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Blind children Cambodia 20
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Students at the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 21
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Mar 2015

Students at the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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The Courageous Duo Battling to Educat...
Dubai
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

“Neither the government of Cambodia nor its families care about blind children”
 
"No – absolutely not." This is what the Cambodian Minister of Education said to Benoit Duchateau-Arminjon in 1993 when he proposed to open the country’s first school for blind children. "If you want, take the money and invest it in normal schools,” he remembers being told.

“No,” other families said to Phalla Neang, a cambodian teacher, when she drove her small motorcycle from house-to-house, asking if there were blind children there. “Some people shut the door in my face,” she recalls. Now she laughs about it. At the time, blindness was considered a curse in Cambodia. But Benoît had promised a blind child, Wanna, that he would go to school. With that promise he convinced Phalla to join his organization, the Krousar Thmey Foundation.

"It was crazy," he admits. "I looked for her and I told her: I know you can help me but I’m only able to pay you $100." And she agreed. Phalla Neang, one of ten finalists under consideration for the “Nobel” of teaching at the 2015 Global Teacher Prize event held in Dubai, became the first teacher of Braille in the history of her country. Wanna, their first student, is now a professor of music.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

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Blind children Cambodia 05
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

Phot Wanna in 1993 being taught to read an braille book. Wanna, was the child who gave Benoît the inspiration to open the first school for blind children in Cambodia.

Photo by Krousar Thmeu.

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Blind children Cambodia 06
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

Wanna 20 years later with Benoît (founder of Krousar Thmeu Foundation, back row, third from the right) and Australia actor Jack Thompson.

Photo by Krousar Thmeu

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Blind children Cambodia 07
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

Photo by Krousar Thmeu. Benoît Duchâteau-Arminjon and Phalla Neang. Benoît is the founder of NGO Krousar Thmey. He started in Thailand’s refugee camps over 20 years ago. In 1993, Phalla Neang and the NGO Krousar Thmey opened the first school for visually impaired pupils in Cambodia and Phalla became the very first Braille teacher in the country’s history. She also contributed to the development of the Khmer version of Braille.

Since 1997, Krousar Thmey, which is supported by LIGHT FOR THE WORLD (a European development federation), also provides education for deaf pupils. Today Phalla Neang serves as a teacher trainer, school director and as the coordinator of the national ‘Education for Blind’ program. The ‘Education for Blind’ program involves five schools for blind and deaf students, 72 integrated and inclusive classes in regular schools, and nationwide advocacy campaigns.

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Blind children Cambodia 10
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

Phnom Penh Thmey School. This is the school where Phalla currently works. The program has now expanded to 69 teachers and 250 children in 4 Krousar Thmey schools. There are an additional 29 integrated classes in public schools across the country.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 09
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

The Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation

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Blind children Cambodia 08
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

The opening of the Phnom Penh Thmey School.

Photo by Krousar Thmey Foundation.

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Blind children Cambodia 03
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
16 Mar 2015

In 1993, Phalla Neang opened the first school for blind children in Camboda. She was one of 10 finalists for the "Global Teacher Prize," an honor that awards $1 million to "the best teacher in the world."

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Blind children Cambodia 04
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Lola García-Ajofrín
16 Mar 2015

In 1993, Phalla Neang opened the first school for blind children in Camboda. She was one of 10 finalists for the "Global Teacher Prize," an honor that awards $1 million to "the best teacher in the world."

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The Destruction of Homs
Homs
By yazan1985
03 Mar 2015

Photos from Homs in March 2014 show the destruction of Syria's third largest city toward the end of the three-year siege (May 2011 - May 2014).  

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File photos of destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Photos of Destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Photos of Destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Photos of Destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Blind Man Founds School for Visually ...
Yaounde, Cameroon
By Dzekashu Macviban
19 Feb 2015

