Surviving school: education for refugee children from Rwanda 1994-1996
Conflicts are becoming ever more prevalent in the world and in most cases it is children who suffer most. Education can play a critical role in helping children return towards normalcy and laying the foundation for a productive role in society, either in their country of origin or in the country of settlement. This is vital psychologically for the community, but particularly so for children. School is one of the most effective methods of healing psycho-social trauma and it is a fundamental right of children that they should not have to wait for the much-needed security that education provides. This study explores how education in situations of emergency can be established and maintained as a vital psychological support to children and communities. The study investigates how education for refugee children emerged and developed, after the genocide in Rwanda caused hundreds of thousands to flee to neighbouring countries. The focus of the study is Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire) and the period under investigation is from 1994-1996, when the vast majority of refugees returned to Rwanda.