Children affected by conflict can’t wait to get their education

From Ethiopia to Chad and Palestine, Education Can Not Wait (ECW), the UN fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, is helping millions of boys and girls affected by conflict across the world achieve their dreams .

ECW provides free learning opportunities to affected children and youth – in safety and without fear – to grow and reach their full potential.

a journey and a dream

At only nine years old, Bchiote Mouris and his three younger brothers fled the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – without food, water or basic necessities.

After a tragic escape, Bchiote and his siblings are reunited with their parents, and the entire family relocates to a refugee camp in western Ethiopia.

There, Bchiote and his brother were finally able to focus on their education through an ECW funded program offered by UNICEF Ethiopia.

“I hope to go to university a year from now and work in a big corporate bank,” she said with a big smile.

**Solution for Education**

Launched to replace a support system that neglects millions of the most vulnerable children and adolescents, ECW has been able to help many boys and girls like Bchiote.

Shahad (not his real name), like many 11-year-olds his age, dreams big. She wants to be president, or doctor, or even the first female Palestinian astronaut.

But, forced to spend most of the day receiving treatment at the Augusta Victoria Hospital, her chronic kidney disease enveloped her like a dark rain cloud.

However, Shahad has been able to continue her education at Determination School – close to turning her dreams into reality.

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ECW funding has enabled the Palestinian Ministry of Education to establish four assessment schools, which provide flexible education to children unable to attend regular classes due to chronic illnesses and long-term treatment.

About 150 students in Palestine are currently provided with individualized plans, psychosocial support and inclusive education to ensure that they do not lag behind in their studies.

“I would love to go to regular school with the other kids, but the teachers and nurses at the hospital are very kind, and they make it right,” Shahad said.

perseverance, friendship, ability

On the last day of school before the holiday, three inseparable friends in Chad share a bond of displacement and resilience.

Hadje al-Hajj, Achha Dogo, and Ngoleram Abkar attend Kaya Primary School in Chad’s Lac Province, and live at a site for people displaced by the ongoing violence in the Lake Chad region.

It was created in 2015 after the Boko Haram terrorist group attacks. Repeated violence and threats have forced more than 450,000 internally displaced persons and refugees into Lac Province.

Hadje was just five years old when her family moved there from a neighboring country. Now 11, through the program she has been able to focus on her education and move on with the Kaya site’s 500 other students.

These and other young people from Kaya Primary School in Lak Province are able to access safe, quality learning environments while keeping their dreams and future alive.

For other personal accounts of the work of ECW, click here.

More on ECW

  • Education Can’t Wait (ECW) is a billion-dollar United Nations fund for education in emergencies and long-lasting crises.
  • The Multi-Year Resilience Program in Ethiopia is funded by ECW and delivered by UNICEF Ethiopia.
  • 222 million children in distress are in urgent need of educational assistance.

  • Determination schools in Palestine are supported by ECW, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and strategic partners including Save the Children, UNDP, UNICEF and UNRWA. The program is implemented in the West Bank and is administered by the Ministry of Education as part of ECW’s multi-year resilience programme.
  • At Kaya Primary School in Chad, 798 school kits and 36,831 backpacks were distributed to 36,831 students (including 16,932 girls) in Mamdi. In addition, 452 teachers received teaching materials.
  • The school is supported by ECW in partnership with UNICEF and the Jesuit Refugee Service.
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