A boy coping with displacement trauma via access to Accelerated Primary Learning Program “I used to be lonely and shy before I started school. I now have made friends from students I am learning with. I don’t have problem interacting with people anymore,” says Taju Abdullahi, 12 years old and APLP student at Meda site.

Taju is one of the 200 students attending Accelerated Primary Learning Program (APLP) in Meda IDP site. The program is an integration of education, child protection and life skill that is given for children in the 10 to 14 age range under Bete project. It has been implemented in six zones of Oromia and one zone of SNNP Region  in partnership with UNICEF. The project includes provision of scholastic materials for students.

“My dad has died and my mom doesn’t afford to buy my school supplies. That is why I was out of school until now. I want to thank imagine1day for providing me a new bag, exercise book, pen and pencil. I have nothing to worry about now – I just have to focus on my education,” says Taju.

Taju is one of the active participant students in his class. He is an icebreaker every time the students have to partake.

Zebiba Arebu Taju’s teacher says, “I have observed the Accelerated School Readiness (ASR) and Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) students. They are relatively active compared to my students. I think their age is the biggest factor behind. However, it isn’t the case of Taju – who is super active for himself and supportive to his fellow students. He get all the package – he is disciplined, committed and of course clever student.”

Taju was a reserved kind of child after the trauma of bad experiences on his journey of displacement four years ago. The APLP he is attending is helping him get rid of it.

Taju says, “I was literally in secured every time I hear loud noise after the gunshot sound I have heard and displaced from my birthplace. I had discomfort to be in gathering even with children of my age. I had the same feeling the first day I came to school but not after I started class. All subjects are interesting and simple. English is my favorite subject though. I want to be a doctor, make good money and buy a house for my mother.”