Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has rolled out a one-year emergency support program that will ensure a safe return to school for 4,800 children in Iraqi Mosul after the full liberation of the city which was under ISIS control since more than three years. The program titled: ‘Supporting a Return to Education in Mosul City’, is part of Dubai Cares’ Education in Emergencies strategy aimed to address the urgent educational needs of children affected by war and natural disasters.
The AED 1.836 million (USD 500,000) program, launched in partnership with “War Child UK”, will focus on providing quality education in safe and inclusive spaces to conflict-affected children in 12 schools in Western Mosul. Over a period of one year, the program will also work with key education stakeholders in the Ministry of Education in Iraq to contribute to strengthening the Education in Emergencies (EiE) response, thereby enabling these stakeholders to better deliver such responses in the future.
Speaking on the launch of this new program in Mosul, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “The plight of children in Mosul starkly illustrates the immediate and long-term fragility of societies riven by conflict and the urgency of addressing their needs, with education being of paramount importance. Not only is education a fundamental human right, it is absolutely essential to the rebuilding of Mosul’s social fabric and to its future. Without swift, focused, tailored, and tangible action, the risk of generations of children and young people missing out on the education that they desperately need intensifies. Within the framework of our Education in Emergencies strategy, Dubai Cares plans to make a pivotal contribution to lifting the people of Mosul out of the climate of fear and despair inflicted on them for so many years, and ensuring its children have the education that will ultimately equip them to be the future architects of its reconstruction.”
As part of this program, 12 schools will also be rehabilitated, thereby enabling 4,800 children to return to school. 60 teachers and 24 headmasters will be provided with intensive training along with on-going support and mentoring while 20 staff from the Department of Education will benefit from training on providing contextualized Education in Emergencies (EiE). 96 teachers-parents and other community stakeholders will benefit from training in Parent Teachers Association (PTA). It is also expected that some 7,200 community members will benefit from outreach activities throughout the lifespan of the program. This will bring the total number of beneficiaries of this program to 12,200.
Children account for almost 50 percent of those trapped in Mosul or forced to flee during military operations to drive out ISIS, with 129,620 school-age children already being displaced, a figure which humanitarian agencies anticipate will rise. The Iraq Humanitarian Response Plan 2017 estimates that nearly 3.7 million school-aged children require educational support, with more than 765,000 having missed more than a year of school, and that 69,575 children in Mosul are currently not receiving any education at all.
Speaking on the current situation in Mosul, Annina Mattsson, Director of Programs Department at Dubai Cares said: “This program is part of the international efforts to rebuild Iraq’s second largest city and to bring back a sense of normalcy to the lives of its inhabitants after over 3 years of living in war. The proportion of children among the affected population of Mosul, and the startling facts of education in the city – such as less than 25 percent of children in West Mosul currently attending school – emphasize the need for immediate action and support. It is not simply a case of enabling children to return to school, but ensuring that they can do so safely, in an environment that provides relevant, inclusive, and quality education. It is also imperative that education stakeholders in Mosul are equipped to sustain this approach so that the benefits of this program carry on into the future. This program addresses all of these requirements, and we hope that it will help to bring hope and knowledge to communities which have suffered so much for so long.”