our work overseas

Changing Children’s Lives Through Education

Meet some of the amazing children around the world who refuse to let things like war, conflict or natural disaster stand in the way of getting an education.

School might look very different to each child - but a few things remain the same. Regardless of where a child lives or how old they are - UNICEF strives to create a safe, nurturing, learning environment for every child. 

Meet some of the amazing children around the world who refuse to let things like war, conflict or natural disaster stand in the way of getting an education.
Côte d’Ivoire

Students enjoy themselves in class at a primary school in Gonzagueville. In Côte d’Ivoire less than 7 out of10 children go to primary school.

But UNICEF supporters are not only improving the situation for children in Côte d’Ivoire, but around the world, by providing school-in-a-box kits and learning materials to children, and helping build classrooms and train teachers.

Around 61 million children of primary school age worldwide are not in school.

As Vietnam grows, many children are being left behind. Those who don’t speak Vietnamese as a first language find themselves struggling at school and with very slim chances of staying there long enough to lift themselves out of poverty.

But in schools like this one, for children from the Khmer ethnic minority, UNICEF is breaking down barriers to give all children the opportunity to learn, play and grow up healthy.

Reaching the most disadvantaged children, including those from ethnic minorities and children with disabilities is some of UNICEF's most important work. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

These students in the DRC attend a class held in a temporary tent school set up by UNICEF.

Getting children back into school as quickly as possible after a disaster or emergency is vital in restoring normality into the lives of vulnerable children. Our regular supporters are integral to ensure UNICEF is prepared and can respond quickly to children's needs when they need help most.


Students listen intently to their teacher during a class held in a UNICEF tent school. The school these children used to attend, Aal Okab, was destroyed in June 2015, in Saada, Yemen.

In Yemen, nearly 500,000 children have dropped out of school since2015when the ongoing conflict escalated- there are now 2 million out-of-school children in Yemen.

Almost 75% of public school teachers have not been paid their salaries in over a year -putting the education of an additional 4.5 million children at greater risk.

1 in 4 children who are out of school live in crises-affected countries

A young boy plays in the UNICEF supported Makani centre in Irbid, Jordan.

UNICEF sets up Child Friendly Spaces(CFS) in an emergency. These spaces help support and protect children and restore a sense of normality and continuity to children whose lives have been disrupted by war, natural disaster, or other emergencies.

Child Friendly Spaces provide children with opportunities to develop, play, learn, and strengthen their resiliency in a safe, child friendly, and stimulating environment.


Fatoumata Ouattara, watches over children during a drawing and colouring session at anEarly Childhood Development Centre in Mali.

Fatoumata is a mother who has been specially trained by UNICEF to be an early childhood teacher or Mama Yeleen. A Mama Yeleen acts as a role model for others in their community. They educate other mums about caring for their babies, breastfeeding, nutrition, and the essential vaccinations children need to keep themselves healthy.

A child's early education is crucial - over 80% of a baby’s brain is formed by the age of 3

Anjali(age 8) is a Rohingya refugee who has fled the violent conflict in Myanmar, across the border into neighbouring Bangladesh. She attends class at a UNICEF supported learning centre at the refugee camp inCox's Bazar.

There are more than 500,000 Rohingya children living in what has become the world's largest refugee camp.

Refugee children are often the most disadvantaged when it comes to going to school, right now there are more than 10 million refugee children worldwide.

Only 50%of refugee children are enrolled in primary school.
Central African Republic

A community teacher (centre in blue) plays with children in the playground at achild friendly space in Ndenga village. The village hosts an away from Kaga Bandoro programme for local children formerly associated with the anti-balaka armed group.

UNICEF works to release children from armed forces and groups and help return them to their families. UNICEF supports services that care for their physical and mental health and well-being. Providing former child soldiers with life skills, education, vocational skills and livelihoods training to help them reintegrate into their community and prepare them for a positive future.

Our work in this area requires a long-term perspective and long-term commitment to these children and to the conflict affected communities into which they return.

Since 2014, more than 120,000 children released from armed groups have received care and services through UNICEF. 

Children out of school in Cambodia are often vulnerable to trafficking, child labour, and exploitation through orphanage tourism. Helping keep these kids in class won’t just give them more opportunities in the future - it keeps them safe today.


SouthSudanese refugee children play with their locally made toys together with a caregiver at Bright early childhood development centre, Yumbe District.

In an emergency, education is just like water, sanitation and nutrition - it cannot wait. Our regular donors are helping to support schools and helping children stay safe, to cope with the profound stress of a crisis, and to prepare for a more peaceful future.


Two female students enjoy a game of chess in Nosaibah School for Girls in Sana'a, Yemen.

We know that when a girl completes her education, she is more likely to marry later, earn more income and have fewer children, who themselves are more likely to survive and be better nourished and educated.

Educating girls around the world is vital to give them more opportunities and break cycles of poverty.

Girls make up 53% of children who are out of school

Let’s give every child the chance to learn

All children have the right to learn - but every year, poverty and crisis deny millions of children that right.

UNICEF reaches children in poverty with education, brings school to children in conflict zones and is on the ground to help children start learning again after a natural disaster hits. 

If you would like to help children receive a quality education, please consider becoming a UNICEF Global Parent.