Imagine you’ve slumped down in your chair for the new term. Your classmates are buzzing around you as the bell signals a new period. A figure walks through the door and you hastily grab your brand-new textbooks out of your bag. However, as you lift your head to greet your teacher, you stop. It isn’t your teacher. It’s a soldier, armed with a sleek black rifle pointing straight towards you and your classmates.
This scenario might seem far-fetched for those of us who enjoy a secure and developed education system, but it is a frightening reality for children in conflict zones such as Yemen & Central African Republic. UNICEF estimates that in 2017, 500 attacks were waged on schools in 20 different countries worldwide.
In 15 of these 20 countries, classrooms were turned into military posts. Thousands of unwilling children, who only wished for an education, were recruited to serve as suicide bombers or child soldiers.