EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT AND MHPSS COLLABORATIVE PARTNER TO DELIVER MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT TO CHILDREN CAUGHT UP IN THE WORLD’S WORST HUMANITARIAN CRISES

Education Cannot Wait, together with the MHPSS Collaborative and its partners, are calling on donors to support our efforts to increase the provision and quality of MHPSS via education in emergencies with $10 million in dedicated financing to be channeled through Education Cannot Wait. UN Photo/Martine Perret
Education Cannot Wait, together with the MHPSS Collaborative and its partners, are calling on donors to support our efforts to increase the provision and quality of MHPSS via education in emergencies with US$50 million in dedicated financing to be channeled through Education Cannot Wait over three years through 2021. UN Photo/Martine Perret

NEW PARTNERSHIP WILL SEE MORE AND BETTER SERVICES FOR THE MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN AFFECTED BY CONFLICT DELIVERED THROUGH EDUCATION

16 May 2019, The Hague – Today, at the Stop the War on Children Symposium in The Hague, Netherlands, Education Cannot Wait and the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Collaborative launched a new partnership designed to mainstream mental health and psychosocial support for children and youth affected by wars and conflicts.

One in five of the world’s school-aged children live in countries affected by conflict. These girls and boys face increased risk of developing mental health and psychosocial problems due to the violence, trauma, fear and chronic adversity they experience. This combination may lead to “toxic stress” – a type of stress particularly damaging to a developing child’s brain architecture with potential lifelong impacts on children’s physical and mental health; their ability to grow, learn, develop; and their capacity to build the skills they need to become productive members of society.

Yet, in most conflict areas, there are few if any mental health and psychosocial support services specifically for children and adolescents, including a serious lack of capacity to care for children with higher level needs, such as developmental disability, exposure to traumatic events, or mental, neurologic and substance abuse disorders.

Dr. Leslie Snider and Yasmine Sherif at the Stop the War on Children Symposium. Photo Michael Corlin/ECW.
Dr. Leslie Snider and Yasmine Sherif at the Stop the War on Children Symposium. Photo Michael Corlin/ECW.

“Integrating MHPSS programming into the existing services that support and protect children, such as educational systems, is one way in which the service gap can be closed and by which we can ensure children can access opportunities for healing, recovery and learning,” said Dr. Leslie Snider, the Director of the MHPSS Collaborative.

With Education Cannot Wait expanding its investments in multi-year resilience education programmes to 25 priority crisis-affected countries in the next three years, the new partnership with the MHPSS Collaborative – a global platform for research, practice, learning and advocacy

for mental health and psychosocial support – has the potential to reach 9 million children annually by 2021.

“Education Cannot Wait is a global fund designed to ensure children caught up in crises have access to education and we’re committed to ensuring that the education they receive support them in healing,’ said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “Our support to education takes a holistic approach to ensure children’s wellbeing. We can’t ask a child who is suffering from the horrors of war and the prolonged stress and insecurity of daily life in conflict zones to learn numeracy and literacy skills as if it was business as usual. Only by helping them cope with their experiences, heal and recover can we help them achieve quality learning outcomes.”

Integrating mental health and psychosocial support within education not only ensures safe and nurturing learning environments, it has also been demonstrated to improve academic outcomes for children.

Education Cannot Wait, together with the MHPSS Collaborative and its partners, are calling on donors to support our efforts to increase the provision and quality of MHPSS via education in emergencies with US$50 million in dedicated financing to be channeled through Education Cannot Wait over three years through 2021. This funding will enable the development and demonstration of a Minimum Service Package for mental health and psychosocial services within the education sector. Furthermore, it will support the implementation of the package in five Education Cannot Wait Multi-Year Resilience Programme countries by 2021, providing critical support to build back better educational systems linked with other care and protective services.

Stop the War Symposium Panel. Photo: The MPHSS Collaborative
Stop the War Symposium Panel. Photo: The MPHSS Collaborative

The new partnership will help build capacity across the education sector to deliver lifesaving mental health and psychosocial support and effectively link educational systems with health, protection and social services, ensuring a critical safety net for children and their caregivers.

The MHPSS Collaborative will support the mainstreaming of such services through Education Cannot Wait’s investments, in coordination with the Global Education Cluster and other relevant coordination mechanisms.

The Minimum Service Packages for MHPSS within education, health and protection sectors in humanitarian response is an initiative of UNICEF and WHO.

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Note to Editors:

For more information, read the full briefing Healing And Recovery Through Education In Emergencies

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

Additional information on ECW is available at www.educationcannotwait.org

For press enquiries, contact:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@educationcannotwait.org , +1 917 640-6820

For any other enquiries, contact:
info@educationcannotwait.org

About the MHPSS Collaborative

The MHPSS Collaborative is a global platform for mental health and psychosocial support research, practice, learning and advocacy. We connect key academic and humanitarian actors with local civil society to give children and families in fragile circumstances the possibility to thrive, to learn and play, and to develop to their full potential. Based upon meaningful relationships and local realities and solutions, the collaborative: Convenes local to global stakeholders for MHPSS sharing, exchange, learning and innovation; Facilitates interagency MHPSS implementation science to promote innovation, quality and scale; Engages local communities of practice to lift learning from local MHPSS innovation to global exchange; Disseminates MHPSS knowledge, evidence and resources; and Champions the critical contribution of MHPSS to the recovery and survival of children and families in fragile contexts through evidence-based advocacy and policy.

