Eunice Kua

After leaving CIE, I returned to my previous position as a literacy specialist supporting mother tongue literacy initiatives among Darfur refugees in eastern Chad. It was good to be back with some new ideas and inspiration after my time at CIE. My team leader retired not too long after, so I am now the project coordinator and spend a lot more time in the office these days, writing reports and proposals.


Some notable changes in the project after my return included looking more systemically at mother tongue literacy initiatives in multiple camps rather than just those closest to us. In 2019, I held a series of reflection meetings with participants from different camps about what they would like to see and do in the next 3 years, and was able to write up a proposal that got funded to support a new coordinating committee, capacity building for individual committees, a new children's program for Grade 1 and Grade 2 children, editorial training and family literacy initiatives in the camps. The new coordinating body started off with 5 camps in 2020, and quickly added another 2 camps, for a total of 7 camps involved this year.


I am pleased with our new children's materials (some photos attached), which include Big Pictures for discussion, a whole slew of new children's picture books with locally relevant stories and pictures by a refugee artist, which have been well-received. We were also able to translate a few books related to socioemotional learning from the Bloom Library. The learning environment in the camp schools remains challenging, with an average of 70-80 children per class. Some camps are implementing the children's program this year in after-school classes. We hope to continue to develop the children's program, with more materials, literacy games, etc. to help the children learn their letters and love reading and writing despite the limited time and resources.


For the youth attending community-based literacy classes, we have started implementing a new 'graduation certificate' for those who have completed all 7 levels/years. It consists of a final reading and writing assessment and a nice certificate/diploma which collects all their previous grades. This has been very motivational and encouraging for older learners.


Covid-19 did not affect us much here beyond the initial wave in the first half of 2020 when schools were closed and large gatherings prohibited. We did our part translating health information into the local languages, providing face masks and soap to teachers, etc. Life went back to normal a few months later and we have been able to implement our activities as usual ever since.


Overall, I have been able to put into practice a number of things that I learned during my time in CIE, including proposal writing, program evaluation, curriculum development and literacy assessment. I found my self-designed Master's project, a sourcebook on relevant topics, to be very helpful. I continue to use it and other CIE class materials as references when I am working on new initiatives. Thanks to the rise of remote and online work, I am able to continue attending Webinars and other professional development opportunities offered online by the Global Reading Network, Basic Education Coalition, etc. which I first came in contact with via CIE.


On a more personal note, I look fondly back on my time at Amherst, and definitely miss Jones Public Library! How lovely it would be to have a vibrant, functioning community library here in the camps, but that is a challenge for another day... [2-22]




Entrance Year: 
Graduation Year: 
5-year span: 
CIE Graduate