Life for visually impaired people in Cameroon is a constant battle, given that they are discriminated upon, a phenomenon which condemns some of them to live in solitude and mendicancy. Even though many of them are undocumented and often ignored by society, this doesn’t stop them from being ambitious and entrepreneurial. This is the case with Coco Bertin, who runs CJARC, one of Cameroon’s most solicited rehabilitation centres for the visually impaired. Bertin speaks fondly of his centre, saying “I am morally gratified by the fact that I am able to help other people, so that they can share in my happiness.” 
Upon graduating in 1986, Coco Bertin, who is visually impaired, received a modest financial incentive of CFA 61.500 from the Rehabilitation Institute for the Blind in Buea. Rather than indulge in mendicancy as is the case with so many blind people, he decided to start an organisation that could provide strategic education for the visually impaired. This decision was greatly influenced by the fact that people with disabilities who go to school find it very difficult coping with a system which does not take them into account when drawing the curriculum. 
In order to achieve this, he started working on the furniture for his organisation, which he named COJARY (it was later renamed CJARC [Club des Jeunes Aveugles Réhabilités du Cameroun] in 1988) from his bedroom in his parents’ house, and as well joined forces with Martin Luther, another visually impaired person who graduated from the same school as himself. From Bertin’s parents’ bedroom, the activities moved to the veranda of the Departmental Delegation of Social Affairs in the Essos neighbourhood. 

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Pakistan: Peshawar Army Public School...
Peshawar, Pakistan
By Malik Ayub Sumbal
11 Jan 2015

Class is back in session at Peshawar's Army Public School, the target of a brutal attack by Taliban militants that killed 141 people in mid-December. Parents and their children were eager to tell media that despite the attacks, they are not afraid and that their children shouldn't have to live in fear in order to get an education. A ceremony was held as schools across Pakistan re-opened after an extended break in the wake of the attack.

Context:

In the morning on Dec 16, 2014 six Taliban fighters entered Peshawar’s Army Public School under orders to let the youngest children leave and to kill everyone else. The killing spree took the lives of 141 people, among them 132 children. This was the latest in a years-long string of attacks against Pakistani civilians and military and government institutions, starting with the alleged assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. The Pakistani Taliban’s targeting of educational institutions, however, is not new, including an attack on a school bus in 2011, the attempt on the life of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai in 2012, and now the tragic killing of over a hundred students in the Peshawar school.

Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

School children near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

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No Payroll in Gaza
Gaza
By Yasser Abu Wazna
16 Dec 2014

(01:00 -01:46)

(Man, Arabic)

Mohamad Tahoun

I am Mohamad Ahmed Abu Tahoun, I work in sanitation in al-Nasr children hospital. We have been on a strike for 8 days. And until now nothing is being said about the salaries.

As you can see our situation, nobody is helping us, if we find food we cook, if not we count of God. In our family, 3 men work in sanitation, and we have two handicaps to take care of. But we have not been paid for almost 4 months. Our situation is bad.

(02:09)

(Woman, Arabic)

Cherine tahoun

Interviewer: What is your name?

Cherine Tahoun: my name is cherine

Interviewer: what is your last name?

Cherine Tahoun: Tahoun

Interviewer: How old are you? 16, 26?

Cherine Tahoun: Yes

Interviewer: where did you learn embroidery?

Cherine Tahoun: at school

Interviewer: This is all your work? show us

(02:55-04:13)

(Woman, arabic)

Suzanne

I am Suzanne, Mohamad's wife, we are three sisters married to three brothers. My eldest sister got married to Rafi Abu Tahoun, and four years later, I married Mohamad, and then my youngest sister married Iyad, about two years ago.

We are technically living together now, we used to live separately, but now, and because of the situation, we had to live together.

With the salary of 700 shekel, we used to barely be able to manage, but now when we no longer receive the 700 shekel, our situation is terrible. let alone the fact that we have handicaps, we also have children in schools. They need allowances, books, stationary. It is a very hard position that we are in. I hope that when winter comes, things will be easier for us, I hate winter now, because of the cold and the leaking that happen into the house.

I graduated from the university in 2008, and until now, I did not get a job in any domain and i did not even receive an unemployment allowance. in god's will if I find a job, our situation will definitely improve.

(05:01-05:48)

(Man, Arabic)

Iyad Tahoun

My name is Iyad Ahmed Mohamad Abu Tahoun, I work in the sanitation company, and they have not been paying us for 4 months. My son needs medications every week. any we cannot pay, even the supermarket owner is not allowing us to take stuff and pay later. We had to take things from the pharmacy and the supermarket and promise to pay later, but our debt grew and the supermarket owner told me to pay my debt in order to keep giving us things.

The government in Gaza is blaming the government of the West Bank and the other way around.

I hope that the officials can find a solution to our problem. because we can no longer handle the situation.

(09:13-09:37)

(Man, Arabic)

Rafi Tahoun

She suffered from a stroke about two months ago, stayed in the hospital for a while and then we took her home, they improved for a while but recently her situation got worst. She cannot eat unless we use a syringe. Most of our stuff we get on the intention to pay later, or from people who offer help sometimes.

