Education Project for Peace in the Regions of Timbuktu and Gao





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Since 2012, the Republic of Mali has faced a series of armed conflict in the northern regions of Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal. These conflicts, precipitated by separatist groups and foreign terror organizations, have eroded government capacity and destabilized local communities. Over 300,000 people have been displaced, with more than a third yet to return to their homes. Children and youth are often the most effected. In addition to the worsening security environment and threats to personal security, many schools have been closed since the current crisis began and economic opportunities have suffered as well.

To contribute to the creation of a lasting peace and to help vulnerable children and youth, World Education implemented the Education Project for Peace in the Regions of Timbuktu and Gao with support from UNICEF through the United Nations Trust Fund for Peacebuilding.

This project strengthened social cohesion by improving equitable access to quality education for vulnerable children and the creation of community forums for inclusive dialogue. Working in 21 different communes and 340 schools across Timbuktu and Gao with three local partner organizations, World Education engaged 4,500 boys and girls, ages 7-15, to:
1) decrease the marginalization of children and youth through their reintegration to quality education in a conflict-sensitive environment;
2) give children opportunities to participate in peace building and community strengthening activities through their schools; and
3) help school communities to play a more active role in fostering inclusive dialogue as a means to peacefully resolve disputes and promote peaceful coexistence.

To these ends, World Education partnered with Accelerated Literacy Programs and local communities to help students recover instruction lost with school closures to get back up to grade level and rejoin the formal education system. The project also trained programs, local schools, community leaders, and community groups on the subject of peace building, life skills development, non-violence, and conflict mitigation strategies and practices. In addition, World Education mobilized community members to advocate for peace and coexistence, hold constructive dialogues and inter-community meetings, produce and distribute related newsletters and radio programs, and strengthen collaboration and trust with local authorities.

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