For more information, contact: les@redbarnet.dk or cvt@redbarnet.dk or follow @MHPSSCollabora1 on Twitter

BUILDING PEACE THROUGH EDUCATION IN SOUTH SUDAN

Photo Aida Orgocka/ ECW
Refugee Children from South Sudan in Ethiopia. Photo Aida Orgocka/ ECW

WE CANNOT SAY ‘LET US FIGHT FIRST AND THEN GET EDUCATION LATER’

By Aida Orgocka

“If I was not educated, I would be one of the people that would cause problems for South Sudan now,” says Victor Dut Chol, the Director of Research Policy Development and Sustainable Development Goals/Peace Education Focal Point in the Ministry of Education of South Sudan.

I met Victor in Juba during my last field mission to South Sudan where Education Cannot Wait is supporting the development of a multi-year programme aiming to provide education to the country’s most vulnerable children and youth.

Victor is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Like many of the boys who fled the violence of the civil war in the ’80s and trekked enormous distances to find safety in Ethiopia, the capital and other places, Victor doesn’t actually know how old he is. Birth registration is very low in South Sudan, and only about half of children are registered at birth.

But Victor never gave up. He pursued education with tenacity throughout his journey as a person uprooted by violence, from Ethiopia, to Kenya and then to the United States of America. Having graduated with a Master’s in Public Administration, he is now back in South Sudan because he believes it is his time to give back. He is part of the Task Team that will put together the Multi-Year Resilience Programme led by the Government of South Sudan.

South Sudan is one of the six countries where the Fund will invest in such programmes in 2019 – bringing ongoing Multi-Year Resilience Programmes supported by Education Cannot Wait to a total of 11 countries by the end of the year. Designed to strengthen linkages between emergency response and longer-term strengthening of education systems, these programmes bring together a wide range of international, national and local stakeholders to deliver quality education to the most marginalized girls and boys.

Photo Aida Orgocka/ ECW
7 out of 10 children are out of school in South Sudan. Protection of Civilian site outside Juba. Photo Aida Orgocka/ ECW

UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGE

More than 2.2 million school-aged children in South Sudan have been dropped out of school due to the continuous conflict. This is one of the highest rates in the world. In some areas, girls make up to 75 per cent of the children outside the education system. The gender gap widens with age, according to the Global Initiative On Out Of School Children report (May 2018). While 10.6 per cent of boys were in secondary school at age 16, this was the case for only 1.3 per cent of 16-year-old girls.

Victor fears that if education is not provided for these children, they will grow up thinking like he did when he was out of school, that people of tribes other than the Dinka were out there to harm him. Without the opportunity an education provides, Victor believes these children would choose taking up arms instead of making windows, chairs and benches for classrooms, or pursuing other productive activities to build the social and economic fabric of the young nation.

We need to prepare the next generation of workers in South Sudan – and across the globe in countries affected by disaster, emergency and protracted crisis. As outlined in Education Cannot Wait’s Case for Investment, for each dollar invested in education, more than US$5 is returned in additional gross earnings in low-income countries and US$2.50 in lower middle-income countries.

Education is the key.

South Sudan cannot be self-sufficient if it does not have its own educated workforce. It all starts with having an opportunity to go to school and stay in school. For girls, meeting the education challenge means lifting socio-cultural barriers including eliminating child marriage and sexual violence, and building the confidence, knowledge and power needed to take their place in economic and social life. For boys, the alternative would be a future of joining armed groups or being victimized during cattle raids. For the nation, realizing the education imperative means the hope of peace, the hope of security, and the hope of reducing poverty and hunger South Sudan signed up for, along with 193 countries, when it committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Photo Aida Orgocka/ ECW
These boys are lucky to have basic services at the Protection of Civilian site outside Juba. In all 30 per cent of schools in South Sudan are damaged, destroyed or occupied. Photo Aida Orgocka/ ECW

PUTTING EDUCATION FIRST

How difficult can it be to keep children in school? Parents in South Sudan are selling cows to bring children to school because they are realizing the importance of an educated child.

Anyone who knows the country would say this is a huge investment. Cows symbolize income generation, status and the promise of a family life in a context where communities exhausted by conflict are saying: “This is enough.”

But even when the desire is there, there are no schools, and when there are schools, they lack trained teachers.

At a Protection of Civilians site outside of Juba, one teacher told us that while “back to school campaigns” try to increase enrollment numbers of girls and boys in school, what’s also really needed is a “back to teach campaign.”

Above all, women teachers should be recruited and trained. These women educators will serve as role models for girls like Vicky in Hossana Primary School who told me she wants to be a pilot.

Having worked in the field of education in emergencies for some time now, I sometimes get impatient with ideas that evolve around building more schools and training more teachers.

Haven’t we done enough? No, we haven’t.

In South Sudan when you see a poster that reads “You should never try to hit your friends with a metal or big stick,” you wonder why in the first place you would hit a friend.

