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i-ACT21 Day 14: Moments of Bliss

Mindful Refuge

By Felicia Lee


We began our morning in camp Djabal meeting with the director of a primary school and getting a feel for the school’s status quo. Much of what we learned was disconcerting: there is a lack of financial support, which means there is a lack of necessary school materials (including textbooks, tables, and unbroken chairs); teacher salaries are so low that the turnover rate is yearly and very high; student attendance has decreased by 44% since the beginning of the school year, because children are sent by their families to find food, due to the drastic cuts in food rations; most students arrive at school dirty since soap is no longer given to the refugees. When asked what would provide her hope for the school situation, the director replied that help is what is needed.

Our next stop was a happier one: we went to the home of Habiba, one of our four DUSA coaches. There we met Habiba’s lovely household, including her parents, as well as a few sheep and baby chicks. Later on, as we hung out in one of