On May 27th, Hawa Ahmed YOUSSOUF, head of the MINUSMA regional office in Gao, handed over the keys to two classrooms, each capable of accommodating 50 students, to local authorities. These classrooms were built by Chinese peacekeepers at Salibou Nadia School in Gao and the primary school in the village of Edang, located 6 kilometers away from the city.
Chinese peacekeepers noticed during their patrols that students were studying in makeshift shelters due to the lack of sufficient classrooms. Following several consultation meetings between school officials, local authorities, and the Chinese contingent, the construction of the classrooms was initiated. In just five days, the two classrooms were built to provide a conducive learning environment for the children. Lieutenant Colonel Liu YONG, commander of the Chinese infantry unit, mentioned that the classrooms will be furnished with desks and benches, and the students will soon receive school supplies.
Mayo Ag INDIKEN, the chief of Edang village, expressed hope that this initiative would mark the beginning of a partnership with the local community. He commended the rapid progress of the construction work and the commitment of the Chinese peacekeepers to supporting children's education. Mayo Ag INDIKEN urged other partners to follow MINUSMA's example by constructing additional classrooms, emphasizing the paramount importance of education for children. Mohamed MAHADINE, the director of Sabilou Nadia School, recalled that the construction of the classrooms fulfilled a promise made to the students by the Chinese contingent when they provided assistance to displaced people in the neighborhood.
During the official handover of the classrooms' keys to the school directors, Hawa Ahmed YOUSSOUF expressed admiration for the dedicated work of the Chinese peacekeepers, highlighting their commitment to supporting children's education. She encouraged other contingents to engage more closely with the local population to foster social cohesion and expressed her hope that both students and teachers would be able to work in improved conditions.