As one of the countries that endorsed the Safe School Declaration, South Sudan places a lot of faith in schools and teachers to be the entryway to peace. As Victor puts it “we cannot afford to fight now and get educated later.”

Aida Orgocka is the Gender Specialist at Education Cannot Wait. She visited South Sudan March 24-31, 2019 with Michael Corlin, Education Cannot Wait Senior Advisor as part of the Fund’s support to the development of a Multi-Year Resilience Programme to be launched this year.

Photo Aida Orgocka/ ECW
The largest group of out-of-school children in South Sudan are girls. Poverty, child marriage and cultural and religious views all hinder girls’ education, according to UNICEF. Protection of Civilian site outside Juba. Photo Aida Orgocka/ ECW

 

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT ANNOUNCES US$11.7 MILLION CATALYTIC GRANT FOR MULTI-YEAR EDUCATIONAL RESPONSE FOR CHILDREN IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA

320,000 CHILDREN TO BENEFIT FROM NEW PROGRAMME DESIGNED THROUGH A BROAD INTERNATIONAL COALITION

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Photo by Khalil Adwan

320,000 CHILDREN TO BENEFIT FROM NEW PROGRAMME DESIGNED THROUGH A BROAD-BASED JOINT PROGRAMME

10 April 2019, New York – Education Cannot Wait announces a US$11.7 million seed funding allocation to support the launch of a ground-breaking multi-year educational response programme aiming to reach 320,000 children in the State of Palestine.

Developed in coordination with the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian Authority and a broad-based partnership of UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations, the three-year programme aims to mobilize US$34.8 million in total finance from additional donors.

“Children and youth in the West Bank and Gaza face significant levels of violence in their daily life. Education is a life-line for them. We must invest in their education and their schools as safe spaces where they can learn, thrive and be empowered to realize their potentials. Their potentials are great, indeed,” says the Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif.

The programme will target some of the most vulnerable and at-risk children and youth in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with special attention given to marginalized groups such as girls, children with disabilities, and vulnerable communities.

The programme will implement integrated initiatives to develop the capacity of teachers and schools, improve safety of learning environments, offer protection to children and teachers and integrate life-skills to improve the quality of education.

One of the things that children have said to me over and over again in Palestine, is that they wish school were a place where they felt safe – a place where they could immerse themselves in learning, where they could be with their friends and not have to worry about the politics that surround them,” says Jamie McGoldrick, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories. “The seed funding provided by the Education Cannot Wait initiative is, perhaps, an excellent first step towards making this very reasonable wish a reality.”      

Although the net enrolment in basic education in Palestine is over 95 per cent, access to pre-primary education and secondary education is lagging. The net enrolment rate in secondary schools is only 60.8 per cent (52.4 per cent boys and 69.5 per cent girls). Children with disabilities are even further behind, with only 5 out of 10 children aged 6-17 enrolled in school.

In 2017 alone, there were 169 incidents of education-related violations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Demolition and stop-work orders are affecting schools and pushing children away from formal education. Some students must walk 10 kilometres or more to get to and from school, putting their safety at risk. With parents worried to send their daughters to school, girls are particularly at risk.

The new multi-year response programme was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the UN Country Team, development partners and NGOs.

It aligns with the over-arching framework for humanitarian and development education interventions in Palestine through the government’s Education Sector Strategic Plan 2017-2022, as well as the Joint Advocacy and Protection Strategy, the UNRWA Mid-Term Strategy, and the Humanitarian Response Plan.

This new US$11.7 million catalytic grant builds on the achievements of a $3 million First Emergency Response allocation from Education Cannot Wait which reached over 250,000  children (including 135,000 girls) and was implemented through the UNRWA.

PHOTOS

Gaza

EDUCATION IS AN ESSENTIAL BUILDING BLOCK FOR PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN

Q&A WITH EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT DIRECTOR YASMINE SHERIF ON AFGHANISTAN PROGRAMME LAUNCH

UN Photo/Roger Lemoyne; Nangarhar, Afghanistan. UN Photo/Roger Lemoyne. www.unmultimedia.org/photo/
UN Photo/Roger Lemoyne; Nangarhar, Afghanistan. UN Photo/Roger Lemoyne. www.unmultimedia.org/photo/

Q&A WITH EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT DIRECTOR YASMINE SHERIF ON AFGHANISTAN PROGRAMME LAUNCH

Why is education important for Afghanistan?

While Afghanistan is making progress in improving access to education, approximately 3.7 million children remain out of school. 2017 saw nearly half a million newly displaced people in Afghanistan, as well as an influx of over 600,000 Afghans returning from Iran and Pakistan. Droughts connected with climate change and other conflicts are pushing more people to migrate and undermining efforts to get more children in school.

More than half of returnee girls and boys are currently out of school due to the lack of capacity of schools to enroll additional children, lack of required documentation to facilitate enrollment, cost factors, and language, gender and cultural barriers.

Education is an essential building block in Afghanistan’s progress toward peace, security and sustainable economic development. Education brings empowerment and enlightenment. We can’t afford to lose another generation to war, conflict and displacement.

