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UNICEF providing learning materials for 100,000 children affected by floods

© UNICEF Thailand/2011/Perawongmetha
Students at Rajuthit School in Nakhon Sawan Province open a “school in a box” kit containing materials for children to start their classes.

BANGKOK, 6 December 2011 – Nearly 100,000 students at more than 1,300 schools severely damaged in the recent floods will be helped to get back to learning soon due to the provision of “school in a box” kits from UNICEF, the organization said today.

The 2,500 “school in a box” kits being provided by UNICEF, which contain teaching and learning supplies  such as  notebooks, pencils, rulers, chalks, markers, maps and posters, will allow lessons to begin as schools are being repaired or refurbished.

The kits, each of which provides sufficient materials for one teacher and up to 40 students, are being distributed via Education Area Service Offices to small, flood-damaged schools in 39 central and north eastern provinces, including Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Roi-et. All of the schools receiving kits have less than 200 students each and are located in poor and remote communities.

 “The purpose of ‘school in a box’ is to ensure that children can continue to learn, even if schools are temporarily closed due an emergency or disaster such as the recent flooding here,” said Tomoo Hozumi, the UNICEF Representative for Thailand.  “Getting children back to a normal routine, and back to learning, will help speed up their recovery from this disaster.”

An unusually severe and prolonged monsoon season resulted in Thailand’s worst flooding in more than 50 years. As of 6 December, parts of 13 provinces are still inundated by floodwaters, and 4.6 million people, including 1.3 million children, remain affected.

The UNICEF “school in a box” kits have been used around the world to get children back to learning both during and in the aftermath of emergencies, including the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods in 2010.

UNICEF has budgeted 37 million baht (US$1.2 million) to provide emergency relief and recovery assistance to flood-affected children and families in Thailand.  In addition to the “school in a box” kits, the UNICEF response to date has included: 

  • provision of more than 350,000 water, sanitation and hygiene items. such as bars of soaps, chlorine drops for water purification, hand-wash gel and garbage bags;
  • printing and dissemination of  320,000 information pamphlets on how parents can protect the health and well-being of their children during floods and other emergencies to flood-affected families;
  • distribution of  20,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to protect children and their families from dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases;
  • development of three television spots on simple actions to protect personal health and hygiene during floods;
  • setting up “child friendly spaces” areas at evacuation centres where children can safely play and take part in educational and psychosocial activities;
  • training government and NGO staff working in evacuation centres on how to better protect against child separation, exploitation and abuse during emergencies. 

For further information, please contact:
Mark Thomas, mthomas@unicef.org, (66) 81 172 9902, (66) 2 356 9481
Nattha Keenapan, nkeenapan@unicef.org, (66) 86 616 7555

 

 
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