Wars, conflicts and natural disasters spare no children. In fact, children suffer the most. In countries affected by emergencies, children often lose their homes, family members and friends. As their lives are upended, their sense of safety and routine are also disrupted. Without access to education, they are at risk of losing their futures.
UNICEF works to deliver uninterrupted learning for every child affected by humanitarian crises. Its school in a box program has allowed vulnerable children all over the world to continue their education in spaces that are safe and equipped with water and sanitation facilities. Each box provides locally adapted school supplies for 40 students and teaching material for a teacher.
One School-in-a-Box costs $236.00 and enables 40 children to continue their education. Please help me reach my target of $5000.00 These boxes ensure the continuation of a child's education within the first 72 hours of an emergency.
During my recent visit to Tajikistan,a country in Central Asia where natural disasters are common, I visited a relocated community whose village was decimated by a landslide. I saw first-hand how the lives and lifestyle of these communities changed overnight. I visited children in a temporary tented school provided by UNICEF. I had brought with me a whole suitcase filled with coloring books, crayons, mazes, and picture books. I was just as excited to meet these kids as they were excited to see a visitor especially one with all these goodies. Soon we were all on the floor drawing, playing games and bonding. It seemed like I had known these kids forever. It was so powerful to see how much of an impact just one suitcase of books made.
Being with these children, brought back memories of my childhood as a refugee. My family escaped from a civil war in Uganda when I was 15. My education was interrupted because I had to work to help support my family. In that moment, as I connected with children who were experiencing what I had experienced, I heard my call to action. I can tell you from my own experience just how empowering education can be to a child in an unstable situatation.
For children in emergencies, education is lifesaving. For children affected by crisis, education is just as important as food, water, sanitation and health. It reduces the effects of trauma and offers stability, structure and protection from violence, abuse, and exploitation. When children receive an education, the whole society benefits: education can boost economic growth, reduce poverty and inequality. Education also contributes to restoring peace and stability.
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