Tell us about the new programme

The three-year programme will target the most vulnerable children in Afghanistan, with a particular focus on girls, internally displaced children, and returnee refugee communities. Education Cannot Wait and the Government of Sweden have provided the seed funding to get this programme started, and get Afghanistan’s children back in school, with US$12 million in funding from Education Cannot Wait and a generous US$10 million grant from the government of Sweden.

It will be implemented and managed through a broad coalition of international organizations, national and international NGOs, and representatives from the national government and civil society. Key partners include the Afghan Ministry of Education, IOM, OCHA, OHCHR, UNAMA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS, UNHCR, WFP, WHO, the World Bank and Education Cannot Wait, alongside National and International NGOs such as Save The Children, Norwegian Refugee Council and International Rescue Committee.

The programme builds on the progress made through Education Cannot Wait’s US$3.4 million first emergency response, which focused on access to basic education for the most vulnerable children – returnees, internally displaced children, girls, children in isolated rural areas –  through community-based education, providing teaching and learning materials, and teacher training and recruitment.

Up to US$35 million will be required annually from international donors and national entities to cover the full cost of the multi-year programme. We are calling on the global community to step up and be counted. Funding education in Afghanistan isn’t just the right thing to do for our global humanity, it will also power our work to end poverty and hunger by 2030, and ensure universal access to education for every girl and boy in Afghanistan. Our work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal 4, which calls for equitable access to education for every girl and boy on the planet by 2030, cannot be compromised. Education cannot wait for an entire generation of Afghan children that risk being left behind.

What impacts are anticipated on the ground from this programme?

In a country where a lack of female teachers and cultural biases have severely limited educational opportunities for girls, the investment will recruit, train and provide financial support for 14,000 teachers, over 60 per cent of whom will be women. It will also set up 2,500 gender-sensitive water and sanitation  facilities, and build an awareness campaign to reach over 150,000 people.

Through this joint work, the programme looks to improve numeracy, literacy and educational resilience for children by 10 per cent, increase school attendance by 30 percent to get 460,000 girls and boys back in school, and nearly triple the number of existing primary and pre-primary learning spaces from 5760 (2017) to 16,500. The investment will also provide learning materials, such as textbooks and notebooks, to 500,000 children, including 325,000 girls.

Distance and danger hinder access to schools in Afghanistan, especially for girls. The investment will provide transport for 40,000 children to educational facilities, including 26,000 girls.

With so many returnee and displaced children, special emphasis will be paid to helping integrate children into the education system. To get children back on track, over a quarter million displaced girls and boys will be supported in obtaining documentation and school certification, and catch-up classes in Dari and Pashto languages will be extended to some 276,000 children.

How will this programme work to close the gender gap?

In Afghanistan, education is largely delivered along gender lines, with very few mixed-gender schools. And a lack of girls-only schools and female teachers provides a significant barrier to education for the 2.2 million girls that are still left behind. That’s more than the total population of Qatar and Luxembourg combined.

The Ministry of Education has just recently launched its Girls’ Education Policy specifically to remove barriers to education for all Afghan girls and women, to close the gender gap in the school enrollment of girls and boys, and to bring out-of-school girls into the education system.

In alignment with this policy, the programme will focus on a wide spectrum of actions, such as:  creating safe school environments, including supporting community transport for girls to travel safely to school; supporting displaced girls and boys to obtain documentation and schooling certification; implementing community-based education to reach children, especially girls, in rural and isolated areas; developing and rolling-out distance learning packages for hard-to-reach locations and communities, such as radio education programmes, self-learning materials; and providing training to 20,000 teachers, especially female teachers.

What has Education Cannot Wait achieved so far in Afghanistan?

This new multi-year investment will scale-up and accelerate Education Cannot Wait’s initial US$3.4 million 12-month investment in Afghanistan announced in June 2017. This rapid response programme aimed to provide immediate relief to children in need of educational support. It focused on access to basic education for the most vulnerable children – Afghan returnees, internally displaced children, host community children, girls, children in rural and isolated areas – through community-based education, providing teaching and learning materials, and teacher training and recruitment.

The programme successfully reached 35,000 children, including 59 per cent girls, providing them with access to formal and non-formal education, including community-based education.  Through this programme, Education Cannot Wait partnered with a local NGO, Wadan, to reach children in the most head to reach areas. For example, through this local partner, we were able to recruit and train a female biology teacher in a community of displaced people in Radat. With a new biology teacher, some 40 girls have returned to class. We were also able to provide hope and a sense of normalcy to children who fled violence in the Nangarhar’s Achin District. We provided these uprooted children with sense of normalcy and restored hope thanks to the community school we set up in displaced people settlements.

Education Cannot Wait is determined to mainstream and accelerate these successes to reach more of Afghanistan’s vulnerable girls and boys and support the government in providing long-term solution to integrate them into the education system.

Afghanistan Multi-Year Programme Launch

The Gov. of Afghanistan, Education Cannot Wait, UNICEF and a coalition of UN, NGO partners and donors launch a multi-year education response programme

 

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The Government of Afghanistan, Education Cannot Wait, UNICEF and a coalition of UN, NGO partners and donors launch a multi-year education response programme to benefit ½ million children annually

Kabul, Afghanistan, 21 February 2019 –  Today, the Government of Afghanistan, the Education Cannot Wait, global fund for education in crisis, and UNICEF launched a multi-year (2018 – 2021) education response programme, for which an initial US$ 22 million has been secured. The new programme will support the government’s policy on community based-education and improve access to safe and reliable education for 500,000 most vulnerable children, including 325,000 girls, in Afghanistan annually.

