International Rescue Committee (IRC)


All people, including children uprooted by conflict, have a right to a good education. 

Education plays a fundamental role in reducing the effects of war-trauma, providing young people with stability and structure during and after emergencies, and helping them develop to their full potential. It also gives youth and adults the knowledge and skills to earn a living, contribute to their family and community, and lead healthier and more productive lives. 

The IRC is dedicated to increasing access to educational opportunities wherever we work:

In Chad, thousands of refugee children from Darfur study every day in IRC schools and in Uganda we reduce exploitive child labor by offering kids positive education and vocational opportunities. In Jordan, the IRC supports learning and recreational programs for vulnerable Iraqi and Jordanian youth, and in Afghanistan we’re establishing new schools in rural areas with a focus on educating girls.  An innovative IRC project in Guinea secured teaching diplomas for hundreds of Liberians refugees, preparing them to hit the ground running when they returned home. In Azerbaijan, we’re working with the government to incorporate human rights issues in the school curriculum and in Kenya we’re teaching adult refugees how to read and giving them training to set up and manage small businesses.


·      The IRC has been providing educational services for vulnerable people affected by conflict for nearly 30 years.

·      Our first education programs started in the early 1980s to set up schools for 40,000 Cambodian refugee children in Thailand.  Our education work has since provided hope and promise to millions of children living in crisis zones around the world.

·      IRC education teams are currently at work in 23 countries: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal, Northern Caucasus, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tanzania and Uganda.

·      In 2007, more than 317,000 young people were learning in IRC-supported schools and the IRC trained more than 10,000 educators.


·      Formal primary and secondary schooling

·      Kindergartens and pre-schools

·      Non-formal learning and recreational programs during emergencies

·      Youth groups

·      Literacy, numeracy, skills-training, and other adult education

·      Accelerated learning programs

·      Human rights and peace education, conflict resolution

Learn More

IRC Healing Classrooms Initiative Fact Sheet
Leaders in Global Policy Development Fact Sheet
IRC Education Research Library Publications
Special Report: The Right to Learn

The IRC has actively supported the formation of the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict (EPCC), co-founded by Angelina Jolie and Gene Sperling, and launched by former
president Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2007.


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