Building Classrooms as Incubators for Peace

Three Iraqi girls wear school uniforms and backpacks...they are excited to go to school!

Sometimes when you are different from your neighbours, it's dangerous.

Sometimes your difference comes with a whole lot of baggage. Even as a child, centuries of history are laid on your shoulders—a weight far too heavy for a young one to bear. Before learning multiplication tables many children learn that they are 'less than' because of their culture, their faith, or their race.

They learn that they are hated. And they learn to hate.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

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A young Syrian refugee tries to make a new life at the Arbat Camp, Iraq, 2013.

(Baghdad, 27 July 2015): The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, confirmed today that 184 front line health services have been suspended because of the paralysing funding shortfall for humanitarian activities in Iraq.

More than 80 per cent of general health programmes supported by humanitarian partners are now shut, directly impacting one million people. “At a time when the people of Iraq need us the most, we are letting them down,” Ms. Grande said.

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The Boy Who Dreams of Books

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In a photo from March 2015, a young Shiite volunteer militiaman stands near a vehicle on his way to the battlefield against ISIS in Tikrit, Iraq. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Among those training this month in the streets of Baghdad, 15-year-old Jaafar Osama said he used to want to be an engineer when he grew up, but now he wants to be a fighter. His father is a volunteer fighting with the Shiite militias in Anbar and his older brother is fighting in Beiji, north of Baghdad.

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Children, displaced by ISIS in Iraq, highly value education as a means to change their future.

Class is in session, and the lessons are grim. 

They have crafted a thorough programme to turn kidnapped boys into jihadists for their cause—and girls into compliant slaves. They are planning for the future, ensuring the next generation of soldiers willing to kill and be killed. 

ISIS has big plans for the children of Iraq.

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