CHANGING LIVES – Omar
In 2014, when violent extremist groups took over Mosul, Iraq, Omar and others like him, dropped out of school as families were afraid to send their children to school. The family, which also lost a child in a bombing, had to face extreme poverty and unspeakable hardships. Omar left school in Grade 2 and started working as a porter and sold vegetables in Mosul’s main market. Omar’s family heard about the EAC and UNESCO project during door-to-door campaigns and were delighted to learn about the opportunity for him to join school again. The project provides vulnerable children with an opportunity for primary education and Alternative Learning Programmes (ALP). It provides them with the necessary documentation and facilitates their registration at school and also provides school bags and stationery. Omar is 14 years old now and in level 2 at his ALP. He recently passed his mid-term exams with 48 points out of 50, the second-best score in his class. He wants to complete his education and dreams of being an electrical engineer. Omar’s teacher, Abdulkareem Mohammed Saaed said that Omar is very active in class, is popular and has lots of friends. Saaed further states that teaching at the ALP school and seeing children who come to school despite their situation, pushes him and the school staff to work hard.