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Children of Peace

Providing education in a time of crisis

Photo: Peter Biro / IRC

When violent clashes broke out in Mali in 2012, thousands of people were forced to flee their homes. Up to 50,000 sought refuge in Niger, often with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Further violence in north-eastern Nigeria over the past year has forced even more refugees and returnees into Niger’s over-stretched education system, as well as internal displacement in the Diffa region. Through the EU’s Children of Peace initiative, the IRC is there supporting children to access a quality education, ensuring that they are protected from abuse and exploitation.

Supporting children with an education

The IRC and ECHO supports 16 classrooms in Tabareybarey refugee camp, under the EU Children of Peace initiative. Tabareybarey refugee camp is home to over 8500 Malian refugees and was established in 2012 to provide refuge to those fleeing violent conflict in Mali.

  • “I like learning to read and to write, to help people, both children and grandparents! My dream is to be a teacher.”

    Biba Al-Mahadi came to Mangaize camp from Mali in 2012. In Mangaize camp the IRC and ECHO are supporting 8 classrooms under the EU Children of Peace initiative.

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  • “I‘ve been here in this camp since 2012. I haven’t found anything that has pleased me more than seeing the children go to school. I went to school but was forced to leave early, so it’s important for me to enroll my children in school so they can continue their studies.”

    Kalley Moussa is the President of the Parent Teacher Association at Mangaize refugee camp in Niger.

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  • Mangaize refugee camp in Niger was established in 2012, and is home to over 7000 refugees. Over half of those that live in Mangaize refugee camp are children. Education provides these children with the vital support they need to overcome trauma.

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  • The IRC and ECHO supports 16 classrooms in Tabareybarey refugee camp, under the EU Children of Peace initiative. Tabareybarey refugee camp is home to over 8500 Malian refugees and was established in 2012 to provide refuge to those fleeing violent conflict in Mali.

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  • At Tabareybarey refugee camp, Zakou Assoumane trains teachers in special techniques to support children who have fled conflict and disaster. “War is traumatic for children and this can make it harder for them to learn. We train teachers to give them the skills they need to get through to traumatised children.”

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  • “It really helps for children to go to school so they can forget what they experienced in Mali. The IRC has done a lot. It has been really great. The children’s behaviour has changed a lot. Now they are so enthusiastic they come along to school by themselves, sometimes they don’t even wait for breakfast!”

    Abdoulaye Abdourhamane is a parent and member of the Parent Teacher Association in Tabareybarey refugee camp, Niger. He fled to the camp with his children in 2012 due to violence in his native Mali

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The IRC is supporting children in the three refugee camps in Tillabery region, in the two refugee zones of the Tahoua region, as well as in Diffa region, Niger to access quality education, with funding from ECHO under the EU Children of Peace initiative. The EU Children of Peace initiative aims to support humanitarian projects for children in conflict-affected regions, providing them with access to schools where they can learn in a safe environment.