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Children, Displaced by Boko Haram, Listen to Radio Lessons


FILE - Children displaced as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the northeast region of Nigeria, eat at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Yola, Adamawa State, Jan. 13, 2015.


The militant group Boko Haram has prevented many children in parts of North Africa from attending school. But The United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) says tens of thousands of children in the Lake Chad area are learning from educational radio broadcasts.

The radio broadcasts provide lessons on reading, mathematics, and how to stay safe during the violence. UNICEF said the broadcasts reach about 200,000 displaced and out-of-school children in the Far North area of Cameroon and southern Niger.

Patrick Rose is a UNICEF spokesman. He told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that “the level of boredom among children in camps for the displaced is tremendous."

He added that "with this radio education program, children will receive lessons in a structured way that keeps them in a rhythm... so that when they go back to school they won't be so far behind."

The project is supported by the European Union and the governments of Cameroon and Niger.

About 150 lessons are being broadcast in both French and local languages, UNICEF said.

UNICEF also have trained local school teachers to identify and deal with security threats to protect children from Boko Haram. The organization wants to provide affected children with psychological support.

UNICEF says Boko Haram has killed more than 600 teachers and forced over 1,200 schools to close in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

The militants have killed more than 20,000 people since 2009 and forced about 2.7 million others to flee.

Opposing forces have pushed Boko Haram out of most of the territory it held in early 2015. But the group continues to attack in northeast Nigeria, as well as in Cameroon and Niger.

I’m Jonathan Evans.

Kieran Guilbert reported this story for Thompson Reuters Foundation. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in this Story

boredom – n. the state of being bored

psychological – adj. of or relating to the mind; mental

rhythm – n. a regular, repeated pattern of events, changes, activities, etc.

tremendous – adj. very large or great

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