Mission and local authorities. In the short term, the unit will focus on its support activities for the education sector in the Abyei area.
As part of the survey, Vietnamese 'blue-beret' engineers visited a kindergarten located in an Abyei church. This is a place to teach and care for more than 200 orphans. During the visit, the Vietnamese peacekeepers screened cartoons and presented candies and biscuits to them.
|Children enjoy watching cartoons. Source: PANO|
Principal of the kindergarten, Catherine was touched by what Vietnamese peacekeepers have done for Abyei in general and for her school in particular.
“The kids have not watched TV for a long time and some even have never seen it before. This was a wonderful chance for them to explore new things. After the cartoon screening, we will organize an extracurricular session for them to draw what impressed them in today’s cartoon projection,” she said.
Vietnam's Engineering Unit Rotation 2, made up of 203 officers, including 19 females, was established in November 2022 under a decision of the Ministry of Defence.
Engineering Unit Rotation No. 2 of Vietnam on August 8 left for the UN peacekeeping mission in the UNISFA. The unit left together with about 300 tonnes of supplies, including equipment, machinery, and food, to serve the performance of duties and daily needs, for one year of working.
In 2022, Engineering Unit Rotation 1 was deployed to the UN mission in Abyei, the first time Vietnam had sent an engineering team to a UN peacekeeping mission. It also had the biggest number of staff members among the Vietnamese units sent to UN peacekeeping missions. All of its supplies, about 2,000 tonnes, were transported by sea.
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