A nurturing home
A home turned into a school helps Rayan return to learning
Qamishli, Syria - “I remember the time when I did not go to school. I used to feel sad not to be able to learn, so I know how other children must feel when they are out of school,” said Rayan, 12, during class.
She currently attends a UNICEF -supported self-learning centre in rural Qamishli, together with more than 30 school-aged children. All of them have missed out on all or parts of their education because of the conflict in Syria.
“When I first came to the centre, I wasn’t able to spell, read or write,” explained Rayan. Her family has barely been able to get by, let alone prioritize the children’s education. “Ms. Butheina was with me every step of the way until I was able to read and write,” she explained.
Butheina, a teacher, turned a room in her house into a learning-centre to help children out of school in the rural Qamishli village to catch up on missed learning. They study using the UNICEF -supported ‘self-learning’ programme, a specially designed curriculum to help out of school children or children at risk of dropping out to catch up to their peers.
To keep things interesting for the children, a UNICEF -supported mobile team visits the centre regularly and engages the children in recreational activities.
“I wish I could bring more children here so that they could learn what I am learning,” said Rayan. “I’ve learned many things and started teaching them to my little brother at home,” she added. Rayan and her family live nearby the centre. “Others commute for a long time to come here from remote areas,” explained Rayan.
“I wish the dreams of all other children will come true the way mine have. I’m grateful for the chance I have been given to learn,” she concluded.
In 2022, UNICEF has reached 18,000 children in Hasakeh, northeast Syria, with the self-learning programme and remedial classes to help them continue their education. The activities were funded by U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; Education Cannot Wait; EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO); German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the KFW Development Bank; Governments of Canada, Finland, Italy, and Norway; Global Partnership for Education; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency; Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; and UNICEF’s Global Humanitarian Thematic Fund.