(09:39-09:59)

(Woman, Arabic)

We need lots of things,we need tissues, two boxes everyday, they cost 5 Shekel. and we need diapers every week, they cost 28 shekel, and there is no payment, no salaries, we get all of the things that we need, including food, with debt. The situation is difficult, as you can see.

(10:00-10:25)

(Man, Arabic)

Rafi Tahoun

The sanitation situation in the hospital is bad, there are volunteers, but it is not the same as when we used to work here . They collect the trash and that is it, they do not sanitize what needs to be sanitized.

(12:54-16:23)

(Man, Arabic)

Official

The sanitation workers used to be paid by the government formed by Hamas, but now since the government is one, it is al-Hamdallah government, and is responsible for Gaza and the West Bank, It is responsible for all the education, sanitation and all the other cases. We are not talking about a strike for government employees, we are talking about a strike for private companies employees. those employees work according to contracts were signed in the era of the government of Hamas, and now al-Hamdallah government should be responsible to pay for them.

The political issue between Hamas and Fateh should not be related to the responsibilities of the government. The government should be responsible in Gaza the same way it is responsible in the West Bank.

The government is not doing its duties even though al-Hamdallah visited Gaza, and there are 4 functioning minsters in Gaza, but it is not doing its duties, and that is why the citizens are stressed. The problem of health, unemployment and many others in gaza should be the responsibility of the government.

Hamas requested from the people to volunteer until the problem is solved.

There is no good reason for not paying the employees, employees in other sectors are being paid. the employees have the right to practice all kinds of pressuring methods in order to get their rights, and it has been 6 months of struggling without a solution for this problem.

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Pakistan: Deadly Taliban Attack on Pe...
Peshawar
By Malik Ayub Sumbal
16 Dec 2014

In the morning on Dec 16, 2014 six Taliban fighters entered Peshawar’s Army Public School under orders to let the youngest children leave and to kill everyone else. The killing spree took the lives of 141 people, among them 132 children. Pakistani military retook control of the school after hours of fighting, saying that all nine insurgents were dead.

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Education Changes Under Syrian Opposi...
Aleppo
By mohammed alhadi
30 Nov 2014

November 2014
Taqad, Aleppo Province, Syria

Students in the rebel-controlled village of Taqad to the west of Aleppo no longer have to pay tribute to the Syrian regime.
In this village with a population of 11,000, public schools follow books issued by the interim government appointed by the opposition Syrian National Coalition.
The director of one the local schools says that the new curriculum “shifted from glorifying the regime to glorifying the homeland.”
References to Bath party’s ideology or the “achievements” of Presidents Bashar al-Assad and his father the late President Hafez al-Assad were omitted from the new books, which are printed in Turkey and opposition-held areas in Syria.
Schools in this little town, however, have other pressing needs to deal with. Teachers work in overcrowded classrooms and students sometimes ditch school when they hear the sound of warplanes.

Shot list

00:00 – 00:06
A medium shot shows pages from a primary-school book coming out of the printer.

00:07 - 00:20
A medium shot shows a man binding a book.

00:21 – 00:32
Interview with ِAhmad Jumaa, principal of Qaddour al-Sayyid School (Man, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

00:33 – 00:35 A medium shot shows a man binding a book.

00:36 – 00:39
A wide shot shows graffiti that reads: “He who opens a school closes a prison – Al-Urfan Organization [an Islamic social welfare organization].”

00:40 – 00:43
A wide shot shows a young boy carrying a backpack with the UNICEF logo running across the school courtyard.

00:44 – 00:46
A close-up shot shows a school girl writing.

00:47 – 00:59
Interview with Abdel Karim Subhi, a second-grade student (Boy, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

01:00 – 01:03
A close-up shot shows the face of a young student during a mathematics lesson.

01:04 – 01:07
A wide shot shows a teacher explaining a mathematics problem to a student on the blackboard.

01:08 – 01:32
Several shots show books being printed.

01:33 – 01:30
A close-up shot shows the covers of books produced by the Syrian interim government.

01:31 – 01:46
Interview with a primary school teacher (Man, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

01:47 – 01:53
A wide shot shows a second-grade science class in session. The teacher asks: “Who can name an animal that could fly?”

01:54 – 02:02
A medium shot shows a second-grade student answering a grammar question.

02:03 – 02:07
A close-up shot shows the hands of two students writing.

