#schoolsnotshelters

#schoolsnotshelter

It is time for nearly half a million Palestine refugee children to return to school. This autumn, 666 UNRWA schools will open their doors in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But most of these children will be returning to school in environments of instability, conflict and fear.

As we approach the 2014/2015 school year, Palestine refugee children throughout our five fields of operation, but in particular those from Gaza, Syria and the West Bank, are dealing with the psychosocial impacts of conflicts they have been living through for weeks, months and years. Going back to school will pose a particular challenge for these children.

In Gaza, there has been a dramatic and tragic escalation of hostilities since July 2014. This is the third major conflict in less than six years. Each successive conflict has significantly impacted the psychological and physical well-being of children exposed to cycles of violence. Over 90 UNRWA schools have been transformed into shelters for internally displaced persons, more than half of whom are children. Once the Gaza emergency has ended and the school year is able to resume, 253,000 UNRWA students will need immediate psychosocial support.

EU
The EU supports UNRWA's efforts to improve access to education for Palestine refugee children.

The Syria conflict is still directly affecting the education of children living in Syria, as well as the Palestine refugees from Syria who have fled to Lebanon, Jordan and – to some extent – Gaza. Since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, the displacement of Palestine refugees within Syria and to neighboring countries is taking a toll on the children and greatly limiting their learning opportunities. Only 70 per cent of the students attending UNRWA schools in Syria before the conflict are now able to attend. Of the 118 UNRWA schools in Syria, only 42 are currently operating. The Ministry of Education has provided access to an additional 43 schools, allowing UNRWA to reach over 44,000 students.

In the West Bank, movement restrictions and the forced displacement of Bedouin and farming communities in Area C are affecting access to education for children in these communities.

UNRWA is committed to ensuring high quality, reliable education for Palestine refugees. Despite the challenges, conflict and distress faced by our students and staff as they head back to school, UNRWA continues to stand by this pledge. We are here to work for the development, dignity and stability of Palestine refugees - beginning with their education.


#myvoicemyschool

#myvoicemyschool is a pilot education project done by Palestinian refugee youth displaced due to the Syrian conflict with their peers in England. Through live video conversations and customized teaching materials, students and teachers will explore how education can meet their future aspirations. Each class will define and develop an advocacy project to promote and share their ideas.

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#myvoicemyschool

300,000 UNRWA children start school in conflict-ravaged Gaza and Syria

Nearly 300,000 children went back to UNRWA schools at the start of the school year in Gaza and Syria today. "In Gaza, conflict has profoundly affected the traditional learning environment and delayed the academic year for almost three weeks," said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl. "But after the traumatic 50 days of brutal conflict, of death, destruction and massive displacement, including to many of our schools, we are determined to give the children a sense of renewed hope and better prospects by opening the schools so soon again."

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300,000 UNRWA children start school in conflict-ravaged Gaza and Syria

Back to School at UNRWA: Education touched by Conflict

As children in many parts of the world start their new school year, half a million Palestine refugee children should be returning to over 650 UNRWA schools in Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza and Syria – but many cannot.

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Back to School at UNRWA: Education touched by Conflict

Education Staff Hone Safety and Emergency Skills

A blast went off and 15 student actors lay moaning and bleeding on the ground. Psychosocial counsellor Basma ran out with her colleagues to conduct a medical triage. Their goal was to assess the situation and prioritize those most in need. Following the simulation, Basma's colleague Ibrahim remarked, "This felt so real, it is the most powerful training I have received at UNRWA."

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Education Staff Hone Safety and Emergency Skills

Children Impacted by the West Bank Barrier Rejoice at UNRWA Summer Camps

UNRWA summer camps are bringing smiles to Palestine refugee children in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Themed ‘Aim High for the Sky’, the camps target over 1,200 children, including children living Area C, which is the area of the West Bank under full Israeli control, and children living in the ‘Seam Zone’, which is the area between the 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line) and the West Bank Barrier. The summer camp activities help these children enjoy the summertime despite the restrictions imposed by the Barrier.

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Psychosocial support to PRS

Education Provides Hope in the Midst of Ongoing Crisis

Few groups are as vulnerable, as full of potential or as in need of support as the Palestine refugee children of Syria. Of the 460,000 Palestine refugees currently in Syria, more than a third (about 184,000) are children. Education has provided hope for successive generations of Palestine refugees, which makes it all the more critical for UNRWA to ensure education continues in the midst of the ongoing crisis.

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Psychosocial support to PRS

Psychosocial Support to Palestine Refugee Children Displaced from Syria

Since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, the displacement of Palestine refugee (PR) within Syria, and to neighbouring countries, is taking its toll on its children. UNRWA, thanks to the generous contribution of the EU and Educate a Child project, is ensuring access to education and supporting the psychosocial wellbeing of Palestine Refugees from Syria.

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Psychosocial support to PRS