International Rescue Committee (IRC)

‘Healing Classrooms’ help rebuild lives and communities [Video]

Some 36 million refugees are living in camps around the world. Half are under the age of 18.  In the wake of conflicts or disaster, the International Rescue Committee implements healing classrooms where children can recover, grow and develop. 

This video shows how  the IRC's Healing Classrooms initiative provides training to teachers so they can better promote the well-being of students. 

Video Transcription

How does school make you feel? 

Rancy, 6th Grade, Liberia: 
Good! …. Sometimes, If I’m going to school I can feel very, very proud of myself … yes. 
<<Sound of children singing in the Democratic Republic of Congo>>
Lucile Herbert, IRC Board of Overseers:
They’re like flowers.  You know, if you trample on them and then you don’t take care of them, they don’t, they don’t come back and children are the future. 
Sarah Smith, IRC director of children’s programs:
We have children’s programs in 22 countries: In West Africa ... the Democratic Republic of  Congo ... Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Yong Kwok, IRC Children’s Committee: 
One of the first things we do when we deploy our emergency response team is to have someone from the children’s unit who can create a safe space for them. 
Sarah O’Hagan, co-chair IRC Board of Directors:
...To enable a child to walk through the flap of a tent and go to school so to speak if only for a few hours a day ... those needs of children and young people are the first step towards rebuilding a community and re-stabilizing and that’s what the IRC is able to do.
Gerry Martone, director of humanitarian affiars, IRC:
The old school of aid delivery was very paternalistic. You helped people. Now the future ... is helping people help others. So not only are they self reliant, but they’re able to ... help children themselves.
Sarah Smith:
...It’s about thinking long term how can we help the country rebuild and ... get back on its feet. The scale of the challenges faced by children and families is dizzying ... and the IRC is one agency doing extraordinary work for children and young people and there aren’t enough of, of us. There aren’t enough organizations out there. 
<<kids singing>>
What else do you want to tell me?  
I want to tell you that you should help us to build our school.  <<laughs>>
<<kids singing>>

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