“The children were scared and insecure when we first came to Jordan,” Reem said. “When they saw cars [like the one that took their father], they would start screaming.”
But in the months since they arrived in northern Jordan, living in the Bashabshe transit facility, Reem has noticed things starting to improve. The children have been attending psychosocial activities and remedial education classes run by UNICEF partner Noor al-Hussein Foundation (NHF). The activities include group counselling, educational games, crafts and drawing.
VIDEO: UNICEF correspondent Anja Baron reports on mounting displacement pressure amid new insecurity in north-western Pakistan.
By David Youngmeyer
JALOZAI, Pakistan, 20 June 2012 – More than 200,000 people – over half of them children – have been registered as displaced from Khyber Agency, in volatile north-western Pakistan, since January. They are joining families displaced by earlier insecurity, creating a total displaced population of close to 720,000 people in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, 15 June 2012 – Rafil Afridi rubs his eyes in a dusty village on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The sound of rocks being crushed at the neighbouring gravel factory makes it difficult to concentrate.
Mr. Afridi has shouldered many worries since he, his wife Shaheena, and their six children, between ages 2 and 18, fled the renewed insecurity in Khyber Agency in February.
NEW YORK, USA, 16 June 2012 –The Day of the African Child commemorates the day in 1976 when hundreds of black schoolchildren were killed in Soweto, South Africa, as they took to the streets to protest against an inferior education system and the right to be taught in their own language.
BIRATNAGAR, Nepal, 13 June 2012 – Last month about 250 children in their school uniforms marched noisily around the central market in Biratnagar, in eastern Nepal, behind a banner proclaiming ‘Allow us to study’.
They shouted slogans, rang bells, blew whistles and clanged together steel utensils, and carried signs reading ‘Let schools remain as Zones of Peace’, ‘We are not just the future, we are today’, and ‘Search for alternatives to closures’.
The children, part of the Network of Working Children’s Clubs of Morang District and Biratnagar Municipality, were protesting efforts to close schools during ‘bandas’ –political strikes that have shut down roads and businesses around the country as groups try to influence the development of a new national Constitution.
“The political parties and groups who have called for these bandas have been toying with our future by not allowing us to attend school,” said 12-year-old Niraj Malla, Assistant Secretary of the Working Children’s Clubs Municipal Coordination Committee. “And our parents have also not been able to work and earn a living due to these closures.”
MAFRAQ/AMMAN, Jordan, 13 June 2012 – On their way to school in Homs last year, 9-year-old twins Seema* and Nour* saw dead bodies in the street.
“They came home very upset,” said their father, Amjad*. “Now they are afraid of loud noises.”
The two girls stopped going to school after that.
“It was impossible to stay in Homs, everything was getting worse and worse,” said their mother, Aya*. “We used to move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood to stay safe, but now it’s all destroyed and everywhere is insecure.”