During the past decade, Afghanistan has been making progress in improving children’s access to education.  Primary school enrollment rate increased from 1 million to 8.5 million between 2002 and 2019.  Yet, violence, poverty and drought are among the many issues that threaten to reverse these gains. Approximately 3.7 million children remain out-of-school. Girls and children with disabilities are especially vulnerable. About 60 per cent of the out-of-school children are girls, and only 5 per cent of children with disabilities are able to access education.

Only half of the schools in Afghanistan are housed in buildings, and 1,000 schools remain inactive or closed due to security issues. Reports of attacks on schools have increased significantly during 2018, putting children at risk of injury, increased violence and threats of dropping of out-of-school.

The ECW programme in Afghanistan will contribute to reducing the number of out-of-school children in Afghanistan by identifying the most vulnerable boys and girls who have been affected by emergencies, and providing them with immediate learning opportunities.  Using community-based and innovative initiatives over a three-year period, access to quality education will increase particularly for girls, and at the same time teachers and community members will be key stakeholders in the process.

“Today’s education provides the foundation for tomorrow’s economic recovery and growth and supports society as a whole”. says Dr. Mohammad Mirwais Balkhi, Minister of Education of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  “This new programme is part of our commitment to ensure that every girl and boy in Afghanistan are in school and learning by the year 2030.”

The multi-year response programme, whose total cost is US$ 157 million is facilitated by Education Cannot Wait and is implemented by a broad coalition of international and national organisations[1].  Building on the significant progress made through Afghanistan’s first emergency response in providing most vulnerable children access to schools, the programme aspires to raise over US$ 35 million for unmet needs in the first year.

“The Government of Sweden, and its people are committed to supporting the most vulnerable girls’ and boys’ education,” says Ambassador Tobias Thyberg, Embassy of Sweden in Afghanistan, who is representing the significant donor country to this programme.   “Through innovative community-based approaches, we can help retain school attendance, improve quality of education, and create a safe and protective learning environment.”

This programme resonates with the aims of the Ministry of Education Girls’ Education Policy to remove barriers to education for all Afghan girls and women; to close the gender gap in the school enrollment of boys and girls, and to bring out-of-school girls into the education system; and to undertake affirmative action for girl students and female education personnel.
“This is a new way of working in delivering education in emergencies, by bridging humanitarian and development aid efforts. Only by working together can we achieve universal education by 2030,” says Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “The girls and boys of Afghanistan have suffered enough and have a right to develop their potentials to rebuild this war-torn country. Today, we have an opportunity to invest in them through quality education, to empower them to fulfill their full potential and that of their country. Let us seize it, sustain it and never let go of it.”

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Afghanistan Multi-Year Programme Launch

 

 

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For more information, please contact:

Mohammad Kabir Haqmal, Director General of Information & Publication- MoE, Mobile: + 93(0) 700186150, haqmal.stanekzai@gmail.com

Ms. Monica Awad, UNICEF Afghanistan, mobile: +93 730717111, mawad@unicef.org

Mr. Feridoon Aryan, UNICEF Afghanistan, mobile: +93 (0) 730 717 115, faryan@unicef.org

Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers, Education Cannot Wait +1 917 640-6820; adesgroseilliers@educationcannotwait.org

[1] Afghanistan Ministry of Education, IOM, OCHA, OHCHR, UNAMA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS, UNHCR, WFP, WHO, the World Bank and Education Cannot Wait, national and international NGOs such as Save The Children, Norwegian Refugee Council and International Rescue Committee.

CHILDREN OF HOPE

HALF A MILLION REFUGEE AND HOST-COMMUNITY CHILDREN WILL BENEFIT FROM UGANDA’S EDUCATION RESPONSE FOR REFUGEES.

UNHCR estimates that 4 million refugees worldwide (aged 5 to 17) are not enrolled in school, with 61 per cent attendance in elementary schools and 23 per cent in secondary schools. The Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Migration provide the substantial political backing to enhance educational opportunities and support for refugee children and youth fleeing war, persecution and disasters. Some host countries, such as Uganda, are already making great strides in ensuring quality and inclusive education for refugees. Photo © World Vision
UNHCR estimates that 4 million refugees worldwide (aged 5 to 17) are not enrolled in school, with 61 per cent attendance in elementary schools and 23 per cent in secondary schools. The Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Migration provide the substantial political backing to enhance educational opportunities and support for refugee children and youth fleeing war, persecution and disasters. Some host countries, such as Uganda, are already making great strides in ensuring quality and inclusive education for refugees. Photo Children of Hope in the Imvepi refugee settlement © Jesuit Refugee Service.

HALF A MILLION REFUGEE AND HOST-COMMUNITY CHILDREN WILL BENEFIT FROM UGANDA’S EDUCATION RESPONSE FOR REFUGEES.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT STEPS UP EFFORTS TO PROTECT CHILDREN AT RISK.

