28.11.2013 - UNESCO Office for Iraq

UNESCO conducts new training to improve Early-Childhood Care in Iraq

UNESCO Office for Iraq concluded a first training workshop to raise awareness of professionals working in the field of refugees' families support on the best parenting practices, and build their capacities to enable them to facilitate sessions themselves, in order to improve the general prospect of early childhood care in refugees' camps and marginalized communities around Iraq.

Held in cooperation with "Terre des hommes" Foundation (Italy) for the period between 20 to 28 November 2013, this training aims to provide professionals from the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan regional government, along with workers from local and international NGOs and civil society organizations, with the basic knowledge on Early Childhood Care and Development, and the skills needed to effectively deliver awareness sessions on appropriate parenting practices.

During 7 days, participants were introduced to the key factors that are essential to understand children' developmental milestones, normal reactions to the abnormal situation of displacement, as well as appropriate parenting practices and their positive effects on child’s development. This informative part was complemented by a more practical component, as these participants received a training to design and facilitate participative awareness sessions on appropriate parenting practices using active learning methodologies.

"Early childhood is a very delicate and complex period that requires special attention in times of crisis and forced displacement", stated UNESCO project manager Ryo Ragland. "This training will help key officials and professionals working with marginalized communities including refugees understand the different aspects of Early Childhood in terms of children needs and best parental practices, as well as the main tools to transfer this knowledge to parents and other stakeholders".

With the deteriorating situation in Syria, thousands of people find themselves obliged to flee the conflict to surrounding countries. Over 200,000 Syrians are expected to have entered Iraq alone. As a leading agency in Education, UNESCO is conducting several initiatives to support the Iraqi central government, and the Kurdistan regional government in their response to the urgent educational needs of Syrian refugees in Iraq. UNESCO is prioritizing projects and activities that aim to improve access to education, literacy, ICT, entrepreneurial and life skills in both urban areas and camp settings. Planned activities include secondary schools construction and rehabilitation, provision of teacher and master trainer training, catch up classes for out-of-school children, temporary schools, and psychosocial support in line with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).

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