A new education centre for Syrian children was officially opened today in Turkey with the financial support of the EU Children of Peace initiative.
The education centre was built in the city of Kahramanmaraş by UNICEF, in partnership with the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority and the Ministry of National Education.
Last year, the EU granted UNICEF with €1 350 000 to develop an 18-month-long education programme for Syrian children. The project aims to secure access to education by constructing four pre-fabricated schools with appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and by organising transportation for 2 200 students in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration.
The education centre will provide education for 1 080 Syrian students, who will be taught in Arabic and will follow the Syrian curriculum. The centre will also provide opportunities and incentives for Syrian teachers to remain engaged in education initiatives for their community. Another education programme in the Turkish city of Urfa, and also supported with EU Children of Peace funds, is currently doing the same for additional 2 600 children.
The EU Children of Peace initiative is a legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize that the EU received in 2012. The initiative funds humanitarian projects for children in conflict areas, providing them with access to schools where they can learn in a safe environment, as well as with psychological support to heal their traumatic war experiences.
To date, the EU has allocated €12.7 million for EU Children of Peace projects around the world. The funding for 2015 will reach €11 million. About 270 000 boys and girls in 19 countries have benefitted from the initiative so far.