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Children Affected by Conflict Can't Wait for an Education |

ECW provides affected children and young people with a free, safe, fearless opportunity to grow and reach their full potential.

travel and dreams

UNICEF Ethiopia/Jerusalem Itna

When Bchiote Moorice was nine years old, she fled the beleaguered Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in search of safety.

Just nine years old, Bchiote Moorice and her three younger brothers fled the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) without food, water or basic necessities.

After a harrowing escape, Bchiote and her brother were reunited with their parents and the whole family moved to a refugee camp in western Ethiopia.

So Bchiote and her brother are finally able to focus on their education through an ECW-funded program provided by UNICEF Ethiopia.

“In a year, I want to go to college and work for a large corporate bank,” she said with a big smile.

determination to educate

Eleven-year-old Shahad with her Decision School teacher at Augusta Victoria Hospital in Palestine.

Jonathan Condo/State of Palestine

Eleven-year-old Shahad with her Decision School teacher at Augusta Victoria Hospital in Palestine.

ECW was launched to transform aid systems that neglect millions of the most vulnerable children and young people, and has helped many boys and girls like Bchiote.

Shahd (not her real name), like many 11-year-old girls her age, has big dreams. She wants to be president, she wants to be a doctor, she wants to be the first Palestinian female astronaut.

But her chronic kidney disease, which forced her to spend most of her days at the Augusta Victoria Hospital, loomed over her like a dark rain cloud.

However, Shahd is able to continue her education at Determination School and is getting closer and closer to realizing her dream.

ECW funding has enabled the Palestinian Ministry of Education to establish four decision schools that provide flexible education for children who are unable to attend regular classes due to chronic illness or long-term treatment.

Around 150 Palestinian students are now receiving individualized planning, psychosocial support and comprehensive education to ensure that they are not left behind in their studies.

“I would like to go to a regular school with other children, but the doctors and nurses at the hospital are very kind, so it’s okay,” said Shahd.

Perseverance, Friendship, Potential

Hadjé, Achta and Ngoleram are sitting in the shade of a Chad tree, enjoying the fresh air and shade of the lake.

UNICEF Chad/Nancy Dollar

Hadjé, Achta and Ngoleram are sitting in the shade of a Chad tree, enjoying the fresh air and shade of the lake.

On the last day of school before the holidays, Chad’s three inseparable friends share a bond of mobility and resilience.

Hadje Al-Hadj, Achta Dogo and Ngoleram Abakar attend Kaya Primary School in Lak State, Chad, and live in a place for people displaced by ongoing violence in the Lake Chad region.

It was created in 2015 following an attack by the Boko Haram terrorist group. More than 450,000 internally displaced persons and refugees have been forcibly driven into Lak Province by repeated violence and intimidation.

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

These young people, who attend Kaya Primary School in Lak State, are now able to access a safe and quality learning environment to keep their dreams and futures alive.

For other personal accounts on ECW’s work, click here.

ECW details

  • Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is a United Nations billion dollar fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

  • Ethiopia’s multi-year resilience program is funded by ECW and delivered by UNICEF Ethiopia.

  • 222 million children affected by the crisis are in urgent need of educational assistance.

  • The Palestinian Decision School is supported by ECW, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and strategic partners such as Save the Children, UNDP, UNICEF and UNRWA. The program is implemented in the West Bank and is managed by the Department of Education as part of ECW’s Multi-Year Resilience Program.

  • At Kaya Primary School in Chad, 798 study kits and 36,831 backpacks were distributed to 36,831 students (including 16,932 girls) in Mamudi. Additionally, 452 teachers received the materials.

  • The school is supported by ECW in collaboration with UNICEF and Jesuit Refugee Services.