Education & Skills

Education & Skills


In Iraq, we aim to support improved access to quality education and psychosocial services for conflict and displacement-affected children. At the same time, PIN strengthens public education services, supports the role of parents in their children's learning process, and builds awareness on critical issues such as climate change, gender equality, and social inclusion.


We also provide schools with: 

  • new teaching materials
  • teaching supplies for teachers and students
  • air-conditioning and heating


In Syria PIN provides educational support in schools and temporary learning centers as well as psychosocial support to help conflict-affected children and their families.

We help to build their resilience, including in child-friendly spaces in camps for displaced people. This support helps children cope with the traumas of living through war and often displacement, and provides them safe space to not only learn but to simply play and express themselves that is important for their development.  


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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.
School rehabilitation and psychosocial support

School rehabilitation and psychosocial support

To address the most acute education needs, our projects always build on the latest cluster recommendations and sectorial guidelines, needs assessments and most importantly, direct consultations with affected communities. Hence, our activities have predominantly focused on school and sanitary facilities rehabilitation, classroom extensions, non-formal education activities and psychosocial support, school staff capacity-building and managerial support, teachers training, or establishment of parent-teacher associations, among others.

Our education projects strive to increase children’s school attendance by reconstructing or rehabilitating school buildings and their sanitary facilities, initiating back-to-school campaigns, and distributing school equipment, supplies, and teaching aids and materials. At the same time, we train teachers to improve their pedagogical skills and thereby increase the quality of teaching. We also organise special non-formal education activities including remedial classes for children who dropped out of school for prolonged periods, and help establish parent-teacher associations to encourage their involvement in school structures. Equally, we train teachers and education personnel to identify and treat children with post-traumatic disorders caused by the military conflict as such children require a special and sensitive approach to work towards healthy emotional and intellectual development. As a result, we successfully reached over 50,000 boys and girls in ensuring their access to quality learning and psychosocial assistance only in 2019. This year, we finalized the construction of two new schools and equipped them, as well as rehabilitated eight other schools with solar panels to ensure a more sustainable learning environment.
 
Provision of integrated services in support of vulnerable secondary displaced and returnees in Federal Iraq

Provision of integrated services in support of vulnerable secondary displaced and returnees in Federal Iraq

Thanks to funds from United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), in partnership with Intersos and local NGOs Sorouh for Sustainable Development Foundation (SSDF) and Public Aid Organization (PAO), PIN is providing educators in four districts across Nineveh and Salah Al Din with the tools and techniques they need to implement the most successful distance learning curriculum possible, despite the many challenges they face. PIN aims to train 360 teachers in 36 schools, helping 7920 students continue their classes.
 
Increasing equal education opportunities to children in Hawija

Increasing equal education opportunities to children in Hawija

Thanks to the UNICEF fund Education Cannot Wait, and in partnership with Save the Children (SC), the Norweigan Refugee Council (NRC), and Public Aid Organization (PAO), PIN is working in the areas of education, WASH, and child protection, aiming to impact 5000 children. Our focus is on providing distance learning materials to children affected by COVID-19-related school closures, including new approaches, protocols, non-formal education (PSS) at home, self-learning material distribution, and creative hygiene promotion messaging.
        
Improving Access to Education for Vulnerable Children Returning to Conflict-Affected Areas of Iraq

Improving Access to Education for Vulnerable Children Returning to Conflict-Affected Areas of Iraq

In partnership with local association Sorough for Sustainable Development Foundation (SSDF), PIN rehabilitated 14 schools, including WASH infrastructure and winterization preparation. We provided psycho-social, recreational, and learning activities to 6800 children as well as support educators with psycho-social support and Teaching in Crisis Context trainings.
Nineveh Return Programme

Nineveh Return Programme

In an effort to facilitate the safe return of children to Nineveh, a governorate previously controlled by the self-proclaimed “Islamic State”, PIN, in partnership with Malteser International, supported over 10,000 children with psycho-social support (PSS) activities, hygiene kids, and the construction or rehabilitation of school infrastructure. During the time of COVID-19, 450 children were additionally supported with PIN-created distance learning and PSS mechanisms. Over 240 educators were supported with supply kits and Teach in Crisis Context trainings, and 22 parent-teacher associations (PTA) were established.
With our wider programming working to emphasise sustainability and mitigating the effects of climate change, under this programme PIN and Malteser International installed 12 solar panel systems on top of schools in the target location. We provided basic technical and environmental awareness training to school staff.
 
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.