Hanan Al Hroub, from Palestine, embraces the slogan ‘No to Violence’ and uses a specialist approach she developed herself, ‘We Play and Learn’.
She focuses on developing trusting, respectful, honest and affectionate relationships with her students and emphasises the importance of literacy. “The role of education for refugee children is not only to teach them to read and write, it is also to give them the resilience and persistence they need to deal with what they have experienced, and to avoid repeating the violence they have witnessed. Most importantly of all, we must remember that these are not just children – they are traumatised children. 79% of refugee children have experienced a death in the family, while 45% displayed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, 10 times the usual prevalence in children. Children always need a safe, secure and loving environment.”
Hanan had a year of high profile engagements following her 2016 win including:
• An audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, at the Vatican
• She launched the Italian National Teacher Prize
• Hanan visited Argentina to participate in the III International Education Congress in the province of Tucumán.
• She spoke at the United Nations in New York on the International Day of Peace
• The Varkey Foundation held an event in her honour at New York City Library as part of the Clinton Global Initiative that year which was attended by business leaders, policy makers, educators and philanthropists including representatives from UNESCO, Education International and The Brookings Institute
• Keynote speech at the Education International Conference in Stockholm: “Providing Education to Refugee Children from Conflict Areas in the Middle East - Fast track to Equal Opportunities and Integration”
• Hanan attended and spoke at the Roundtable to discuss Education of Refugee Children, in London hosted by The Varkey Foundation and Safe Passage UK
• She gave a speech at Cambridge University, UK, where she spoke about her work, followed by a panel discussion discussing education for adolescent girls in refugee settings.
• Hanan opened trading during the London Stock Exchange’s prestigious Market Open Ceremony which marks the beginning of trading each day on the world’s most international exchange.
• She spoke at London School of Economics (LSE): Beyond Tolerance: Citizenship, Constructive Conflict and Diversity, an event celebrating diversity and exploring the drivers of resilience in our society.
Hanan continues to teach and is using her winnings to complete her Masters and PhD qualifications and to fund annual higher education scholarships for disadvantaged children.