Surrounded by students, parents and teachers, the UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd, launched the Agency's "Violence-Free Schools" campaign in Syria today.
The campaign, which will run through the 2008/2009 school year, aims to create a violence-free culture in schools and the wider community. Awareness-raising with staff, students and the local community, and incentives for excellence will be the main features of the action plan.
In her remarks, AbuZayd stressed that by engaging students, teachers, parents and the local community, the pressures that create violence can be relieved. "This unprecedented event demonstrates UNRWA’s determination to ensure the best learning and teaching environment possible," AbuZayd added.
Ali Mustafa, Director-General of the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees (GAPAR), highlighted importance of creating an environment that is safe for children: "In order to maintain a peaceful environment for all, we must address and inform our schools, children, and parents."
UNRWA is a humanitarian and human development agency providing education, health care, social services, micro-credit and emergency relief to over four million registered refugees living in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. In Syria, the Agency provides assistance to over 450,000 refugees.