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The announcement was made in Brussels by ECHO, the European Community Humanitarian Office, following the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU. The joint initiative between Save the Children and the Norwegian Refugee Council received €900,000, and was one of four proposals to receive a total of €2 million, made up of Nobel Peace Prize money matched by the EU.
Save the Children will provide education to 4,000 Somali children living in refugee camps in the border town of Dollo Ado in Ethiopia. NRC on the other hand will focus on 9,000 children affected by the conflict in Petit Nord Kivu DRC.
The proposed projects will ensure that over 13,000 highly vulnerable children displaced by conflict have access to safe, protective and nurturing spaces, in which they can attend education classes, begin to recover from the trauma of conflict and be supported in building their resilience to cope with their lives ahead.
“It is crucial that key agencies like ECHO see education as a vital component to ensure it is responding to what children need, and ensuring it endorses this through its own humanitarian operations”, said Tove Wang, the chief executive of Save the Children Norway.
“We are thankful and honoured. It is particularly gratifying that the prize money is earmarked for education in conflict areas. Education should be considered a critical part of any humanitarian response, in line with shelter, food and health care. Unfortunately, it is often deprioritized and underfunded. Globally, only 2 percentages of total humanitarian funding goes into education programmes, said Elisabeth Rasmusson, secretary general of Norwegian Refugee Council.
Specifically in Dollo Ado, a special emphasis will be placed on bringing girls to school, including young mothers and girls attending to younger siblings. A total of 60 % of the beneficiaries will be girls, aged 11-14. Funding from the EU will also train teachers, men and women, to ensure quality teaching.
Save the Children and NRC will set up temporary schools and learning spaces, in addition to training to teachers and other community leaders and provide essential teaching materials such as books, stationery, learning materials and educational play materials.
The projects will ensure that children attending these schools have access to other key lifesaving services including health, nutrition, hygiene and school feeding programs, as well as child protection services that identify and protect children from the threats and risks they face associated with living in refugee camps.
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Rolf A. Vestvik, Head of Communications, Mobile: +47 48 89 33 13