Libya Acted

Enhancing access to quality education services for vulnerable children in the East of Libya

A decade of conflict, economic crises, displacement, and the COVID-19 pandemic, have had a profound negative impact on the Libyan education system, and on children’s mental and psychosocial wellbeing.

With financial support from ECHO, Acted implemented a comprehensive intervention to increase access to quality education in a safe and protected environment for conflict-affected, vulnerable, or at risk girls and boys in Derna, eastern Libya. A total of 3,031 individuals benefited from the project, whereof 2,826 children.

Acted’s initial assessments with educational staff and children highlighted that teachers’ behaviour and lack of material in schools strongly influence the delivery of quality education, thereby increasing the risk of school dropout.  

Furthermore, war trauma affects students’ psychological stability, with episodes of panic attacks and general sense of fear. They also face, difficulties at household level, linked to the death or separation from one or both parents as well as fragile mental health of parents themselves.  

In order to strengthen the quality of education and enhance the protective environment for children, Acted conducted a six-days training programme for teachers in six schools in eastern Libya. The training included not only education and classroom management, but also awareness raising for specific vulnerabilities identified in the schools. That includes the need for tailored support to children with disabilities, child labour, episodes of physical and psychosocial harassment, as well as gender equality in school.

Increased understanding and tailored support to children

The mathematics teacher Mohamed is one of 60 teachers who participated in the training programme. 

I didn’t think that after all these years and experience, I would miss all that information. The interaction was excellent, and honestly, I benefited a lot from the training. I have applied a lot of what I learned from the training to the students in my lessons. Most of what I applied took into account the students’ feelings, treated them as equals, and aimed to understand their problems

Mohamed explains and continues:

Families are no longer able to send out students who are ready for education. Instead, they send us distracted students. The last thing they think about is education. The war has cast a shadow on the mental health of children.


NFE Remedial classes, Derna 2023.

Mohamed has worked as a teacher since 1992 and describes that the training has impacted his way of working and that he can see a change in the students as well. 

Students have become calmer, less aggressive, and more willing to come to school for education and entertainment. When I prepare a lesson, I take into account the mental differences among students. Other skills I learned during the training programme is time management in the classroom, first aid for emergency psychological cases, and dealing with the phenomenon of bullying.


Creating a safe and supportive school environment

Another teacher who completed the training programme is the Arabic language and religion teacher Fatima.

The most significant lesson I learned was the importance of respecting each student’s value within the classroom, showing compassion, and taking a personal interest in their well-being, regardless of their academic level or social background. This newfound understanding has greatly influenced my teaching approach, fostering a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for all students.


Through the training programme, Acted aims to raise awareness about the teacher’s role in children’s wellbeing, different needs and learning styles, increasing student engagement, and enhancing learning spaces to be physically and emotionally safe for children.  

Fatima can discern a positive change in the school thanks to Acted’s activities. 

Since Acted’s involvement in the school, there has been a noticeable transformation. The school environment has become more attractive and engaging for students. Teachers are highly motivated to support and assist their students. The activation of the psychosocial support unit by the school administration has made it easier to understand the students and establish effective communication with their parents. These positive changes have contributed to a more conducive learning environment and improved collaboration between teachers, students, and parents.

Through my training and experience, I have developed a deep desire to help students and a greater ability to engage and connect with them. I strive to create an environment where students not only enjoy my class but also develop a genuine love for the subject I teach.


NFE Remedial classes, Derna 2023.

Shortly after the closing of the project, Storm Daniel hit coastal Northeastern Libya unleashing a torrent of mud-brown water submerging and washing away entire neighbourhoods of Derna and surrounding area. This has caused devastating human and material damage with around 4,700 deaths, 44,800 internally displaced people, and over 8,000 people still missing. 
With its well-established presence in eastern Libya, Acted was one of the first organizations to respond on the ground. With additional funding from ECHO, Acted is providing assistance to 3,880 vulnerable individuals impacted by storm Daniel floods in Libya. The multi-sectoral intervention will focus on child protection needs including psychosocial support, positive parenting skills, as well as capacity-building to local Civil Society Organizations and teachers, and provision of light rehabilitation and refurbishment of schools to ensure a quality education within a context of evidence-based humanitarian assistance in Libya. 

*The name has been changed to protect the identity of the person.

Recreational activity, Derna 2023.