Education Iraq

mLearning for displaced Iraqi children

Published on Jun 16, 2014 02:00 AM  -  Updated on Jul 09, 2020 04:58 PM
TSF supports displaced children with new technologies for educational activities.

Context: Conflict
Start date: 16/06/2014
End date: 21/11/2014
Areas of intervention:

  • Khazar district, Iraq
  • City of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Activities: mLearning

250 children beneficiaries


In June 2014, heavy fighting in the city of Mosul led to a massive displacement of the population of the Nineveh governorate in northern Iraq. According to the UNHCR, more than 500,000 Iraqis fled to the border regions of Kurdistan.

Amongst all the populations affected by conflict, children are the most vulnerable. They find themselves facing the same hardship as adults (separation from their home, family, friends etc.), but do not have the same means to protect themselves. They are also often deprived of education, sometimes for long periods - a factor that can seriously compromise their future.


In June 2014, Télécoms Sans Frontières deployed to the heart of the crisis to offer humanitarian calling services to displaced populations and to support the coordination of humanitarian actors. TSF also set up a mLearning digital education centre for children whose families had fled Mosul.

TSF uses new technologies to reconnect isolated children and support educational activities. The goal is to offer an alternative educational, fun and interactive approach, whilst opening the way to creativity, imagination and sharing.

Extracurricular activities

Outside the formal education system, TSF used digital tools to offer fun and educational activities to displaced children, including using specific software for the practice of mathematics (order, operations, etc.), language (reading and vocabulary in Arabic), but also mind games and free expression with drawing or musical creation.

These activities were mainly on tablet, but did not exclude the use of paper to diversify media and allow the understanding of the concepts by manipulation.

Khazar IDPs camp (June – August 2014)

Supervised by an organiser, the children benefited from educational activities thanks to digital tablets. These tablets offered them fun learning materials and allowed them to stimulate their imagination despite the difficult situation they were going through.

In the early days of August, following the advance of the jihadist rebel forces between Mosul and Erbil, and the capture of the largest Christian city of Qaraqosh, nearly 100,000 people were driven out of their homes. During the night of 7th to 8th August, given the severity of the security conditions, Khazar camp was evacuated and TSF had to suspend its activities.

Baharka IDP camp (August – November 2014)

Following the forced evacuation of its centre in Khazar, TSF re-established its mLearning activities for displaced Iraqi children. In collaboration with the NGO Relief International, a new centre was set up 10km north of Erbil in the Baharka IDP camp. At that time, some 4,000 people (representing 600 families) were settled in the camp, with more than 250 children enrolled in TSF’s extracurricular programme.

From December 2014, the NGO InterSOS was able to open a school in Baharka camp, on the condition that the education provided strictly complied with the Iraqi curriculum. TSF’s activity, outside the school curriculum, could not continue; nevertheless, this programme allowed all these children to pursue an educational activity in a playful way during a particularly unstable and distressing period for them and their families.