© UNICEF CAR / 2015 / Le Du

Beaming smiles from Central African Republic

These children have finally returned to school with bright new books and heartfelt messages from UNICEF Australia supporters.

Last month, we asked Australians to do something special for children affected by violence in Central African Republic.

A terrible conflict had kept students out of school for far too long and they needed exercise books, pencils and other supplies to finally start learning again.Supporters across Australia responded with amazing generosity as well as messages of encouragement for students to stick on their new books.The crisis continues but, as you can see, the children at Galabandja Primary school were absolutely delighted to receive heartfelt messages from the land of ‘kangaroos’ — and they’re seriously proud of their bright blue books.

Young girl holding school book in Central African Republic
Charline’s life was turned upside down by violence but now she’s back at school and looking to the future. “It was bad, we used to have to flee home several times to go and live in displacement camps,” she said. “Now I want to grow up to be a midwife.” © UNICEF CAR / 2015 / Le Du

“No matter what happens in your life, no-one can ever take your education away from you.”
Volunteer nurse giving baby a neo-natal check up
“It’s good to come to school every day and get an education,” said 11-year-old Clison. “For too long we had to stay home because there were people with weapons all around…I want to become a teacher.” © UNICEF CAR / 2015 / Le Du
“A bright future lies ahead of you. I believe in you. Never give up!”
Young girl with school supplies in Central African Republic
Divan (left) is 6 years old and says he wants to be educated and become a carpenter. © UNICEF CAR / 2015 / Le Du
“Reading is wonderful. Always read. Promise?”
Young girl holding school book in Central African Republic
10-year-old Marie, delighted to be back at school with her friends. © UNICEF CAR / 2015 / Le Du
“You can do it because you are awesome. Don’t look back — only forward.”
School children holding school books in Central African Republic
Students at Galabandja Primary school. © UNICEF CAR / 2015 / Le Du

Let's keep these smiles coming

In Central African Republic and throughout the world, conflict is still denying millions of children the chance to go to school, to play with their classmates and to get the education they’ll need to thrive in life.

UNICEF is determined to fulfil these rights for every child — even in emergencies. We’re delivering educational supplies on massive scale, training teachers and setting up temporary learning spaces where schools are damaged or unsafe. You can help us reach more children in more places.