Date Published: 1 October 2007

Her Highness Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed of the UAE underlines right to education for every child

On her first visit to Sudan, Her Highness Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates spoke of the fundamental importance of education, as she toured schools supported by UNICEF.

Her Highness Sheikha Maitha came to Sudan as a special envoy of her father, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The visit of Her Highness is part of the Dubai Cares initiative which was launched by His Highness the Sheikh this year, and which seeks to raise funds to educate one million children in poor countries.

The campaign is Dubai’s contribution to the U.N. Millennium Development Goal of ensuring universal primary education by 2015.

Dubai Cares believes in every child’s right to education and is committed to ensuring that no child is denied an education. I wanted to tell the children we are here to help them,”
said Her Highness Sheikha Maitha.

The visit of Her Highness could not have come at a better time. Education is a major priority for the Government and people of Southern Sudan. We are very grateful for the efforts she made to come and see the situation at hand,”
said Peter Crowley, UNICEF’s Director of Operations in Southern Sudan.

Watching a group of singing and dancing school children at Kuku A Primary School in the southern Sudanese city of Juba, Her Highness Sheikha Maitha said

I am touched by the warmth and strength of these children, a testament to their will to live well and learn. We owe it to them to keep their hopes alive.

The Kuku Primary School was built as an initiative of residents displaced from their homes 100 miles from Juba during Sudan’s civil war, but who were determined to provide children with an opportunity to learn. The school now accommodates 881 students, including 357 girls.

His Excellency Professor Lokulenge Lole, Acting Minister of Education of the Government of Southern Sudan, joined the children and school headmaster in welcoming the Dubai Cares delegation. He also briefed Her Highness Sheikha Maitha on the situation of education in Southern Sudan and efforts being made by the Government in the education sector.

At Juba One Girls’ School, members of the school’s Girls’ Education Movement Club sang and danced for the visitors. The songs expressed messages of hope and encouragement for girls to go to school. Juba One has 960 girls enrolled and is one of the few permanent schools located in Juba.

Both Kuku A Primary School and Juba One Girls’ School receive support from UNICEF through the State Ministry of Education of Central Equatoria, including textbooks, teaching kits and student stationery kits. Teachers at Kuku A Primary School have also benefited from training courses supported by UNICEF.

Her Highness Sheikha Maitha also travelled to Khartoum where she visited the Mustapha Hamad School for Girls and was briefed by senior government officials. Her Highness Sheikha Maitha was accompanied by His Excellency Isa Abdullah Al Bashah Al Nu’aimi, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Sudan.

Source: UNICEF Main Website.
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