Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Educational Project in Africa as described by the African Union as the most important charitable educational project to be executed in African by a single financier. The project was nothing but a realization of the vision of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid
Al Maktoum, AMF Patron, to suggest a practical solution to the major problems facing the African continent, including challenges like poverty, diseases, instability and economic problems. HH Sheikh Hamdan’s vision was clear, sharp and direct: quality education is the best solution
to serve millions of people in the least fortunate parts of the world. That’s how HH Sheikh Hamdan adopted this program and kept on financing it year after year since 1997. The purpose of building these schools, as envisioned by HH Sheikh Hamdan, is to educate students at the highest levels
of scientific efficiency, send them to the best university colleges and to expand the opportunities of integrated education for thousands of African youth who were deprived from education either because of poverty or lack of schools in addition to the low level of the available schools which kills
any ambitions for further education. To meet this goal, AMF launched a series of integrated schools, fully equipped with laboratories, educational assets in addition to qualified administrated,
experienced teachers and adequate funds for development. The results were reflected in pioneering schools in terms of high school examination results as well as their contribution to the local communities. This huge, ambitious project was in fact AMF’s very first project in Africa in 1997
and its first phase saw ten secondary schools build in eight countries namely Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Chad, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Senegal. The project then continued to expand until today where it has 40 schools and colleges in 22 African nations.
As part of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum educational program, there are thirty five secondary schools, four elementary schools and one university college spanning the four dimensions of the African continent in 22 countries. The decision of where to start each school
was made based on economic conditions, social challenges and the needs of each country. The following pages outline the geographic distribution of those schools and shed some light on their performance.
First: East Africa Region
Civil wars, regional conflicts and ethnic cleansing combined with poverty and limited natural resources have shredded several countries of this region apart such as I Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda. As part of its humanitarian commitment, AMF established a series of schools in this part of
Africa for a noble cause:
Two high schools were built in the cities of Hargeisa and Bossasso, north and east of the country. The school in Hargisa has a capacity of 800 male and female students and is widely referred to as the best school in Somalia. 1934 students have already graduated (of them 31% are girls). Of those graduates, 68% were enrolled in universities and graduated in various professions.
The Busaso school has 380 students, 35% of them are girls, and has sent many of the graduates to universities in and outside Somalia. Many of them have actually returned back to their country where they are currently playing role in the tribal councils of reconciliation.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Scientific High School was established in 2002 in the capital Moroni with a capacity of 240 students. The school is rated as the best scientific high school in the island in terms of educational readiness and academic results and has maintained the first position nationwide in university admission exams. Thirty two students have graduated so far at university level with another 230 still studying at universities in Comoros, China, Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, France and elsewhere in Africa. Many of the graduated have returned home and joined the national workforce in banking, aviation, ports and education.
AMF had several in the country that serve various parts in different charitable applications. Four secondary schools were established in the capital, with focus on the poor neighborhoods such as Um Badda, Kerari, Nasr and Jabal el Awliya. In October 2010, three integrated educational and service complexes were opened in the city of Tawilah, North Darfur Papa, South Darfur and Aru, Central Darfur. Each complex is composed of an elementary school, a Masjid, a health center, a water supply unit, residence for school staff and a power generation unit. All the three complexes are under direct management by AMF teams. The three projects in Darfur were in fact instrumental in those villages following years of civil war and have provided crucial help to families to settle down in view of the availability of educational, health and social services through these complexes.
In Um Durman, Masjid was opened by AMF as a major place of worship in the city providing water supply and a dedicated floor for women in addition to a nursery and other facilities.
In terms of higher education, AMF has been a major sponsor of Africa International University in the capital where a faculty for applied and pure sciences was fully financed by the foundation. Other projects in Sudan include a charity project in the village of Talha, White Nile, and in Tuti, Khartoum, in addition to a kidney unit for Al Walidin Hospital, Um Durman and providing all the necessary equipment for the media center of Islamic Call Charity Organization.
AMF has two schools in South Sudan, which started operations in 1998 in the cities of Juba and Malacal and have provided essential educational services during the civil war. Many of the students have now completed their university studies and returned home to government jobs in the country. Following the South Sudan independence in 2011, AMF has paid further attention to the humanitarian needs in the country. A special meeting was held for the purpose with Vice President of South Sudan Dr. Rick Mashar to coordinate these efforts. Consequently, AMF opened a regional
office in the capital Juba.
