Full report available here.
Children represent almost half of the 42.5 million people who are refugees or internally displaced as a result of conflict. Almost 50 million primary and lower secondary age children living in conflict-affected countries are out of school. The implications for both their safety today and their opportunity tomorrow are grave.
Recognising this, the EU Children of Peace initiative devoted its 2012 Nobel Prize money to providing education for children affected by violent conflict. Two of the projects funded through the initiative were providing education to children displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to Somali children in refugee camps in Ethiopia.
Jigsaw Consult worked with Save the Children and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to capture the voices of children, parents and communities in the two locations. The research highlights the high priority that communities place on education as the single most important thing that gives children ‘a more hopeful future’. Education is seen as vital to children’s welfare in a volatile environment, protecting them from recruitment into armed groups, gender-based violence, abuse and neglect. Moreover, communities argue that it ensures their resilience against future crisis, helps them to recover from trauma, facilitates stability and provides economic opportunity.
"With education I think I will have a future that won’t have to involve guns and fighting – this is my dream, that I can look into my future and see that I have options and choices. Without school you have no choices in life, you are just trying to survive." - 13-year-old boy, DRC
Working closely with Save the Children and NRC, Jigsaw associates developed recommendations for donors, emphasising the need to increase accountability to affected communities, listening to and acting upon their clear demands for education in emergencies. Jigsaw then presented the research findings to ECHO and other education partners in Brussels.
The report was launched at a panel discussion hosted by the Permanent Delegation of the EU in Geneva.