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.
Lessons craft the perfect fighter for the Islamic State: how to spy, how to assemble and fire weapons, how to behead, how to think like a citizen of the caliphate.
Even for children not in the hands of ISIS, the hard reality of displacement means a difficult future. Poverty, sectarianism, and trauma make families forced from their homes vulnerable to ISIS. Each does what they can to survive and to start over. So often that means children grow up too fast, start work and marry too young, and never finish the education that would give them a shot at a better life.
But we have plans for the children of Iraq, too—to give them the chance to feel safe and healthy.
We plan to give kids displaced by war the chance to return to school full-time, to learn about each other, and to break down the walls of sectarianism that fuels so much destruction. We plan to give girls, released from the bondage of ISIS, the emotional support they and their communities need as they return to school.
We plan to advocate for displaced children who are blocked from entering the school system, to help them find a way back in. We plan to help communities hosting displaced children, to encourage creative solutions that reduce tension and get their own kids back into school full-time.
And we will continue to provide heart surgeries for kids too sick to go to school.
This fall, we’re waging peace by sending Iraq children back to school. Millions of them cannot afford to be out of school for another year. And the world cannot afford to lose this generation of children to the effects of war.
Ambitious plans? Absolutely! But we’ve seen you do the unthinkable across Iraq time and time again. 10,000 children can go back to school. Help get things started by becoming one of the first donors right here: