When we think of refugees, the first thing that we usually might think of is what is needed to survive - a roof over their heads, basic essentials like food and water, and basic healthcare.
But now, organisations are demonstrating thecrucial significance of education in restoring a sense of purpose, dignity and hope for the future of these refugees. More than just the need to survive, many are now looking into the importance of empowering these individuals.
Education not only imparts important practical skills, at the same time it also lifts spirits and points the way to a life of self-sufficiency.
Especially for refugee children of school age, these benefits are crucial in nurturing and cultivating a healthy development despite facing different sets of obstacles, especially at a young age. But for the 3.7 million refugee children who have no school to go to, they face an obstacle right at the start.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
On average, refugees remain displaced for a period of 10 years. Within that period, millions of children miss out on the opportunities they need to thrive physically and emotionally - they have their crucial years forcibly taken away from them.
For some refugee camps that do offer schooling, often they are poorly resourced, forcing children to delay having a proper education until they have left the camp and integrate into a new society. Students who lack structure in other aspects of their life might tend to feel unmotivated to do well in school - oftentimes, learning is the only time they find structure.
According to a UNESCO research, low levels of access to education and high levels of inequality in education lead to the increased risk of violence and conflict, thus creating a vicious cycle of lost educational opportunities, conflictand displacement. Analysed over 21 years, regions with very low average rates of education translated to a 50% change of experiencing conflict. On the other hand UNHCR estimates that due to forced displacement, refugee children miss out on three to fours years of schooling.
For the teacher that manages a classroom which includes refugee students, they will perhaps walk into the toughest classroom in the world. Among the class are children who have experienced the toughest start to life; children who have seen their homes destroyed, their relatives injured or killed, children with disabilities - either from birth or as a result of the violence they experienced. There may be a former child soldier in the classroom, a survivor of different kinds of abuse, a child who made the journey to safety while their brother or sister did not. For them, their education will have been interrupted for weeks, months or years.
Yet at the same time, this classroom can transform children. With the right access to education, they can learn how to read, write, learn mathematics, the foundation of lifelong learning, as well as practical life skills. Other than academic subjects, they can learn about basic healthcare and hygiene, about citizenship and human rights. They are given the knowledge and resources that will empower them for their future, for a better future. From their first lessons through to higher learning, education helps these refugees to stand on their own feet, giving them the right tools needed to prepare and transform their future - whether that is in a host country, or their own country upon their return.
Global Ehsan Relief wants to be a part of that transformation journey for these refugee children. We want to empower them, provide them with the access and resources needed for a quality education. We believe that education breeds confidence, and confidence breeds hope. Hope for a better future for our generation of children. Hope breeds peace.
Join us in our efforts through our Care for Education campaign, in providing opportunities that will empower these individuals to build a better future for themselves.