Rebuilding schools in Iraq gives children hope for a better future
Teacher Aziza Aziz Suleiman lives with her husband and two children in a village in Niniveh Governorate in northern Iraq. The past few years were not easy for them – the village has been affected by war, which complicated the lives of both parents and children and caused lasting trauma. People in Need is helping families like Aziza’s gradually get back to their normal lives.
After the so-called Islamic state took control over their village in 2014, Aziza and her family had to leave their home and move to Baghdad. The beginnings were tough; before they were used to living in their own house, but had to move into a rented place. Finances were tight after the family lost their regular income as a consequence of the war. Eventually, they came back to their home village only to find that their house had been completely plundered. ”When we got back, we didn´t have anything as everything had been stolen. In order to keep the house at least a bit warm, we hung our blankets on the wall to substitute for the door. I still remember how cold we were,“ says Aziza.
Apart from their permanent fear of the future and the need to build their lives from scratch, Aziza and her husband had to cope with another major problem: their two children, Zainab and Salih hadn’t been able to go to school since the conflict made them flee. Now, after several years, People in Need is helping them get back to the education system.
People in Need is helping children like Zainab return to normal life as smoothly as possible; the NGO also strives to establish suitable conditions to ensure the children have a better future. To do so, PIN provides trainings for both new and experienced teachers, and creates various activities for children to keep active and cope with the effects of the trauma from war. ”The school started a bit later this year and subjects like PE, art and music were eliminated in order to catch up with everything the children had missed. All children are now happy to have subjects and amusing activities which are relaxing for them,“ describes Aziza.
People in Need supported Zainab´s school as well as 27 other schools in the districts of Mosul, Hamdanya and Telkaif. Thanks to the project supported by UNESCO, and funded by the European Union, we are able to help improve education in Iraq – for instance, 633 teachers have been trained to teach 15,994 children who were affected by the war. ”We really appreciate People in Need´s help at our school which involves trainings, workshops and informal educational activities for children. Our children are also happy to have been provided with their school bags and pencil-cases,“ adds Aziza with a smile.