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Iman starts her own school

Libya, March 9, 2011

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Because the current instability and violence have closed schools in Libya, 9-year-old Iman (center, behind table, wearing brown and white) is teaching her neighborhood friends basic arithmetic and grammar. Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

Since the uprising here in Libya began, the schools have all been closed. Most people here are not thinking about school or work but only about the fighting and what Gaddafi will do next. But while I was out assessing the humanitarian situation in a very poor neighborhood, I found a group of kids who had taken it upon themselves to keep up their schoolwork.

In a vacant dirt lot Iman, an enterprising 9-year old girl, had set up her own makeshift school. With an old rickety table as her desk, and a wood beam for her students to sit on, she was conducting class, teaching her neighborhood friends basic arithmetic and grammar.

Iman seemed to spend more time telling her younger friends to sit still and listen than actually teaching, but I have to give this girl an A+ for effort!