Civil Society & Inclusive Governance

© Photo:
Entire text Less text

Ongoing ActivitiesORPast Activities

Education and Psychosocial Support

Education and Psychosocial Support

Since 2011, 8 million children have been affected by the war in Syria. Death, injury and displacement have caused significant disruption, both to the families who have fled and the host communities who have taken them in. The prolonged and violent nature of the conflict means that many children have experienced some degree of trauma.

2.4 million children in Syria -over one third of Syria’s child population- are currently not in school. The challenges are enormous: a staggering 40% of school infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed by now. The UN is able to confirm nearly 700 attacks on education facilities and personnel in Syria since the verification of grave violations against children began. In 2020 alone, 52 attacks were confirmed.

People in Need has been providing educational support in Syria since 2013. Working in partnership with schools, we provide a holistic support package that includes funds to rehabilitate damaged buildings, specialized training for educational staff, teacher kits, fuel for heating, water, and monthly staff incentives. We also provide schoolbags and stationary for students, and furniture such as desks, tables and whiteboards. We currently reach 27,372 pupils between the ages of 5 and 17 to access safe quality learning opportunities.

PIN also provides basic psychosocial support (PSS) for children by organising various creative workshops and games led by trained staff. The time spent with children as part of these extracurricular activities helps them cope with the traumatic events that have occurred their lives. For children living in temporary camps without any way to access formal education, PIN opened temporary learning centres. We also run remedial classes and compensatory courses to help children catch up on years of lost education, and we hold open days with the aim of attracting more children into schools.

In addition, parents of children not attending school have the opportunity to earn an income through PIN’s “Cash for Work” programme. This improves household budgets so that parents can afford to send their children to school and, most importantly, ensure children are not compelled to work.

PIN supports child-friendly spaces, that function as a safe, fun and inclusive space for children to learn, play, socialise, and develop. These centres are established in internally displaced camps, and provide basic psychosocial support to improve the well-being of children by organising various PSS activities as well as structured recreational activities focusing on creativity, mobility and theatre led by educated and trained staff. These activities are prepared by assistants in close collaboration with the facilitators themselves, which teach children how to develop trust, build self-confidence, deal with emotions and situations, develop interpersonal skills, create awareness on topics present in their households/families and daily lives. Furthermore, the child-friendly spaces function as a platform with easy access for sectors and activities (WASH, health, nutrition) and for trained staff to identify children with protection concerns to be referred for specialized assistance if needed.
After COVID-19 global pandemic was declared in March 2020, PIN timely worked with teachers and facilitators in northern Syria to develop a distant learning methodology that ensured continued education while the schools and learning centres were closed.
Read a story od 12 years old Aya.
Training and Support of Civil Society

Training and Support of Civil Society

People in Need teaches non-governmental organisations and local governments in southern and northern provinces of Iraq to improve their service to public affairs and also primarily to the people they represent. Thanks to small grants and having undergone training in project planning, dozens of local initiatives every year are able to try how to provide targeted, effective and concrete help to the inhabitants of their region. The organisations then for instance improve urban infrastructure, help repair schools, raise the quality of tuition or they target marginalised groups such as widows or the handicapped, the numbers of whom after the war are higher than the state or the family environment is capable of supporting sufficiently. We also attempt as far as possible    to draw local administrative authorities into participation, so that through the programmes they may learn of the main problems that they themselves should actively be addressing.

In the spring of 2012, in cooperation with Iraqi filmmakers and activists, the first year of the human rights films festival Baghdad Eye was held, aimed at activating civil society and raising awareness in the government, journalists, students and school teachers of fundamental human rights. The festival was supported by the Czech human rights documentary film festival, One World, and so it borrowed the format of after-screening panel discussions and debates, intended to motivate the Iraqi people to formulate and present their own opinions and towards concrete activities contributing towards change. The main festival was held in Baghdad, with regional “echoes” in locations such as Basra and Fallujah.   

People in Need in Iraq also implements its domestic programme One World at Schools, where films and participative approaches are used during lesson time. PIN has trained teachers and young volunteers who give lessons using tuition film sets, helping young people form opinions and organise leisure time voluntary student groups. They then try  to change any problematic areas or the environment of schools with the help of local organisations supported by People in Need’s small grants.