ISIL forced Doraid out of school three years ago. Now, he feels equipped to take on whatever life throws at him, “no matter what.”

ISIL forced Doraid out of school three years ago. Now, he feels equipped to take on whatever life throws at him, “no matter what.”

27. 5. 2019

Doraid grew up with his three brothers and two sisters in the small village of Alawael in the Hawija district of Iraq. Their childhood was calm until ISIL took over in 2014."I dropped out of school for three years," Doraid, then an 11-year-old boy, describes. 

"My father prevented me from going to school and explained that it was because of the fact that ISIL was teaching their own curricula full of hatred, discrimination and killing," he says. Instead, his father taught him math, Arabic and science at home.

During the war with ISIL, tragedy affected the lives of the whole family. "An airstrike hit the ISIL checkpoint placed in front of our house. The house was destroyed and I lost my daughter," Doraid’s father Oday Hamad explains. "My other daughter was badly injured by shrapnel caused by the explosion and is still in treatment," he adds.

This incident significantly affected Doraid’s behaviour. "He became silent most of the time and a bit of an introvert," say Oday Hamad and adds that being out of school for almost three years was very devastating for Doraid and affected both his educational achievements and also his psychology. "He felt lonely and frustrated," his father concludes.

During Activities I Met my Old Friends

After the area was taken back from ISIL, Doraid wanted to go back to school as soon as possible. However, he was not able to go back to primary school because of his age. Instead, Doraid enroled in the Accelerated Learning Program to complete his primary school education. He also joined remedial classes, awareness and Psychosocial Support Sessions (PSS) organised by People in Need and UNICEF at his school. "Being part of these activities allowed me to meet my old friends and make new friends, as well," says Doraid, proudly adding that Abdullah, Abdul Salam and Raid are among his closest friends.

"I like school and my favourite subject is Arabic. My dream is to become an Arabic teacher in the future," says Doraid. “I was very happy to meet Mr. Ziad, the Arabic teacher. Mr. Zaid really helps me with Arabic lessons and sometimes he gives me additional classes when it is needed," says Doraid.

I Can See Positive Changes

Ziad Shaker, one of Doraid’s favourite teachers, is one of facilitators who have been supported by People in Need and UNICEF to deliver program activities in the Hawija district. "I was lucky to get more specialised trainings on pedagogy and psychosocial intervention. Those trainings equipped us all with a lot of methods and techniques to teach more effectively," says Ziad. It is now very easy to recognise children who experienced something bad, he reflects. 

"Doraid was one of those children. When he first joined activities, he looked pale, sad and hopeless. In the beginning, he was very shy, avoiding other children and not willing to participate in team games," says Ziad. "I started focusing more on his situation and provided him with motivational and supportive talks. Doraid’s classmates also got a better understanding of what Doraid was feeling after the sharing sessions and the psychosocial activities. This helped the other children to establish friendships with him," Ziad says and explains that psychosocial sessions definitely had a crucial role in helping Doraid to express his fears and any residual pain.

Doraid describes the teachers and facilitators as being very kind and ready to help at any time. "With their support, I feel like I can face all my problems no matter what," says Doraid. Teachers and his father have noticed significant improvement in his attitude. "Doraid is very committed to attend all the activities and I can see positive changes," says Ziad. Oday Hamad adds: "I can clearly notice the positive changes in Doraid. Listening to his stories and adventures every night pleases me the most."

People in Need and UNICEF Support in Numbers:

The project “Building Resilience of Conflict Affected Children through the Provision of Integrated Assistance to Communities in Hawija” covers three geographical areas - Hawija, Abbasi, and Al Zab sub districts. 

Educational Activities

  • Goal: Support the registration and enrolment of 15,000 children into schools to provide non-formal education services

     •Result: 15,075 children (8,160 boys, 6,915 girls) attended the program activities during the month of April in 66 different schools.

  • Goal: Boost the registration and enrolment of 1,000 children into formal schools.

     •Result: In April, the teachers/facilitators provided remedial classes, awareness sessions and PSS activities for 480 out-of-school children (263 females, 217 males).

  • Goal: Encourage the provision of learning materials, textbooks, and stationary for all project-targeted schools.

     •Result: PIN copied and distributed 750 books to three schools, the books were mainly for the subjects Math, Arabic and English for different grades.

  • Goal: Distribute the provision of teaching supplies, mainly School-in-a-Box and recreational kits

     •Result: School-in-a-Box and recreational kits were distributed to 125 teachers/facilitators

  • Goal: Train 125 teachers/facilitators in Emergency Education, Life Skills and PSS to improve the quality of education.

     •Result: PIN provided six days of training to 125 nominated teachers/facilitators. Two days were spent on Psychosocial Support (PSS) and four days were devoted to Teachers in Conflict Contexts (TICC).

  • Goal: Educate 125 teachers/facilitators in pedagogy (literacy and numeracy) to improve the quality of education.

     •Result: 15 days of training about pedagogy targeting 125 teachers/facilitators (17 females, 108 males) was finalised on Jan 16th.

  • Goal: Provide Psychosocial Support (PSS) to the children at risk, targeting 15,000 children.

     •Result: In April 15,075 children (8160 boys, 6915 girls) were provided with PSS activities

  • Goal: Establish and train 66 Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs).

     •Result: PTAs in 66 schools were either established or reformed following PIN manual.

  • Goal: Provide an incentive to 125 teachers/facilitators to deliever the programme activity on a monthly basis

     •Result: 125 teachers / facilitators (male and female) receive incentives on a monthly basis. 10 USD per day according to the Education Cluster recommendation.

WASH activities:

  • Goal: Distribute basic hygiene kits for 15,000 children.

     •Result: We distributed 15,400 hygiene kits to children

  • Goal: Promote hygiene and water conservation training to 10,000 teachers and community leaders.

     •Result: The total number of beneficiaries trained since the beginning of the project until April 2019 is 8,173 (6106 male, 2067 female).

  • Goal: Host Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) awareness sessions for adolescents and youth in 13 schools.

     •Result: By the end of April, PIN managed to target 13 schools with the MHM sessions implemented by 17 female teachers/facilitators, reaching around 1,150 young girls.

  • Goal: Organise daily group hand washing routine activity with soap to prevent illness, targeting 15,000 children.

     •Result: Soap distribution to children took place in all targeted schools, the community mobilisers, with support of the sanitary clubs in each school, showed the children how to wash their hands properly.

  • Goal: Establish hygiene campaigns and hygiene promotion events in 66 schools, two events per school targeting 20,000 people.

     •Result: PIN organised and conducted 66 events in all targeted schools celebrating World Water Day. The campaign targeted an estimated 15,000 children, and 2,000 community members in 66 schools in the Hawija district.

  • Goal: Create one sanitary club per school composed of children and one teacher.

     •Result: 76 sanitary clubs were established in 76 schools.


Author: People in Need