An Islamic Relief project to build a new school in Somalia has been extended to include the construction of a brand new community health clinic.

Construction of the new primary school in the Bal’ad district began last year, and – thanks to the continued funding support of Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organisation – will also provide community health facilities.

Many children struggle to access the life-changing opportunities offered by education in Somalia, where literacy rates have decreased amidst a backdrop of turmoil and insecurity. Just 30 per cent of children attend primary school, and up to half of these drop out before fourth grade.

Education and health for all

The new Hashemite Primary School will serve communities in the Middle Shabelle region who do not otherwise have access to proper education facilities. Here, children are currently taught in temporary shelters or under trees.

Displaced children in camps around the area will also be welcomed at the school, which will have 21 classrooms and operate a shift-system to maximise the number of children it can accommodate.

Around 885 children will be able to study in the school at any one time, and in total, some 2,520 students are expected to benefit each year when the school opens its doors after Ramadan.

Rather than a school health clinic, we are building a fully-equipped facility which will meet the needs of both students and local communities. Parents will be encouraged to get involved in the management of the school through a parent and teacher association, whilst a local committee will supervise the running of the health clinic.

Major works have been completed, with the school and clinic to be handed over to the community this month. Other Islamic Relief projects in Somalia include constructing a national eye-hospital and teachers training centre.