Keeping children in education during wars and other emergencies is a life-saving priority for children and their families.
That’s not just our view: families themselves consistently prioritise education at times of crisis. They know that it helps their children to keep some sense of normality in otherwise stressful circumstances, and improves the prospects for recovery and longer-term wellbeing.
But right now more than 75 million children and young people (aged 3-18) are out of school in 35 crisis-affected countries. And less than 2% of global humanitarian aid goes towards education.
Even when children are able to access education in conflict-affected countries there are huge challenges – like overcrowded classrooms, lack of teachers and resources, and violence in or on-route to school.
At War Child we see protecting children’s right to education as a central part of our response to a crisis.
Education provides physical and psychosocial protection that can save and sustain lives.
What we’re doing
We help keep up the continuity of children’s education in conflict zones, and minimise disruption to teaching and learning.
Our ‘Education in Emergencies’ programmes make sure children have access to quality and relevant education, either formal or non-formal learning, whatever their circumstances.
We set up safe temporary learning spaces as soon as children are displaced, provide learning materials, and train teachers in how to support children who have experienced trauma.
Our education programmes also allow children and young people who need other help – medical or psychological for example – to be identified and supported.
Our approach is gender-sensitive and inclusive of marginalised groups and children with special needs. We know that, in times of crisis, children are even more at risk from exploitation and abuse.
Where are War Child UK’s education projects?
At the moment we’re working on education projects in Iraq, Afghanistan and Jordan, and in 2017 we will be scaling up our education activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
... we’re providing non-formal education for 6,000 newly displaced boys and girls (aged 6-18) fleeing ISIS-controlled conflict areas in and around Mosul.
... we’re offering accelerated learning and technical and vocational training to street-working children, parents and young people who have missed out on education because of conflict, poverty or marginalisation.
... we’re supporting Syrian refugee children and families, developing literacy, numeracy and life-skills.
In all our country programmes we work closely with our child protection teams to make sure our learning environments are secure and safe, and that we promote the protection and psychosocial wellbeing of learners and teachers.