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A backpacks campaign for stateless students

Suppose the new school year is starting and you as a parent cannot afford to get school supplies for your kids after a major financial crisis. It might be hard to imagine it could happen in a country like Kuwait, where stationery can be amongst the cheapest materials you can find but it is a sad reality for thousands of stateless students at the start of the academic year. This year however, a human rights activist took an oath to help stateless families by providing school backpacks and supplies through fundraising. She is set to work together with a group of other activists to provide aid and media appeal to solve this particular issue and maybe improve their living condition as a whole as well.

Hadeel Buqrais, a dramatist and a human rights activist has dedicated herself to educate kids and adults about their internationally recognized human rights. This spark of interest in human rights began in 2011 when she went to document the stateless (Bidoon) peaceful demonstrations on a Friday of every week, permitted to do thusly. As a human right photographer, she found herself making conversations with kids, parents, especially, the women, whom she has seen crying out against injustice. “Some of them rushed to me with identification papers and evidences to indicate that they are from the oppressed category. But, after the demonstration was broken by the Ministry of Interior, we continued to visit them and build a good relationship with them. We became good friends and I saw and learnt about their poor condition. Many girls do not receive equal opportunity with their brothers in educations due to the rising cost”, said Buqrais.

Last year, Buqrais conducted a similar fundraising effort to supply school bags. However, it wasn’t supported enough. Fortunately this year, over 114 school backpacks have been supplied, until the writing of this story. “The reaction from our community was very positive. Many thanks must be givent to the Liberal movement for their support, represented by Eman Johar Hayat and Anwar Al-Rashaid who provided the use of their headquarters to receive and distribute donations. We have also had calls from citizens asking how they can help.” explained Buqrais.

Last weekend was allocated to the beneficiaries to have school bags before the start of the academic year today. Buqrais concluded by inviting the Minister of Education to include the private schools of Kheitan, Jahra and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh which accept stateless students, in his annual inspection visit to schools in order to ascertain the extent of their struggles and improve the level of their education system.

by Athoob Al-Shuaibi

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