The cold December wind blows through the broken windows into the classroom of the local high school for boys in Rabia, a city on the Iraqi-Syrian border. Kaveen and Barbar from the Welthungerhilfe (WHH) social cohesion team are setting up for the first workshop of the day. The topics are recycling, environmental awareness and the rehabilitation of the school building. “The windows in our classrooms are broken, the doors do not have doorknobs, we have no heating or toilets,” one of the students shares his frustration. The school lacks even the most basic infrastructure. After the so-called Islamic State (IS) took control of Rabia and large parts of Ninewa governorate in summer 2014, the majority of the inhabitants fled. When Kurdish and Iraqi forces retook the area from IS in late 2015 only around one third of the former population chose to return back home. The basic infrastructure in the city remains largely destroyed, economic opportunities are lacking and there are practically no job opportunities.
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