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Where we focus


Education is the ultimate empowerment tool for children, their families and communities to survive and recover from conflict or crisis; it is what enables people to drive their own health, safety and prosperity. Of the 59 million children out of school across the world, over half live in conflict-affected countries, yet resources for them remain low. Even for families resettled in the United States, understanding how to access different forms of education can be challenging.

Our goals

Poor access to education can undermine people’s potential to improve their lives. The International Rescue Committee provides children, youth and adults with educational opportunities that help keep them safe and learning the skills they need to survive and thrive.
  • Ensure that children aged 0 to 5 develop cognitive and social-emotional skills

    How we get there:

    • Supporting parents in providing consistent, nurturing and supportive behaviors towards young children, including engaging in supportive play and learning activities;
    • Providing young children with access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education.

    See all education goals.

  • Ensure that school-aged children develop literacy, numeracy and social-emotional skills

    How we get there:

    • Creating quality learning spaces in formal schools and informal education settings, such as community-based education and accelerated learning programs for children who have missed years of schooling;
    • Providing teaching and learning materials so teachers and facilitators are equipped to teach meaningful lessons.

    See all education goals.

  • Ensure that youth and adults have high levels of livelihood, literacy, numeracy and social-emotional skills

    How we get there:

    • Providing learning opportunities that teach employment-related and trade-specific technical skills, such as budgeting, accounting and marketing;
    • Supporting the development of social and emotional skills people need to control emotions, set goals, make decisions, persevere and bounce back in the face of setbacks.

    See all education goals.

Our impact

In 2015, the International Rescue Committee and our partners helped:

1.3 Million

children with schooling and educational opportunities.

Syrian mothers at Arbat camp in Iraq wouldn’t sit by as their daughters lost an education. Instead, they took action.

Read their story.

educators with training and supported 7,959 schools.

Sinan is part of the IRC's Healing Classrooms initiative, which trains educators in teaching techniques that help students in conflict zones to feel safe and to learn.

Read her story.

people with job­-related skills training.

We help ensure that youth and adults have high levels of livelihood, literacy, numeracy and social-emotional skills.

Explore our goals.

News and features

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