© UNICEF/UN012289/Sokhin

These photos prove how much education can change a girl's life

This Day of the Girl Child, take a look at the impact school has on girl's lives.

Every single girl in the world belongs in one place: the classroom. These photos 14 photos show just how hard it is for some girls to go to school - and what it means when they can. Take a look.


© UNICEF/UN015799/Prinsloo

When 11 year-old Talatu’s aunt and uncle were killed by Boko Haram, she became one of a million children forced out of school by violence in the Lake Chad region. But after fleeing with her mother to a refugee camp in Cameroon, Talatu has started learning again at a UNICEF supported school. English and mathematics are her favourites and she hopes to one day teach them to the next generation, back home in a more peaceful Nigeria.


© UNICEF/UN016303/Gilbertson VII Photo

Every evening, 14 year-old Jhuma does her homework beneath a streetlight because her family's home in Bangladesh doesn't have electricity. UNICEF's cash transfer programme helped her stop working, return to school and become one of the top students in her class. Now, she dreams of becoming a doctor, saying: "I want to provide care for everybody."


© UNICEF/UN019749/Bahaji


"Some people make fun of me when I tell them I want to continue going to school but for me, there's no right age."

Yande, 17, enrolled in school for the first time after fleeing from Boko Haram's violence in Nigeria to a refugee camp in Chad. "With my baby, I was hesitant to come to school but the principal said that I could come to class with him. I think that school can help women to become self-sufficient. If I had the opportunity to go to school, I wouldn’t have married so young."

"Today, school is what helps me forget all my worries."


© UNICEF/UN012289/Sokhin


When students in Fiji lost their classrooms to Cyclone Winston, UNICEF supporters stepped up in a big way. They helped us quickly deliver tented schools, fill new backpacks with learning supplies and you give students the psychosocial support they needed to cope, recover and move forward with confidence.


© UNICEF/UNI183977/Mahmoud


For many girls, classrooms are a place of safety, stability and opportunity. But when this school in Yemen was heavily damaged during an airstrike, 1,500 girls were suddenly robbed of their access to education. With their school indefinitely closed, they joined 3.4 million children forced out of school by Yemen’s conflict.


© UNICEF/UNI199903/Anmar
Digana (second from the left) missed months of class because of violence in Iraq but UNICEF helped to reopen her school. The six year-old was just happy to be back and looking to the future again: “One day I hope to become the director of this school!”

girl smiles and writes on chalkboard girl smiles and writes on chalkboard
girl smiles and writes on chalkboard

$5 can provide the tools a girl needs to return to learning

Conflict, natural disaster and poverty force girls around the world out of school. $5 is enough to reach a girl with a school bag, ten pencils and two exercise books to help her prepare for school.




© UNICEF/UN029546/Paul


School should be a place for children with disabilities to break barriers. 5 year-old Ayesha learns through song and dance at a UNICEF-supported preschool in Bangladesh. It's the start to life she needs to unlock her potential, creativity and build a positive future.

State of Palestine

© UNICEF/UNI172070/El Baba


These girls’ school and their chance to learn have fallen victim to violence in Gaza. Education is crucial for every child to thrive in life, especially after years of ongoing conflict. That’s why UNICEF is committed to fulfilling this basic right for all children – even in emergencies. 



© UNICEF/UN013297/LeMoyne


A school is not just a place for learning. It’s also a place where children can find stability and safety even during stressful times of crisis. Colombia’s fifty year conflict, which has now thankfully come to a close, left Indigenous children like Solanyi particularly vulnerable. Staying in school helped her avoid violence and choose a future of her own making.


© UNICEF/UNI199930/Zaidi


It only took minutes for an earthquake to damage Lueza’s classroom in Pakistan so badly she could not return. But even without a room to study in, Lueza and her classmates were soon able to learn again. 


© UNICEF/UNI185323/Karki


In 2015, earthquakes tore through Laxmi’s classroom in Nepal and 32,000 other classes like it. The earthquakes may have torn through Laxmi’s future, too, if her local community hadn’t banded together to rebuild her school. A few hours of digging holes, sawing bamboo and transporting furniture helped build the makeshift classroom that got Laxmi and her classmates back to school as soon as possible.


A girl looks up from her notepad A girl looks up from her notepad
A girl looks up from her notepad

Help a girl reach her potential

By donating just $5 you can provide a child with a school bag, ten pencils and two exercise books to prepare for learning.



© UNICEF/UNI121144/Dormino


Something as small as a pencil and a book can mean the world to the children after disaster. UNICEF rebuilt this school after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake to help girls return to learning as quickly as possible and regain a sense of normalcy. 

South Sudan

© UNICEF/UN018992/George


These are the charred remains of 12 year-old Chubat’s school in South Sudan. Her country is home to the highest proportion of children out of school in the world but UNICEF is helping to change that. UNICEF rebuilt Chubat’s school, trained teachers and provided supplies so that almost 250,000 other children like her could go to school too. 


© UNICEF/UNI198153/Sanadiki


Remember the joy of new school supplies? For this girl in Syria, her first day of the school term and UNICEF school bag mark a fresh chance at education in a country where more than 2 million children are out of school. Packed with notebooks, a pencil case, pens, crayons and other stationary, UNICEF will distribute one million of these bags to children like her eager to learn again.



Let’s give every child the chance to learn

All children have the right to learn. Conflict and violence, poverty, humanitarian disasters and gender discrimination are all barriers to a girl receiving an education. Despite significant progress in the last decade, over 60 million girls across the globe still do not have access to education.