Dec 10, 2018

A year of progress


Dear Friend,

In September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated several islands in the eastern Caribbean. Damage was widespread. Homes and livelihoods were lost.

With your support, UNICEF immediately responded to address the needs of the thousands of children affected.

Your investment allowed UNICEF and partners to:  

  • Provide 16,000 children with psychosocial support to cope with trauma
  • Train 1,600 facilitators in UNICEF’s Return to Happiness intervention, giving kids a safe place to play and regain normalcy
  • Enable more than 24,000 children to return to school
  • Restore safe water access for 67,000 people

As the response continues, UNICEF is helping to build resilience and strengthen preparedness for future disasters.

On behalf of the children of the eastern Caribbean, thank you again for your generous support.

Dec 5, 2018

The Story of Mohammad and Sami

Mohammad and Sami
Mohammad and Sami

Dear Friend, 

Each day, your supports impacts children in Syria with access to education, even in the hardest to reach places. Here is a short story to showcase what your support is doing for the next generation in Syria:

For brothers Mohammad, 10, and Sami, eight, life was normal. Like many children, they went to school, played with friends, and loathed their daily chores.

That was almost four years ago, until their home near Raqqa fell to conflict and the sway of belligerents, causing many people to endure immense suffering. To make matters worse for Mohammad and Sami, fighting and attacks near their home escalated, forcing them to abandon not only their home, but their education as well.

“We left everything behind, except for the clothes on our backs,” says Mohammad, recalling the tiring journey. “We left our home in the middle of the night and walked to another farm where we stayed without food or water for one full day,” he continues.

Mohammad and his family then drove to nearby Qamishly.

“The worst part was the fear,” says Mohammad. “The fear of being trapped in the middle of the fighting and being killed,” he adds.

Like so many of the children of Raqqa, the two brothers have been exposed to untold suffering since the conflict began. Insecurity and access restrictions have severely limited the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The last UN-aid convoy to reach Raqqa was years ago.

Restrictions have also been imposed on services, including health and education. This has left children and their families deprived of basic services, forcing them to pay soaring prices for commodities.

“We used to run to the house’s corners whenever we heard fighting,” says Sami. “We learned to stay away from windows; one day a shell hit our neighbor’s home, and one of our windows shattered into pieces over my head while I was playing,” recounting his experience with war.

When the brothers arrived in Qamishly, they had not seen a classroom in about four years. They enrolled in the Self-Learning Programme, a joint initiative by Educate A Child (EAC), a global programme of Education Above All and UNICEF USA. Its unique curriculum is designed for out of school children (OOSC), enabling them to study at home, in places of worship or at community learning centers with the help of an adult.

Together, EAC and UNICEF support community learning centers, provide necessary learning materials districts and aim to reach 95,000 OOSC with this innovative alternative learning programme.

Mohammad and Sami are excited to be back in school. Mohammad hopes to be a businessman someday, while Sami wants to become a carpenter. 

Thank you for all that you do to put children first. 

Happy Holidays!

Dec 4, 2018

Update: Children in Syria

UNICEF/Syria 2017/Delil Soulieman
UNICEF/Syria 2017/Delil Soulieman

Dear Friend,

After more than seven years of war, the humanitarian situation in Syria has become increasingly dire. The conflict in Syria has become the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, with at least 13 million people in need of assistance within the country, including more than five million children. So far in 2018, major developments have taken place all across the country, driving population movements and causing rapid changes in territorial control. The fluid situation makes it extremely difficult for humanitarian actors to reach children who need assistance. Ongoing violence and danger persist, with a deep and lasting effect on the children of Syria.

The humanitarian context has put additional stress on the education system, which was already overstretched and under-resourced before the conflict in Syria began. Approximately two million children (approximately one-third of the children in Syria) are out of school currently, with more than a million others at risk of dropping out. The formal education system has lost over one-third of its education personnel, and across Syria one out of three schools is no longer operational because it has been destroyed, damaged or is occupied by displaced families or military groups.

UNICEF is working to ensure that all children affected by this crisis are not deprived of their right to an education. In an effort to bring educational opportunities to out-of-school children in Syria, UNICEF has partnered with Educate A Child, a global program of the Education Above All Foundation (EAC) to implement the Self-Learning Program in Syria. Over three years, the program aims to reach 95,000 Syrian children who have limited or no access to schooling with a curriculum and environment that is conducive to learning, so that children who have missed out on regular schooling can continue their education and ultimately return to a formal school setting.

Thank you for your continued investment in children. We will continue to share updates on the program in our reports. 

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