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Press Centre (11/2013)

Let's UNite for Education!


Nov 5, 2013: Syrian children living in Islahiye Refugee camp in Southeastern Turkey warmly greeted the official opening of their UNICEF- built school. Although the sky was unusually overcast and grey Tuesday morning, this did not dampen the spirits or resolve of the colourful mix of Syrian school children, diplomats and Turkish government officials present.

UNICEF Representative, Dr. Ayman Abulaban opened the event by encouraging all present to support education as a means to avert a lost generation of Syrian children and “to provide educational opportunities for all Syrian children as a means to keep hope alive.” Dr. Fuat Oktay, Disaster and Emergency Management President,  called on all to “unite for the sake and well-being of children” while the US Ambassador at large for Global Women’s issues, Catherine Russell, praised the Government of Turkey (GoT) for the scale of its Syrian response, particularly in the assistance of both women and children, and reitereated the Bureaeu of Population, Refugees and Migration’s (BPRM) continued commitment to supporting Syrian refugees. She also stated that she looked forward to continued cooperation with UNICEF on critical children’s issues.

The school is the second in a series of ten schools that will be built in both camp and non-camp Syrian communities  by UNICEF as a response to a request by the Turkish government. The Islahiye school will provide  about  2,200 Syrian children with a safe and secure environment in which to learn and grow. 

UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org