Despite bullying, Ashwaq pursues her dream to learn
UNICEF and the EU are working together to support the Government of Iraq in reaching children and adolescents with the aim to identify out-of-school children and modalities for their return to school.
Ashwaq, 10, has difficulty walking and moving. When they realized she was bullied, her parents took her out of school to protect her. For the last three years, she has been going to a non-formal education center in Hassansham IDP camp, in Iraq, supported by UNICEF with funding from the EU’s humanitarian aid, as many times a week as she can.
“At the beginning, I encountered a lot of difficulties in school. Children bullied me because I cannot walk properly. They were mimicking me and laughing at me. It made me cry every day.” Both Ashwaq and her mom are having a hard time remembering those days.
Although the center is far from the family’s tent, Ashwaq insists on walking to the child-friendly center as there are not other means of transportation in the camp. “My life has changed, now I have friends, I learn, I can read and write, even in English”, she says proudly.
UNICEF and the EU are working with Government and partners to ensure that boys, girls, men and women in IDP camps and informal settlements are reached with education, child protection and GBV prevention and response services.