Hyab, who dreams of one day becoming a doctor, is one of the 2.3 million children who remain out of school in northern Ethiopia. According to UNICEF, more than 85pc of schools in Tigray have serious or partial damage due to the conflict, and all public schools remain closed. Across Ethiopia, more than 3.5 million children are out of school – 1 in every 16 children.
Read More: Surely the world can unite on a shared plea to end children’s suffering?
In addition to the conflict, Ethiopia is now facing its sixth consecutive failed rainy season and drought. According to UNICEF, the conflict in Ethiopia combined with drought in some of Ethiopia’s regions have resulted in nearly 31.4 million people in need in Ethiopia including 16.5 million children.
‘We used to live a good life’
“I have four siblings. We used to have convenient living conditions before we were displaced because of the war. I want to be a doctor when I grow up. I want to serve my people, and to live happily. I hope to focus on my school and better my academic achievements,” Hyab says.
Children in the camp in Mekelle do not have access to official schools, but many children like Hyab and her four siblings attend educational tutorials that are provided in the camp.
Hyab’s mother, Asqual (38) says that having no school to send her children to is “very difficult”.
“I used to live a good life. We used to be in business and we used to have our own beautiful house,” Asqual says.