By Julia Tofan
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Image from the United Nations
Conflicts all around the world have displaced 43 million people, more than half of whom are children. Many child refugees witness violence, are separated from their families, and suffer from poverty. Furthermore, when children are displaced it becomes more difficult to get an education due to poverty, language barriers, legal obstacles, and lack of school resources and infrastructure in refugee camps.
On September 21, 2015, International Peace Day, a [url=http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/]UN initiative[/url], is observed to "strengthen the ideals of peace". This year's theme is "International Peace, Dignity for All." On Peace Day, we can recognize those who advocate for peace and take action ourselves, whether that means learning about conflicts, raising awareness, standing up for peaceful policies, or volunteering to help refugees. For more ideas on how to get involved, take the [url=http://www.peacedaychallenge.org/peace-day-challenge-ideas-for-action/#individual]Peace Day Challenge[/url]!
1. 23% of primary school aged refugees and 64% of secondary school aged refugees are not enrolled in school.
2. 54% of refugee camps have a student to teacher ratio greater than 40 to 1, and some camps have ratios up to 70 to 1.
3. Refugee education is often of poor quality. "Among Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, less then 6% of refugee children had reached benchmark reading fluency by grade 4."
4. Refugee education often lacks recognition. As of 2010, 17 different refugee host countries fail to recognize education certificates from refugees' countries of origin.
5. Girls who are refugees are at heightened risk of violence. They fear rape, physical abuse, and
6. The inclusion of refugee students with disabilities is extremely low in some countries, reaching only 3% in Burundi.
7. Many refugee camps lack schools. For example, the Dollo Ado region of Ethiopia, which has 121,000 refugee children, has no school.
8. Low income countries spend on average 5% less on education in times of conflict.
9. A study of Afghan refugees shows that "refugees who had access to higher education moved back earlier in the repatriation process, with 70% taking up work as civil servants or as NGO managers." When refugee children are educated, they can help rebuild their countries.
10. International law demands that primary school students who are refugees have the same access to education as native students, but this is not the reality.
The United Nations has many suggestions for improving the situation for refugee education. They recommend including refugees in local school systems when possible, investing in teacher training, and increasing financial and human resources to start with. Educating refugee children is not only vital because education is a human right, but also because education can cultivate conflict resolution and community rebuilding in areas of violence.
Givology sponsored student, Abdirahman Yusuf, is a refugee himself. When he was just one year old, his parents fled Somaliland, which was experiencing a Civil War, and settled into a refugee camp in Ethiopia, leaving behind almost everything they had. His parents never had the opportunity to go to school, but they support him in getting an education. Educating refugees leads to conflict resolution and community rebuilding. [url=https://www.givology.org/~ayusuf/]Click here[/url] to support Abdirahman Yusuf.
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