Iraq: UN agency launches literacy and life skills programme

Portrait of an Iraqi child

16 June 2011 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today announced the launch of a literacy and life skills training programme for 6,000 unemployed youth and women in Iraq.

The programme will help 25 local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Iraqi education ministry to establish community learning centers throughout the country, UNESCO said in a press statement.

“Proposed activities shall include provision of basic life skills along with literacy programmes that will enhance work opportunities for unemployed illiterate youth and vulnerable communities,” UNESCO said.

The grant programme is part of Iraq’s Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) project launched last year, aimed at achieving UNESCO’s Education for All (EFA) goal of reducing illiteracy by 50 per cent by 2015.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined life skills as “abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.”

In particular, life skills are a group of cognitive, personal and interpersonal abilities that help people make informed decisions, solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, build healthy relationships, empathize with others, and cope with and manage their lives in a healthy and productive manner, UNESCO noted.

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