Uganda has received more than a million refugees from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the last two years. War, conflict and drought are pushing families and unaccompanied children to flee neighboring countries. Girls and boys are being pushed to the edge. And their future is at risk.

The Government of Uganda, backed by a broad international coalition including Education Cannot Wait, is stepping up to resolve this crisis, building from immediate first-emergency responses to an innovative multi-year response plan to deliver sustainable results across the scope of humanitarian and development aid efforts.

The progress in Uganda sets an example on how host countries with the support of international aid stakeholders can respond to such refugee crisis at a time when the need for emergency education response worldwide is growing. According to UNHCR, the number of forcibly displaced people hit a record of 68.5 million in 2017. This means that one person is displaced every two seconds. Of the 19.9 million refugees currently under the protection of the UNHCR, more than half are under the age of 18.

In all some 4 million refugee children are not enrolled in school. That’s about the total populations of New Zealand or Croatia.

Numeracy has improved thanks to the programming. Photo ©Jesuit Refugee Service

LAYING THE GROUNDWORK IN UGANDA

Huge steps have already been taken to create better educational environments for girls, boys, unaccompanied minors and adolescents arriving from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Somalia, among other places.

According to UNHCR, approximately 265,000 school-aged refugee children were enrolled in primary education in Uganda as of the end of 2017.

To reach all the refugee children living in the country, Education Cannot Wait facilitated the development of a 3.5-year Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host Communities in Uganda, contributing US$11 million in seed funding to support the launch of the plan. The comprehensive plan looks to raise a total of US$389 million in total contributions to reach more than 560,000 refugee and host community children and youth. Girls and children with disabilities will be especially targeted in the response.

 Photo © Jesuit Refugee Service
Juma Mawa is proud to be attending class. Photo © World Vision

PUTTING LEARNERS FIRST

Young children and girls are some of the most vulnerable to migration. Not only does being a refugee take its toll on young bodies, it can also be extremely detrimental for young developing minds, and future educational outcomes.

Thanks to the support delivered in 2017-2018 by a coalition of aid actors including World Vision and UNICEF, with funding from Education Cannot Wait’s initial first emergency response, five-year-old Juma Mawa now attends school at the Hope for the Children Early Childhood Development Center in the Imvepi refugee settlement in Uganda’s Arua District.

“In South Sudan, I was not going to school but when we came here, the school was near and my father brought me here and I joined top class,” said Juma.

Like Juma, thousands of children have been reached with early childhood development program activities, psycho-social support and conducive play environments that are vital for the well-being of children and to help them overcome the trauma of their migration.

“There’s great improvement in children’s ability to identify letters, numbers and write. This has shown great improvement in their numeracy and literacy skills. Through the construction of permanent classrooms, Education Cannot Wait has boosted the ability of the caregivers to adequately plan and deliver their lessons… without having to worry about rain or the sun,” said Lucy Evelyn Atim, the World Vision child protection coordinator in Imvepi refugee settlement.

Around 5,000 children – half of whom are girls – have been enrolled in six Hope for the Children Schools. Two schools in the Odupi host community have also received support.

Photo © Jesuit Refugee Service
Teachers prepare lesson plans in the new building constructed with ECW funds. Photo © Jesuit Refugee Service

PUTTING GIRLS FIRST

Kojo Nancy is a 15-year-old refugee from South Sudan attending school at the Itula Secondary School.

“I first jointed Itula secondary school in February 2018. But there were a lot of challenges. Girls were sleeping in the classrooms, which led to a shortage of classrooms for learning. Girls were bathing in one shelter,” said Kojo Nancy.

With funding from Education Cannot Wait and support from Jesuit Refugee Service, Kojo Nancy and other girls like her now have a two-room dormitory (reserved just for girls), there are separate bathing facilities, a four-room classroom, incinerator and teacher’s quarters. Electricity comes from a solar panel, ensuring the school isn’t just safe for girls, but it’s also green and they can have light to study by.

“All these things they have done will lead to a great improvement in our health and performance. Not only for girls, but for the entire school,” said Kojo Nancy.

VIDEOS

Video features images from UN Photographers and Jesuit Refugee Service.

Video courtesy Jesuit Refugee Service. Jasmine Poni is a refugee from South Sudan. She is finding new chances for safe, reliable education thanks to support from an Education Cannot Wait-financed  project implemented by Jesuit Refugee Service in Uganda. With the construction of classrooms and a dormitory, girls and adolescent girls living here have a new safe space to learn, play and grow.

IN THEIR WORDS

Education Cannot Wait launches US$12 million allocation for Rohingya children education in Cox’s Bazar

Cox’s Bazar, 13 November 2018

In a major boost to the education response of the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund is allocating US$12 million to support 88,500 refugee and host community children and adolescents. The fund is being awarded to UNICEF, UNESCO and UNHCR to ensure a common vision for education and continued access to quality learning.

13 November 2018: Launch of the ECW-supported programme in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh
13 November 2018: Launch of the ECW-supported programme in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh

“Education is a long-term investment in any context. Within the Rohingya refugee crisis, education plays an even more vital role. It ensures children’s protection. It is also a lifeline of hope for children and young people living in a very unpredictable situation. ECW is making a major investment in their future,” says James Lynch, UNHCR Regional Representative and Acting Representative in Bangladesh.

