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Happy International Volunteer Day! Today we celebrate the countless inspiring volunteers around the world who contribute to positive change.

What does volunteering mean to you? Being part of something? Showing solidarity with people in need? Learning new things? Let us know in the comments below!

And if you’re looking for opportunities to volunteer, keep an eye out for the launch of...
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What if your education was taken away from you?
What if you lived in a war-torn country, and your school was destroyed?

Millions of children are unable to attend school in countries plagued by conflict and emergencies. Over the last months, the European Commission and UNICEF have joined forces to advocate for quality education for girls and boys caught up in crises all over the world.

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One in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence.

In recent years, the European Commission has strengthened its commitment to address gender-based violence in humanitarian assistance. In 2016, it has so far supported 62 projects in 29 countries, reaching out to 3.4 million people.

Read more about how the EU tailors its humanitarian responses for women & girls here: [...
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"I don't think of myself as a 'disabled person', I'm just like everyone else. Maybe I have a disability but when disaster comes, I will do whatever I can to save people's lives," says Pham Thanh Hai from Vietnam.

Pham regularly participates in Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) meetings to learn about disaster preparedness. The meetings are part of a programme implemented by the...
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Boštjan Nachbar is a Slovenian basketball player and an ambassador for #EmergencyLessons, a campaign seeking to increase awareness and support for education in emergencies.

For girls and boys in Guinea, education is a fundamental tool to overcome the devastating effects of Ebola. Boštjan met some of them during a recent visit to the country.

The #EmergencyLessons campaign is run by the EU...
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“I didn’t have the chance to finish school because of the conflict,” said Muhindo, a father of five living in Muranga village, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With no access to land, Muhindo earns a living working in the fields.

With the support of the European Commission, Concern Worldwide works in Masisi territory to provide civilians like Muhindo with tools to support themselves....
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One in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable in situations of conflict and emergency, when extortion, trafficking, exploitation and many forms of gender-based violence escalate.

In 2016 alone, the European Commission has so far supported 62 projects in 29 countries to end sexual and gender-based violence. Centres such as...
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"I am not super strong, but I am super smart,” says Muhammed Ali, who was just five days old when his family fled fighting in Aleppo, Syria. Today, he is living in Alexandria refugee camp in the north of Greece, together with his mum and two siblings.

Muhammed Ali visits the International Rescue Committee's safe space for children three times a week. There, he is learning how to be strong and...
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Today, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides committed 6% of the EU humanitarian funding in 2017 to education projects in emergency situations around the world.

"Education is not a privilege, education is a right," said Commissioner Stylianides at the #EducationinEmergencies Forum in Brussels. "Our aim is to enable access to quality education in a safe...
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"I believe that education is the only way to restore peace; that’s why I’m proud to do my job."

As a teacher, helping children recover from one of the most violent conflicts the north of Cameroon has ever witnessed is no easy feat, especially if you yourself have fled the violence from Boko Haram. In order to provide the necessary support to their students, teachers need to be equipped with...
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Jaro Bekr is a professional dancer from Slovakia who is actively supporting the #EmergencyLessons campaign, an awareness-raising initiative on the importance of education for children in situations of emergency.

In a recent trip to Ukraine, Jaro had the chance to see first-hand the EU-UNICEF joint efforts in providing children in the country with a safe space where they can learn, play and...
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"I want to be a journalist," says 18-year-old Ayat, a Syrian refugee in Turkey. "I’d write about people’s suffering – even violence against women. There’s a lot of it, and it’s increasing. We hear about it, but most families don’t want to intervene."

Ayat is one of the 100 Syrian volunteers who have been trained in an EU-funded information volunteer programme implemented by CARE (relief...
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With the generous contribution of €25 million from the EU, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is supporting the Greek authorities in assisting refugees and migrants in mainland Greece.

In Nea Kavala, northern Greece, UNHCR focuses on families and children through a “Blue Dot Hub”, which is a centre offering protection, psychosocial support and recreation.
In Diavata, distributions of basic...
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A few weeks ago, Jovana Kuzman, UNICEF's Youth Ambassador for Italy, went on a mission to Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan.

There, she had the chance to meet 16-year-old Syrian refugee Malak at what she considers her second home, a school in the camp. School is very important for Malak because it is the place where she can learn and make new friends.

For children all over the world, school...
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The remote hills of Mindanao, the southernmost region of the Philippines, have been bloodied by conflict for decades. More often than not, the fighting results in displacement of civilians: entire communities have to flee from their homes and wait until it is safe again to head back to their village. Displaced children do not have access to the formal education system.

Thanks to a partnership...
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EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is currently in Malawi to visit EU humanitarian aid projects that help communities deal with the effects of prolonged drought.

"The EU stands firmly by Malawi and other countries in Southern Africa affected by the El Niño drought. In response to this state of emergency, we have provided €57 million in Southern...
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Israel has requested European assistance through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism to help contain the spread of devastating wildfires.

"The EU has immediately responded to the call for assistance and has helped mobilise 7 airplanes to support Israel so far, thanks to the generosity of our Member States. Our solidarity and thoughts are with all those affected and the first...
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Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – a day to bring awareness to the issue of violence against women and girls, and a time to galvanise action to end it.

Over the next 16 days, we will shine the spotlight on this issue and invite you to join in with the hashtags #orangetheworld and #16days, here and on Twitter.

Read more here: [ Bit.ly Link...
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For Syrian refugee children in Turkey, going to school is a daily challenge. A number of obstacles stand in the way of their education; the cost for school transportation is one of the main challenges.

In supporting education for Syrian refugees in south east Turkey, People in Need is providing subsidised school transport for students, with funding from the European Union. To date, 714...
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