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By UNICEF Australia
10 October 2016


A girl is writing on a chalkboard. She is wearing a UNICEF backpack.© 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 favourite subjects and she hopes to one day teach them to the next generation, back home in a more peaceful Nigeria.


A young woman smiles to the camera. She is holding a baby.© 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."


A group of boys and girls in school uniforms are running towards the camera and smiling© 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 give students the psychosocial support they needed to cope, recover and move forward with confidence.


A young man is along in a classroom. There's debris as if it has been bombarded.© 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.


A group of children raise their hands in a classroom.© 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!”


The image shows the legs of a girl. She is wearing a fluffy skirt, and looks like her foot has some condition.© 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

Two girls are holding hands. On the background, a completely destroyed building.© 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. 


A girl is seating on a school bench and is writing something. She looks like she is paying attention to the teacher.© 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.


A group of girls are reading a book each. One of them is looking at the camera.© 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. 


A girls is standing next to a wall that has a large hole.© 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.


An image of a classroom with children. The image focuses on a girl that is looking at the teacher and writing on her notebook.© 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

Two children seating on a burnt down classroom.© 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. 


A group of children explore their brand new backpacks© 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 two 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. But every year, poverty and crisis deny millions of children that right. With regular and reliable support, UNICEF can reach children in poverty with education, bring school to children in conflict zones and be on the ground to help children start learning again after a natural disaster hits. Your monthly gift makes it all possible.

Support UNICEF today to help fulfill every child’s right to go to school, play with their friends and get the education they’ll need to thrive in life – just as we all once did.

UNICEF helps keep children in school by:

  • Providing teachers with the training and supplies they need to help children reach their potential; 
  • Supplying safe water and hygiene facilities to schools to keep children attending; 
  • Working with governments to stop schools being taken over by armed groups during conflict; 
  • Delivering temporary learning shelters so children can keep learning when disaster strikes. 

You can help. By signing up with a monthly gift, you’ll join our Global Parents to continue protecting children from exploitation, hunger, disease and inequality wherever the need is greatest.

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