An elementary school was opened in the capital Nairobi in 1998, followed by a secondary school for girls in Cagado in 2003 hosting 169 girls. The two schools provide quality education and have maintained a high level of teaching. The secondary school also features some student clubs such as wild life, media and computer, Muslim community and Arts and Drama. The school girls also participate in various educational and religious occasions as well as school competitions winning many of the regional competitions. Being built in a Masai community, the girls also take part in various Masai celebrations.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Secondary School for Girls was opened in the city of Umpaly, Uganda in 1998, with a fully equipped lab, Masjid, water supply and a residence for the girls. Rated as one of the best schools in the country, the school also hosts students from neighboring countries
such as Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi. A total of 692 students are currently enrolled. 130 girls of the graduates have already finished their university studies in the fields of medicine, media, education, police, law, pharmaceuticals and banking. Another 153 girls are currently studying at various universities.
Since its opening in 1998, sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Secondary School played an essential role in the Zanzibar Island providing necessary education for the least fortunate areas of the community.
Hosting a total of 391 students, the school has also graduated over 530 other students. In mainland Tanzania, the main AMF contribution is Engineering College in Darussalam. This is a technical education college that grants diplomas in IT, electricity and electronics. First graduates were celebrated in 2011 with a diploma in IT. In addition, sheikh Hamdan Complex was established in Zanzibar including a Masjid and a Quran education school. Two additional Masjids were opened in Acuanga and Mitwara in Tanganyika. Seven water wells were built in Zanzibar and Arusha and opened under patronage of the nation’s prime minister.
Thanks to its high schools, AMF has been instrumental in Rwanda during the nation’s recovery from civil war. In fact, when AMF approached the authorities with the idea of a girls only high school, it was widely welcome due to the fact that huge numbers of women and girls were left alone after the war. Government schools had 2:1 girls to boys’ ratio. In 2002, the Gitamara high school for girls was opened (50 km north of the capital) comprising nine building, vast playgrounds, equipped laboratories and qualified staff. It was in fact the first Arab charity to be built in the post-war Rwanda and had a capacity of over 600 girls, 70% of them lost their families during the genocide that took
over one million lives. The school has, ever since its opening, become a destination for all visitors looking to learn more about how a successful charitable project can help in national recovery.
In 2005, the second school was opened in center of the capital Kigali. The school, named Kumsanji School, was build on small hill in a contemporary style and was equipped with advanced science and computer labs as well as playgrounds for the 300 students. Many students have already finished school and were enrolled in various universities. AMF maintains strong relations with the
government and people of Rwanda.
AMF has already approved two high schools in Addis Abba, the Ethiopin capital. Construction of the two schools, in Yekanfas and Slik Lafto, has already started in 2010 and is expected to finish in due time.
Second:West Africa Region
AMF sponsors 10 schools in eight West African countries, namely: Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger and Nigeria.
This school has a historic meaning to AMF since it was the first school to be officially opened in Africa. In December 1998, former President of Sudan Sewar el Dahab accompanied by AMF managing director Mr. Mirza al Sayegh and a group of dignitaries and education officials in Senegal and Gambia opened the school in the city of Jejuna in southern Senegal. The location was carefully selected to cater for severe shortage of education in the then nturbulent region. Over the 15 years since then, the school has become one of the leading educational institutes in southern Senegal and has graduated several hundreds of students. There are over six hundred boys and girls currently enrolled in the school.
Since most of the country is actually located in the Sub Saharan desert, therefore making it one of the poorest countries in Africa, AMF has paid special attention to Niger in its education and relief programs. The foundation has established two high schools in the country to serve this purpose. One school was opened in the capital Niami in 1999 and the second in the northern city of Tawa in 2002. Both schools host over 750 students. Over 120 graduates have completed their university degrees and there are other graduates currently enrolled in several universities. Both schools are instrumental in the public life in terms of cultural activities as well as being used as hubs to provide relief aids to those in need.
In year 2000, AMF started a girls only secondary school in the capital city Bangul. There are 403 girls at the school this year and 898 other girls have graduated over the past 12 years. The school is active within the Gambian community in environmental protection, health awareness campaigns
and Islamic teaching. Several graduates are now well-known personalities in the country.
