Going back to school in Yemen

In Yemen, the ongoing conflict and the devastating consequences of forced displacement, and damaged and occupied school buildings have disrupted the education of millions of children. GPE and UNICEF have joined forces to ensure that children can continue with their education by providing teachers with incentives and training.

January 07, 2019 by GPE Secretariat
1 minute read
Children outside. Credit: Julien Harneis
In Yemen, the ongoing conflict and the devastating consequences of forced displacement, and damaged and occupied school buildings have disrupted the education of 2.4 million children. Since the beginning of the conflict, child marriage and recruitment have increased, depriving millions of children of opportunities to learn.  
Credit: UNICEF
Increased population movements and the inability to find jobs have prevented parents to cover the basic needs of their children, including their education. Even when schools are open, and teachers available, parents are not able to send their children to school because they can’t afford buying basic learning materials.
Credit: Julien Harneis
In an effort to sensitize parents in marginalized and nomad communities of the importance of sending their children to school, UNICEF, with support from a GPE grant, launched a Back to School campaign last September – December in coordination with Communication for development (c4d) and Education program. The campaign targeted regions with low rates of school enrollment and retention. It also directly responded to the urgent needs of children affected by the conflict.
Credit: UNICEF
In several camps for internally displaced people (IDP), including the Al-Farsi in Aden, the Back to School campaign is raising awareness of the importance for children to have access to education through communication activities. These include puppet theaters, open drama and concerts, to name a few.  
Credit: UNICEF
Here, Communication for Development (C4D) community volunteers hold an open-theater in a community where internally displaced people have moved. Burykha district, Aden.
Credit: UNICEF
In Shabwa, C4D volunteers are engaging with community leaders through interpersonal sessions to discuss the importance of education.
Credit: UNICEF
Imams are also helping to spread the message, telling parents: “Attainment of knowledge is a must for every Muslim. Let your children go back to school.”
Credit: UNICEF
C4D community volunteers have staged a puppet theater in Abyan.
Credit: UNICEF
During these activities, messages target parents to ensure they understand the importance of sending their children to school and the steps they need to take to enroll their children. Children also hear the benefits of getting an education and are given tips to use on their way to school or at school to stay safe.
Credit: UNICEF
Thanks to GPE and UNICEF’s efforts, in areas with high concentrations of displaced persons, more than 1,400 teachers have received incentives and participated in training to support 63,000 displaced and host community children.
Credit: UNICEF
Layla,10 years old, is already a strong advocate for education: “I am currently a 4th grade student and I will continue going to school until I become a teacher.”
Credit: UNICEF
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Middle East and North Africa: Yemen

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