IDP parents build school desks to help their children continue their education

Ahmad Yousef is among the 18 IDPs who were contracted by UNESCO to build 450 school desks for their children and other displaced children across the country. A community activity that will help secure their children’s education as well as be a part of their child’s educational journey.

“I am happy that I am able to contribute to my child’s education by providing the schools with more desks to accommodate more students,” said Yousef.

 The construction of the desks will help 1000 students receive a better quality education while in displacement.  It made parents not only engaged in their children’s education but is also a significant income generating activity that has benefited many families.

Yousef and the others who have assembled the benches over the last weeks is among the  thousands of other IDPs, who were displaced from their homes as armed conflict soared in Mosul in June of 2014.  Since January 2014, more than 3 million people have fled their homes to find safety in villages, towns and cities throughout the country.

Thousands of IDP children now living with their families in camps across the country are being denied their right to a quality education as a result of the ongoing conflict.  Displacement has disrupted the educational gains of school aged children and the resources for providing children chances of receiving a quality education are very limited.

Schools have been stretched to capacity, with children having to sit on the floor because of the limited number of desks. There are also not enough books or supplies to accommodate all the students.  

“We want our children to receive an education despite the circumstances that they are in. The school desks will ensure that more children are able to attend school” said Zainab, a mother working on building the desks.

UNESCO Office for Iraq, with funds from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has responded to the humanitarian crisis with the opening of five new schools for students of IDP communities, since the beginning of 2015.  The establishment of the schools comes under the framework of the project ‘Providing access to quality education to adolescents and young adults in conflict-affected areas in Iraq’.

Since the school openings, students attended catch up classes that ran till the end of June in order to prepare them for the new academic year.