Funding from People's Postcode Lottery players is an essential and vital lifeline for refugee children supported by Unicef UK. Without it, many children would have no outlet or safe environment to share their fears and experiences. It allows them to come together, to learn and to be children.
Every child has the right to an education, to give them a future and to allow them and their community to thrive. Unicef UK works all over the world to bring quality, often transformative, education to all children who need it. Funding from People's Postcode Lottery has given children in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) access to education in a safe, peaceful, and protective environment. Funding also helps to transform lives in the UK to ensure children feel safe, nurtured, and in control of their futures.
Uganda has become the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and the third largest in the world after Turkey and Pakistan. It is currently hosting over 1.3 million refugees who have fled from DRC, South Sudan, and Burundi. 770,000 of these refugees are children.
Bahati is ten years old. He is one of thousands of children who fled the violence that has broken out over the past few months.
Bahati said, "I went to school when I lived with my parents. When they got divorced, my father began to treat me like a servant at home. I had to leave school."
When intercommunal tensions mounted around the village, Bahati fled. "I was alone in the house that day, and I fled on my own. A kind person took me in their car to Bunia, where I am now."
Bahati is not the only one in this situation. Unicef UK and its partners have identified many unaccompanied children and separated children in Bunia and the surrounding area. These children are deprived of an education.
In response to this situation, the Provincial Department of Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education is encouraging schools in the city of Bunia to accept displaced children free of charge. Thanks to this initiative, Bahati once again has a seat in the classroom.
Funding from People's Postcode Lottery players has ensured that these children not only receive an education but also have access to child-friendly spaces which help them to deal with the psychological impacts of war and their experiences.