The launch was announced from an ECW supported learning centre in the Rohingya refugee camps earlier today, in the presence of 50 children, parents, teachers, government, UN and NGO representatives.

ECW's Senior Education Advisor Graham Lang attends the launch of the ECW-supported programme in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh
13 November 2018: ECW’s Senior Education Advisor, Graham Lang, attends the launch of the ECW-supported programme in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh

When asked about his learning centre, 8-year-old Rohingya boy Amin said “diley shanti pai – I feel peace in my soul.”

For Amin and many others, time spent at the learning centre is the highlight of their day. Rohingya children attend classes for two hours each day to learn English, Burmese, mathematics and life skills. However, teaching hours will be expanded to four hours per day with the rollout of the new education programme.

“We are dealing with a refugee population which has been denied the right to education for a very long time. Over the past year, we have witnessed incredible changes in the children attending classes in the refugee camps. Children who were quiet and reserved have grown in confidence, they have learned new skills in a safe, protective environment and achieved a sense of normality. We must continue to nurture their talents and prospects for a brighter future,” says Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh.

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Over 2,000 teachers will benefit from professional development programmes through the multi-year ECW grant to ensure quality education that can sustain and save lives, providing safe learning environments, psychosocial support for children and youth.  In particular, the programme will focus on training female teachers and meeting the specific needs of girls and boys and of children and adolescents with disabilities. This includes measures to prevent and address gender-based violence.

In host communities, emphasis will be placed on strengthening education systems to improve quality in public schools. Cox’s Bazar has one of the highest rates in the country of primary and secondary age children out of school. The ECW grant will invest in strengthening access to education, retention of students and increasing performance levels.

“ECW’s support will enable us to enhance the quality of the education delivered. We will train more teachers with an improved syllabus and learning materials. We can expand the network of our reach to close the gap on the Rohingya children and youth we are currently unable to reach in the refugee camps,” highlights Beatrice Kaldun, UNESCO Representative in Bangladesh.

At the onset of the refugee crisis, ECW donated US$3 million to establish emergency education services in the Rohingya camps. This US$12 million contribution builds on the earlier support and aligns with a broader framework of support for education facilitated by ECW.  The estimated additional cost to deliver this education program in 2019 is almost US$60 million. ECW is calling upon other donors and partners to step up to the plate and provide further financing to fill the gap.

“This funding builds on the first emergency investment made by Education Cannot Wait (ECW) during the initial months of the Rohingya arrivals in 2017.  We will not give up on these children and youth now, as they start to recover from the painful experiences in the recent past. On the contrary, now is the time to sustain and expand their access to education, which also means to continue providing a healing and protective environment,” says Yasmine Sherif, Director of ECW.

 

The press release is also available at the following links:

UNESCO office in Dhaka

UNICEF Bangladesh

 

 

Media contacts

UNICEF Bangladesh, Jean-Jacques Simon. Email: jsimon(at)unicef.org Tel: +8801713 043478

UNHCR Bangladesh, Firas Al-Khateeb. Email: Khateeb(at)unhcr.org Tel: +880 188 593 4309

UNESCO Bangladesh, Sun Lei. Email: l.sun(at)unesco.org Tel: +880 1708 455077

ECW, Anouk Desgroseilliers, Email: adesgroseilliers(at)educationcannotwait.org Tel: +1 917 640 6820

 

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT ANNOUNCES US$35 MILLION ALLOCATION

 ECW provides its largest allocation to date to support quality education for 1.6 million crisis-affected children and youth in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Uganda

20 September 2018, New York – The Education Cannot Wait fund (ECW) is allocating a total of US$35 million as seed funding to support the launch of three ground-breaking multi-year education programmes designed to deliver quality learning opportunities to 1.6 million children and youth affected by conflict and violence.

This is the largest allocation from the ECW Fund since its inception. It comprises $11 million to support the Education Response Plan for Refugees and Host communities in Uganda, $12 million allocated to the Delivering Collective Education Outcomes in Afghanistan programme, and $12 million to support Education for Rohingya Refugees and Host Communities in Bangladesh.

“The launch of these three multi-year programmes marks a turning point in the way the multilateral aid system delivers education in emergencies and protracted crises,” said Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif. “It sets concrete examples of ‘the new way of working’ through cooperation and collaboration between humanitarian and development actors. It is about all coming together, about how global, national and local stakeholders join forces to find solutions to provide quality education and restore hope to millions of children and youth caught up in some of the most difficult circumstances of conflict and displacement.”

ECW is pioneering the new way of working in the education-in-emergencies sector to strengthen the links between relief and development efforts, and deliver rapid and sustainable responses to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4. The Fund provided the impetus and supported the development by in-country partners of the three multi-year programmes, acting as a catalyst to bring together humanitarian and development actors.

“The announcement of ECW’s allocation today is the starting line. In order to deliver on our collective obligation to fulfill the right to education of all children in conflict and crisis, public and private donors must deepen and expand their investment specifically addressing education in humanitarian contexts,” said Sherif. “Valued stakeholders and donors have already indicated their support to these ECW-facilitated programmes, and we are confident additional actors will come forward and contribute.”

