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Getting back to school after Cyclone Winston

By Simon Nazer, UNICEF East Asia Pacific

Around 240 schools have reportedly been wiped out by Cyclone Winston, leaving thousands of children without a place to learn and play. Many schools are also being used as temporary evacuation centres, sheltering families who have lost their homes.

UNICEF has been working around the clock with the Ministry of Education to help get children back to normality. In the last week alone UNICEF has supplied 60 temporary classrooms to most-affected schools – and many more are on the way.

Each UNICEF temporary classroom kit includes a large tent and educational supplies sufficient for 40 students and teachers. They allow children and teachers to quickly return to school, to routine and a sense of normality in even the toughest of times. Temporary classrooms also help to keep children safe during the day, when parents and caregivers are focusing on recovery efforts and livelihoods.

Here’s a glimpse of how the tents are getting children back to learning, playing and smiling after the trauma of Cyclone Winston.

Makelesi, 7, standing in destoryed library of Nabau District School in Ra Province.
UNICEF Pacific/2016/Sokhin
Makelesi, 7, standing in destoryed library of Nabau District School in Ra Province.

It only took Cyclone Winston literally minutes to rip off the roof of this classroom.
UNICEF Pacific/2016/Sokhin
It only took Cyclone Winston literally minutes to rip off the roof of this classroom.

Students of Vasist Muni Municipal School playing near a UNICEF provided school tent where the school conducts year 7 and 8 classes.
UNICEF Pacific/2016/Sokhin
Students of Vasist Muni Municipal School playing near a UNICEF provided school tent where the school conducts year 7 and 8 classes.

Children from classes 7 and 8 enjoying a math class in a UNICEF supported temporally learning space.
UNICEF Pacific/2016/Sokhin
Children from classes 7 and 8 enjoying a math class in a UNICEF supported temporally learning space.
 

Students from Muslim Primary School in Dobuilevu village, Ra Province, can’t wait to start school again. UNICEF gave to the school two school tents and teaching and learning materials.
UNICEF Pacific/2016/Sokhin
Students from Muslim Primary School in Dobuilevu village, Ra Province, can’t wait to start school again. UNICEF gave to the school two school tents and teaching and learning materials.

Students from Muslim Primary School in Dobuilevu village, Ra Province, can’t wait to start school again. UNICEF gave to the school two school tents and teaching and learning materials.
UNICEF Pacific/2016/Sokhin
Students from Muslim Primary School in Dobuilevu village, Ra Province, can’t wait to start school again. UNICEF gave to the school two school tents and teaching and learning materials.

Barotu Primary School in Ra Province was obliterated by Cyclone Winston. UNICEF gave to the school two school tents and teaching and learning materials.
UNICEF Pacific/2016/Sokhin
Barotu Primary School in Ra Province was obliterated by Cyclone Winston. UNICEF gave to the school two school tents and teaching and learning materials.

In addition to supporting affected children to return to school, UNICEF is working closely with the Government of Fiji and development partners to ensure that affected children and their families have access to clean, safe drinking water, sanitation, health and protection.

Learn more about UNICEF's work to help children affected by Cyclone Winston here.

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