UNICEF AND SAVE THE CHILDREN ORGANIZE TEXTBOOK DRIVE FOR DISPLACED STUDENTS
Tbilisi - September 12 - Starting Monday and lasting one week the Ministry of Education, UNICEF, Save the Children and ProCredit Bank Georgia are organizing a book drive for new and used textbooks. We encourage parents and children to either buy and donate textbooks or donate used textbooks that are still in a good condition. They are urgently needed for students who have been displaced by the war.
All books can be dropped off at branches of ProCredit Bank throughout the country.
These textbooks will be distributed to students at public schools in Tbilisi and Gori to coincide with the beginning of the new school year.
"When people abruptly flee from their homes they lose many things, including sources of income, which allows parents to buy vital things like textbooks," said Benjamin Perks, UNICEF's Deputy Representative in Georgia. "So to make sure all children have access to education we're organizing this textbook drive."
According to the Ministry of Education, about 30,000 children aged between six and 17 remain displaced by the conflict in and around South Ossetia, Georgia, that began in August. Because it's unclear when they will be able to go home and resume school in their hometowns, the Ministry of Education is working to ensure that all these children have access to education this school year.
Presently about 165 public schools in Tbilisi and six in Gori are being used as shelters for displaced people. The Ministry of Education estimate that 70 percent of these will not begin the school year before at least October. Arrangements for transferring displaced people to shelters in kindergartens are underway.
UNICEF and its partners, including Save the Children, are also collaborating with Georgia's Ministry of Education on a broad range of Back To School initiatives to support the children of IDPS, including providing materials to clean schools, reading and writing materials for schools, teacher training to support traumatized children and by contributing recreational tools for sports and play.