UNICEF delivers education kits to children affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh deprived thousands of children of their right to education. Since October, UNICEF has distributed 3,000 school bags to help children from Nagorno-Karabakh go back to school.

11-year old boy reading the cover of COVID-19 brochure
David, 11, from Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh, is now ready for classes with his friends.
24 November 2020

With over 73 schools and 14 kindergartens damaged, the military escalation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh has left David and Elena and their 38,815 peers longing for school, a sense of stability and safety. To better respond to the needs of children spontaneously arriving in Armenia, UN sister agencies carried out a formal needs-assessment in the beginning of October, based on which UNICEF put together a package of school supplies that would ensure that school students have everything necessary to re-embark on education.

The kit includes a backpack, pens, various notebooks and stationery items. Students in primary classes will also receive coloring books and colored pencils. Lastly, all bags include personal protection items for prevention against the coronavirus - sanitizing gels, tissues, and a box of masks.

In October, UNICEF provided individual education kits to 1,600 children temporarily residing in shelters or private households in Dilijan, Martuni, Jermuk, Yeghegnadzor, Ranchpar, Ejmiadzin, Hrazdan, and Gavar. On 19-20 November, UNICEF provided another 1,400 individual education kits to children in Goris, Sisian and Kapan. UNICEF also provided 100 tablets to schools in these three cities to support children who are distance-learning due to COVID-19 prevention measures in the country.

A 12-year old boy posing on a bench
UNICEF Armenia/2020/Galstyan

“I love reading and I enjoy doing homework and going to school. We left our house so quickly that I only managed to grab one fairy tale book with me that I now read to my brothers and sisters every night before going to bed. I enjoy my classes in the camp, but we have fewer courses here. I do miss my school back home,” said Elena, 11, from Martakert, Nagorno-Karabakh who plans to become a doctor one day.

UNICEF Representative talking and playing with children in a shelter
UNICEF Armenia/2020/Galstyan
UNICEF Representative Marianne Clark-Hattingh and children from Nagorno-Karabakh in Dilijan.

“Continued access to education in emergency situations gives children and their parents psychosocial support and ensures a child’s continued right to education and play. The routine, and safe learning environment provides stability and sense of security essential in overcoming stress and trauma experienced during times of conflict or natural disasters and helps build resilience,” said Mrs Marianne Clark-Hattingh, UNICEF Representative in Armenia.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has left a devastating impact on children’s wellbeing and ability to learn. Without help, many will be robbed of their futures, too. UNICEF stands ready to further support. In the first half of December, we will provide 2,000 individual education kits to children in Kotayk, Aragatsotn and other marzes. We are also working to establish 11 early learning corners and 15 temporary learning spaces in shelters. Each learning space will be equipped with a TV set with internet access, so that teachers from Nagorno-Karabakh will be able to facilitate children’s access to online and distance learning platforms.