02:08 – 02:20
Interview with Rama Humaida, a seventh-grade student (Girl, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

02:21 – 02:26
A wide shot shows a teacher writing on the blackboard from behind as students follow.

02:27 – 02:44
Interview with Abdullah Jumaa, a local teacher (Man, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

02:45 – 02:49
A close-up shot shows a page of a book issued by the Syrian regime that explains the history of the 1970 Corrective Movement, the coup d’état carried out by the Baath Party.

02:50 – 02:54
A close-up shot shows a page of a book issued by the Syrian regime that explains when President Bashar al-Assad came to power and praises Syria’s policies.

02:55 – 03:01
A close-up shot shows the covers of books produced by the Syrian interim government.

03:02 – 03:10
A wide shot shows a demolished school wall.

Interviews

00:21 – 00:32
Interview with Ahmad Jumaa, principal of Qaddour al-Sayyid School (Man. Arabic)

“I am the principal of Qaddour al-Sayyid School. The provisional Syrian government gave us schoolbooks. Some books were missing, though, and we had to print them locally.

00:47 – 00:59
Interview with Abdel Karim Subhi, a second-grade student (Boy, Arabic)

“I am eight years old. Whenever airplanes are flying, my siblings and I do not come. We wait for them to end their raids so we come to school.”

01:31 – 01:46
Interview with a primary school teacher (Man, Arabic)

“Despite the hard conditions we are living in and continuous airstrikes, we started the new academic year.”

02:08 – 02:20
Interview with Rama Humaida, a seventh-grade student (Girl, Arabic)

“My siblings and I come from a middle-class family, and we come to school every day to learn. My favorite subject is religion, and I wish to be a religion instructor in the future.”

02:27 – 02:44
Interview with Abdullah Jumaa, a local teacher (Man, Arabic)

“Books were amended to suit the current situation. All the content that glorifies [President] Bashar al-Assad and his were removed. The new books shifted from the glorification of the regime to the glorification of the entire homeland. Certain passages were omitted and other ones that suit the current phase were kept.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 12
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
16 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

The straw and mud structure of the school is not solid. Inside the classrooms, the walls have been starting to fall apart.

While lack of funds is one reason for the poor structure of the school, the other major factor is an Israeli law banning the use of cement for construction by Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank. The school is located in Area C, which is the part of the West Bank under total Israeli military control.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 07
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
16 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

The school of Khan Al-Ahmar has classes from grades 1 to 9. Children from five different Bedouin communities attend classes there. Every year, their number grows. There were 120 children for the 2013-2014 school year. In September 2014, 146 came to register.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 08
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
16 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

English class for 3rd grade children. All the children are eager to learn. They want to keep studying after the 9th grade, and often want to become doctor or lawyers because there are no medical or legal services in their community. While medical services are a basic essential for any community, legal services are significant to the West Bank Bedouin because they need lawyers to help them battle eviction orders from Israeli courts and the Israeli Army.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 01
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
16 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014.
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine.

Teachers run in the rain between their classrooms and the "teachers room" to bring handouts for their students.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 10
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Children in the 8th grade studying, with the shape of the tires appearing in the wall. The goal of many of the students is often to enter into a profession that is not represented in their community, like medical or legal.

Every year the school administration goes to court in order to postpone the demolition of the institution. So far, they have managed to avoid a final demolition, but the orders remain, and it is uncertain how much longer the school will remain.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 04
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Among the classrooms built of soil and rubber tires, two are built of sheet metal. These more sturdy structures are sponsored by the European Union. The State of Israel did not authorize their construction and, as a consequence, they are hidden under tents and tarps.

When materials are donated by foreign donors, like the European Union, they are still at risk of confiscation by Israeli authorities when they are shipped into the area. In February of 2014, Italy donated playground equipment. However, the entire shipment was confiscated by the Israeli Army and materials never made it to the school.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 13
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Every time it rains, the classrooms get wet and humid, and the water leaks into where the students sit. There is also no heater for the cold winter of the desert.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 11
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Harema Zhaeqq is the headmaster of the school. She is highly respected by the teachers, as they say that she is always able to find the necessary furniture for the classes, by canvassing companies in Palestine and abroad. Some companies in Palestine are hesitant to donate, because they fear sanctions from Israel. However, Ms. Zhaeqq is usually able to convince them anyway. Here, she stands beside the supplies for science classes.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 09
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

English class. The children study with bowls on the tables to capture the rain falling into the classrooms.