Helen Samuels.
©Photo courtesy of Helen Samuels

Helen Samuels is a Burmese refugee from Thailand and is currently a student at Brooklyn International High School in New York. Helen and her family settled in the United States in 2008. As an active participant and a voice on youth issues, she contributes to and works with the Leaders in Training programme led by the International Rescue Committee, the Youth Advisory Women’s Refugee Commission and UNICEF's Voices of Youth.

Helen says, "I enjoy working with young people because I learn a lot from them. In addition, I am interested in education and emergencies because everyone knows about education and they also know about crisis issues, but very few people consider about education needed behind the emergencies; therefore, I want to help people understand the relevance of these two issues."

Podcast #80: On International Youth Day, young activists share their views on the role of education in building peace

By Rudina Vojovda

Youth activists share their views on the importance of education in laying the foundation for a peaceful society.

NEW YORK, United States of America, 12 August 2013 – International Youth Day is celebrated on 12 August every year to raise awareness about issues affecting young people and to celebrate their achievements.

To commemorate the day, UNICEF podcast moderator Alex Goldmark spoke with three young activists about their understanding of peace and how education can help them build peaceful and democratic communities.

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High school is not the same as you see in movies!

© Courtesy Helen Samuels

By Helen Samuels

NEW YORK, April 2011

The first day at Brooklyn International High School (BIHS), my first Unites States education experience, was different from what I would refer it today. I arrived to NY with my family from Thailand in June of 2008. With the limited English language I had learned in Thailand; I found life in New York wasn’t fun and easy at all. During summer of 2008, I was told from people who have been here ahead of my family that I have to continue my education in New York public high school, which later I learned would be attending BIHS in Brooklyn.

Before the fall semester of 2008 started, I had to be in summer school to prepare myself for the English language, the Unites States education system and getting used to a new environment. The Karen family, who lived in the same apartment where my family lived, guided us to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), New York resettlement office to find me a summer school. IRC helps refugees from many countries, diverse ages and life background for support to go through a process I would call “Building a new life”. Steps to build a new life starts from learning English, learning about the transportation system (subway), learning about going to the hospital, making an appointment, contact a bank, apply for social security card, state ID card, apply for public assistance and search for job/school.

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EFA Global Monitoring Report launch – Armed conflict and education

© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-1016/Nesbitt - Kinkole Primary school, Kinshasa, DRC

© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-1016/Nesbitt
Democratic Republic of Congo. Children at Kinkole Primary school near Kinshasa.

By Helen Samuels

NEW YORK, March 2011

Death and gunshots are not the only things we should be concerned about when we discuss the effects of conflict. When war happens we often think about death, damages and how to end the war, but do we forget about long-term damages and long-term solutions?

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