Teachers offer a lifeline for children in war - but do they get the support they need?

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Happy teacher = happy child

Research Lead
“CORE recognises the stress and burnout teachers face. Supporting them to identify what constitutes a good teacher helps them strengthen their own wellbeing and to take actions to becoming the teacher they want to be. This leads to more compassionate, enabling and quality education environments where children can learn and grow socially and emotionally.'”

April Coetzee, teacher and War Child researcher

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Want to learn more or ask a question? Contact April via email or LinkedIn.


Teachers' mental health

  • 75 million school-aged children in conflict-affected countries need a quality, protective education.
  • Teaching in these settings is stressful. There is little professional development, resources are scarce and salaries are often irregular. The impact on teachers’ wellbeing is rarely acknowledged and addressed.
  • By not addressing teachers' well-being, many people don’t enter the profession, leave it or need to interrupt their work to manage their burnout or distress.

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CORE is made up of five two-hour wellbeing workshops and three months of intensive teacher coaching - spread across 6 modules during regular school hours. To download a schematic overview, click here.


Whole-School Approach

We use a whole-school approach, addressing the needs of learners, teachers and the wider community in our workshops and coaching. We provide a combination of reflective, teacher-focused, iterative and socio-ecological support. To explain in a nutshell, we encourage both teachers and students to look beyond themselves in order to better understand, challenge and ultimately improve their behaviours.


Our partners



  • Chocó, Colombia:
    A three-month practice run has been conducted
Current research

Based on Evidence

The intervention has been tested with teachers and coaches in Colombia who found it useful and relevant. The testing also confirmed the intervention's potential for more effective and positive coach-teacher working relationships. A first cycle of testing and adaptation has resulted in a draft manual.

Next steps

Our research agenda

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CORE will be further tested for acceptance, relevance and feasibility in Uganda and Colombia.

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Meet our Research and Development Team

April Coetzee considers herself first and foremost a teacher. On top of that, she is also a War Child researcher and PhD student of the University of Amsterdam. She has spent over 15 years in the field of Education in Emergencies in vulnerable and conflict-affected settings.