The three ECW-facilitated multi-year education programmes aim to provide quality education to refugees, internally displaced, and host community and vulnerable children and youth as follows:

  • In Uganda: The 3.5-year programme calls for contributions of $389 million to reach over 560,000 refugee and host community children and youth, recruit and remunerate more than 9,000 teachers on a yearly basis, train over 12,500 teachers and build close to 3,000 classrooms yearly. The response plan has been developed under the leadership of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and UNHCR, and will be managed by consortium facilitated by Save the Children. Other key partners include UN Agencies, bilateral donors, and international and local civil society organizations. To date, $80 million in contributions from the Government and its partners has been identified, including ECW’s seed funding.

In Afghanistan: The 3-year programme calls for contributions of $150 million to reach over 500,000 internally displaced and returnee children and youth as well as vulnerable children in remote areas and host communities. It will create an inclusive teaching and learning environment; improve continuity of education; and create safer and more protective learning environments, with a target of 50 per cent towards girls’ access to quality education. The key partners facilitating the programme under the leadership of the Ministry of Education include UNICEF, Save the Children, UN agencies, bilateral donors, and international and local civil society organizations. To date, $22 million in contributions has been allocated to the programme, including ECW’s seed funding.

  • In Bangladesh: The 2-year framework calls for contributions of $222 million to build on the existing emergency response and reach over 560,000 refugee and host community children and youth and 9,800 teachers in Cox’s Bazar district. It is an extension of the humanitarian response and is therefore aligned with the current Joint Response Plan. Key partners who have participated in the development of this framework include UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, and international and local civil society organizations. To date over $97 million has been allocated towards the framework, including ECW’s seed funding..

This $35 million allocation brings ECW’s investments to a total of $127 million in 17 crisis-affected countries since the Fund became operational eighteen months ago. ECW’s investments are currently reaching 765,000 children and youth in the world’s worst crises, half of whom are girls and adolescent girls. The number of children and youth reached will now scale up significantly.

The full press release is available here.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT PLANS MULTI-YEAR RESPONSE IN UGANDA

A second field mission is ongoing in Uganda to meet with partners

A joint mission led by Education Cannot Wait (ECW), including the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Save The Children, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)and UNHCR, is currently in Kampala meeting with government officials, the UN Resident Coordinator, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNESCO, WFP, the World Bank, donors, local NGOs and civil society organisations to finalise a comprehensive multi-year Response Plan for Refugee and Host Communities. This plan comes in support of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) led by the Government of Uganda and UNHCR.

This mission follows a preliminary field assessment conducted by ECW and its partners in July and a $3.35 million grant allocated earlier this year. This first ECW grant is supporting a one-year First Emergency Response programme, also funded and managed by UNHCR in partnership with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF and other in-country partners. The programme aims to meet the specific educational needs of children living in refugee settlements and their host communities in Uganda with innovative solutions such as accelerated education, double-shifting, adapted infrastructure, as well as refugee teacher training and certification. This mission was the first concrete action taken since the Uganda Solidarity Summit, which had taken place in Kampala the previous month. In a spirit of sustainability, the objective of the second mission is to extend the first-year response provided by ECW and its partners with a comprehensive four-year plan.

Uganda is hosting 1.3 million refugees – the highest numbers of refugees in Africa and the third largest in the world today. Out of these 1.3 million refugees, an estimated one million people are fleeing insecurity and violence in South Sudan and 86 percent are children and women. The remaining 300,000 refugees are coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. The Government is committed to ensure access to quality education to all refugee children, in line with the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants adopted at the UN General Assembly last year. Refugee children can study with Ugandan children in regular schools.

However, the national education sector is itself hindered by underlying poverty, lack of teaching capacities, poor infrastructure, overcrowded classes, poor learning outcomes and a low enrollment of girls at post-primary levels aggravated by gender-based violence and dire hygiene conditions. The areas where refugees have settled are already some of the most disadvantaged parts of the country, which may exacerbate tension between the two communities, making it important for ECW and its partners to adopt a fast and holistic approach that integrates the educational needs of both refugees and their host communities. A report prepared by Save the Children and launched during the Solidarity Summit showed that $132 million is needed to meet the basic education needs of children living in those areas.

In line with ECW’s core principles, joint planning efforts seek to empower the local education sector and fill identified gaps, while building on existing in-country partners, coordination mechanisms and frameworks, including the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment approach (ReHoPe), the Government National Development Plan, the Settlement Transformative Agenda (STA) and Uganda’s SDG targets.

This all-inclusive stakeholder workshop organized by ECW in Kampala this week, in cooperation with DFID and USAID, is the first-of-its-kind meeting bringing together state and non-state humanitarian and development parties involved in Uganda’s education sector. It will accelerate the efforts deployed by all actors on the ground to ensure access to quality learning for children in both refugee and host communities in a rapid, coordinated, effective and sustainable manner.

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As part of the mission, ECW’s Director Ms. Yasmine Sherif and her team met refugee students and teachers, as well as with Ugandan families living in the area, to get a first-hand understanding of their situation, the needs and to ensure that their voice drives all efforts planned in the coming years.

More: Press release issued by the Office of the First Lady and Ministry of Education of Uganda

Photo: ©UNHCR/SouthSudan

Posted 28 September 2017