TURKEY: Unicef Refugee School Project

Umut Egitim Merkezi in Turkish, Markaz Al Amal Al Ta3lim in Arabic, which translates freely into “School of Hope” opened on 10th June 2014 in Kilis, a small town 15km from the Syrian border. 1266 Syrian children attend it in two shifts, from 8 to 12am and 12.30am to 16.30pm. There is a kindergarden and primary school, but many children are already older because they missed out on several years of school because of the war. The school recruited Syrians and Turks who were willing to teach. Many of the Syrians never taught before and actually have various professions but they are eager to offer their abilities in order to help these children. Natural sciences teacher Wajima Hamach teaches since September 2014 at this school and is actually an electrical engineer. In total 34 Syrian and five Turkish teachers work here. The responsibility for teachers like Wajima Hamach is enormous because she always has to take in consideration what her students might have experienced during the war and the flight. Still there are not enough schools for refugees in Turkey and less than half of the children receive any education. This is a major reason for Syrians to try to flee to Europe. They want a future for their kids.

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