Burkina Faso and Benin
An AMF school was opened in the Burkina Faso capital Wagadougo in December 1998 with over 400 students as the second school to be opened in the African continent. There are 116 of the school graduates currently studying at university level. Another 45 have already finished university, 12 of them with postgraduate qualifications. In Benin, another AMF school was built in the northern city of Brako the center of the Muslim community. The school hosts 240 boys and girls.
In year 2002, the northern city of Tamali celebrated the opening of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum secondary school. The majority of people in this town are Dagumba Muslims. The school educates 605 students in scientific and literary classes, which is a 5 fold increase from the 120 boys and girls in 2002. The presence of the Tamali School was very helpful to the poorest students of this region who had no hopes before 2002 to even dream of college education. As of 2005 students from the school started to enroll in universities inside and outside the country.
Sheikh Hamdan School was opened in year 2000 in the capital Abuja and has ever since maintained its position among the top five schools of the educational district. The school currently has 376 boys and girls and had already graduated 316 others who went to universities in Nigeria,
Sudan and Malaysia. Students are also active in various community services such as protective medical care programs, road safety competitions and Ramadan activities.
There are two AMF schools in Togo one of them is in Skudi (north) and has 234 students enrolled. The school was opened in 2002 and has been at the forefront of northern Togo schools. Several graduates are now employed in the capital Leumi. The second school is in the city of Kara and is part of an educational complex that also boasts a Masjid and a health center. The complex was opened in 2009 and has 233 students.
Third:Central Africa Region
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Educational Program for Africa has seven schools in the Central African region in four countries: Chad, Cameron, Central African Republic and DR of Congo. The schools have shown tremendous success over the past 10 years and have consolidated their positions as leading educational institutes.
The Republic of Chad is home for three AMF schools the first of which was built in 1998 in the capital N’djamena and was the first girls only high school nationwide. With over 780 girls currently enrolled, the school has emerged as one of the finest in the Central African nation where both students and parents compete for enrollment every school year. The school is well equipped
with science and computer labs, a library and sports playgrounds. Several academic, sports and cultural awards have been won by student teams. The second high school is for boys only and
is located in the eastern city of Abeche with a capacity of 360 students. Sarh in the south is where the third school is located with 300 boys’ capacity. Both schools rank among the nation’s top ten schools.
The mountainous city of Ngaoundere is where Sheikh Hamdan high school is located with a capacity of 564 girls and boys. Founded in year 2000, the Cameron school has already been sending students to various national and foreign universities. It is also active in all competitions by the Ministry of Education.
Democratic Republic of Congo
An integrated Sheikh Hamdan educational complex was established in Kinshasa the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo comprising two schools educating a total of 1520 students. The first school was built in 2000 and the second in 2003. Students from the complex have sat for the High School exams seven times so far achieving 100% success outcome. The two schools offer four teaching paths for their students, namely: Education and Arts, Management and Accounting, Biology and Chemistry, and Physics and Mathematics. A total of 439 boys and girls of those who
have already graduated have persuaded graduate studies in over 24 universities and institutes in the countries. There are other graduates, though, who study in seven foreign countries in the fields of medicine, engineering, law, education, oil and gas, media, computing, nursing, agriculture among others. Many graduates have already earned their university degrees and started government and business careers. The two schools have an alumni club that takes care of their graduates and provides help when needed.
Fourth: Southern Africa Region
This region saw AMF operating in South Africa and Mozambique.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Institute was founded in Varlm, Durban, to provide the services of an Islam education institute and a high school for girls. The institute receives girls from the poor villages and provides them with education, food and residence. The objective is to empower the girls with ethical Islamic education integrated within the government curriculum.
Its noteworthy here that the success of this institute has made it very popular among parents that many non-Muslim families have encouraged their daughters to join the get educated. Some families even didn’t object seeing their daughters revert to Islam. Many students have now earned university degrees and started their own professional pathways.
AMF has two high schools in Mozambique, namely in Chibuto and Angoche, hosting over 500 students. Many graduates are currently seeking university education in Mozambique, South Africa and Sudan, which hosts 20 students in the African International University. Many have already
earned degree in various professions.
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