Iraq. With AICS, Out of School Children are back to learning
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24-11-2021 | di COOPI

Iraq. With AICS, Out of School Children are back to learning

In the framework of the project “Back to a safe school - Promoting access to inclusive, safe and quality formal education in Iraq, Al-Shirqat district, Salah ad Din” - AID 12047, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), COOPI provided educational and recreational activities to more than 300 out of school children in remote areas of Shirqat District in Iraq.

I was deprived of school at the age of six because I did not have the civil documents that would allow me to enrol in schools. I had the opportunity to register in COOPI activities and through it I started to learn, and my life started to change for the better. I feel good when I go to school and I meet the teachers, I play, I learn and spend good time. I started to learn the alphabet and numbers! I was able to learn to read and write. Thanks, COOPI and teachers!

This is the story of Qudamah, 7 years old, living in Hegal Mashaad Village. As Qudamah, many other children are having the opportunity to come out from the darkness and hope for a brighter future, thanks to this project.  

Part of the strategy of the project is to offer education opportunities to children who are out of school, that is an eligible child who is in a condition of school dropout. The reasons of their lack of access to education services are different and sometimes related one to another: lack of civil documentation, poverty, perceived affiliation with ISIS, fear and discrimination, which are all legacies of the conflict.

In order to create and implement these opportunities, COOPI is including children in the project’s educational activities, specifically in the alternative learning and recreational activities and, in addition to this, it delivers 2 kits (one family hygiene kit and one education kit) to beneficiaries children as kind support, seeing as they come from vulnerable families.

The activities are running by the lecturers, the volunteer teachers who are working in the targeted schools and have been previously trained in collaboration with the local partner Sorouh for Sustainable Development Foundation (SSDF).

They envisage multiple goals:

  • Support their reintegration in the school environment giving them the opportunity to fill their education gaps;
  • Break the isolation of the children, supporting them also through non-structured psychosocial support;
  • Support and reinforce social cohesion among the affected communities and to stabilize the relations between returnees and host communities in a medium-long term vision.

As Elisa Paci, Project Manager, reports: “COOPI is collaborating with other NGOs and the United Nations on the ground in order to refer the children like Qadmah to their specialized services and supporting his family to get the documents to be able to go back to school officially.

Since 2017, in collaboration with AICS, COOPI is operating in Iraqi, to improve education services, guarantee the continuity of education in times of crisis and promoting children, families and school staff’s psychosocial wellbeing.