Schools for Syrian and Iraqi children
Civil war in Syria has been escalated since March 2011, which initially started as anti-government protests.
Moreover, IS had invaded Iraq since January 2014
According to the UN, the number of Syrian refugee and IDPs reached more than 11 million. The number of people who escaped to the Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq has reached to 238,000. Also, since June 2016, there are 320 million of IDPs in Iraq to escape from IS.
IVY has been implementing an education assistance for children of Syrian refugee in Kurdish region in Northern Iraq since September 2013 as a member of Japan Platform. We have been implementing an education assistance for children of Iraq as well since March 2014.
*”Refugee” means the people who escaped beyond the boarder. IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) means people who escape to the other area domestically. We distinguish the terms by whether they escape beyond the border or not.
Why IVY started supporting education?
IVY has been implementing various projects in the Kurdistan region in Iraq as a member of Japan Platform since September 2013.
By doing projects, we noticed that Syrian and Iraqi children cannot go to schools, and no one was helping them.
In the Erbil Governorate of Northern Iraq, 410,000 Syrian refugees and Iraqi IDPs are living as they fled from wars. 100,000 are aged bewtween 5 to 17, who are supposed to be in schools.
However, more than half of Syrian refugees can not attend schools due to distance from schools, severe living situations, and so on. These children face the risks of child labor, child marriage, and other difficulties, and therefore they are losing hope for future.
Hence, IVY, with the slogan of “schools to children of refugees and IDPs”
1) opened new schools exclusively for refugees or IDPs
2) rehabilitated the local schools , and got permission to use these schools for refugees and IDPs
These assistance provided more than 4,400 children with schools for last 3 years.
Outline of Ongoing Project
Project name: ”Education support for Syrian refugees in the Republic of Iraq, PhaseⅤ”
Duration period： 4/1/2017～2 /28/2018
Project objective：To provide primary education for Syrian refugees by the operation of non-formal school and establishment of formal school in the Erbil Governorate of the Republic of Iraq
1) Establishing a non-formal school for Syrian children, who cannot attend schools as the locations of formal schools are far away, in a place they can commute on foot. (From June to August)
(Photo：Math class in the IVY’s informal school. Kids teaching each other in a group. July 13, 2017)
2) Construction of a prefabricated building to establish a formal school for children of Syrian refugees. The building includes 9 classrooms, 2 rooms for teachers, toilets, sinks, water tanks, storage, etc. (April to August)
3) Suppoet for the establishment of the formal school and monitoring whether there is problem of management. Also, providing special lessons for students to teach them how to keep the new building clean. (September to February)
Previous & Current situation
◆ Previous situation of Syrian refugee
7 years have passed since internal conflicts of Syria started in 2011, and refugees have been getting used to living in places of displacement.
However, for many refugees who live in outside of camps have serious anxiety for children’s future due to a long-term and unpredictable displaced life in the Kurdish region of Iraq. It is common that classes are taught in Kurdish language in local schools, so Syrian refugees can hardly have chance to learn in Arabic that they hope, and there is no school teaching in Arabic in the areas where many refugees live with cheap rent.
As a result, it was estimated that there were about 10,000 school-aged children of Syrian refugees outside of camps in Erbil as of May 2016, but only about 5,900 children (59%) of them could go to school while the rest, 4,100 of them (41%), could not.
◆ Current situation
To fill this gap, the “Rondek School” was established in the building constructed by IVY in October, 2017 at the time the new semester started by IVY in cooperation with the Ministry of Eructation of the Kurdistan region and other organizations.
In the area where used to be no school for Syrian refugees, children can now have access to education.
【Public Primary School Constructed by IVY】
・Location of construction：the Erbil Governorate, Kurdistan region of Iraq
・Site space：Approximately 1575㎡
・Floor space：Approximately 480㎡
・Facility：9 class rooms, 2 teachers’ rooms, 3 storage rooms, gate,
8 toilets for boys/girls, sinks, water tanks, water coolers
・Total construction cost : $131,924
・Ministry of Education of the Kurdistan Regional Government takes responsibility
for administration and management
(Until the end of February 2018 does IVY monitor the school)
（Photo：New public primary school opened on October 1, 2017）
（Photo：Pupils with smile in the new class room）