“I don’t even know how to write my own name”
In a CAR village I spoke to Kafe (12). Kafe has attended a few years of education but then had to stop, both because of insecurity issues – the walk to school is about 2km, and when armed forces are running around this is particularly unsafe – and because his mother wanted him to work in the field with her. He explained that he wants to go back to school, because “I don’t even know how to write my own name, I only know the first two letters”. Together we figured out the other letters and this resulted in him writing his name! (We also wrote his last name, but I left it out for anonymity reasons).
The story is not exceptional and shows the difficulty of children’s rights to education in the CAR; there is a big problem of access, and even if you do get to a school, the quality of education is often very poor. Kafe himself is going back to school next week, after his aunt offered to pay his school fees (about $4.5).