REVERSING THE CYCLE

IN ETHIOPIA PIONEERING PROGRAMME GIVES ADVANCED EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS TO TRAIN REFUGEE TEACHERS

IMG_20180816_110012
Poch Jackson Petov has been a refugee all his life. Energetic, determined and fearless, the 25-year-old Poch has created opportunities for himself – seemingly out of nothing. Photo © UNICEF

IN ETHIOPIA PIONEERING PROGRAMME GIVES ADVANCED EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS TO TRAIN REFUGEE TEACHERS

We live in a world where millions of people will live their entire lives as refugees. Living in camps, settlements and urban contexts, too often on the edge of society. These victims of conflict and crisis remain caught in a hard-to-fathom cycle of exclusion, despair and socio-economic marginalization.

For children and youth, this negative cycle is only made worse by a lack of continuous, safe and quality education, limited resources, and unqualified teachers.

Ethiopia has a long tradition of welcoming refugees. Currently it hosts Africa’s second largest refugee population and has one of the largest refugee populations in the world. Despite its generosity as a host-country, Ethiopia’s estimated 925,000 refugee population has put a strain on the country’s coping capacity to meet their needs. This is the frontlines of the refugee education crisis in Africa.

Only half of the refugee children living here have access to education. Girls are left further behind, with only 45 per cent attending school. For many of these refugee children, there are no classrooms, no books to read and few qualified teachers.

UNHCR notes that just 50 per cent of Ethiopia’s refugee schools fulfill minimum standards for safe and conducive learning environments.

But this is about to change.

The Government of Ethiopia has taken a strong stance to improve the rights and services enjoyed by refugees in the country. As part of the 2017 Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, Ethiopia has made nine pledges, including to “increase enrollment of refugee children in preschool, primary, secondary and tertiary education, without discrimination and within available resources.”

To support delivery of the response framework, and help Ethiopia achieve its goals of ending poverty and hunger, and ensuring equitable education for all by 2030 as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals, Education Cannot Wait partnered with UNICEF, UNHCR and the Government of Ethiopia to create a far-reaching US$15 million intervention that has already surpassed its goal of providing over 68,000 refugee children with quality education, quality school settings and quality teachers.

Somali refugee children share a meal inside a tent in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. Fleeing drought and famine in their home country, thousands of Somalis have taken up residence across the border in Dollo Ado, where a complex of camps is assisted by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Somali refugee children share a meal inside a tent in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia in 2011. Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

TEACHING THE TEACHERS

One promising achievement coming out of this initial two-year programme is an innovative initiative to provide advanced education to train teachers working in refugee education centers.

Only a minority of those who teach in refugee primary schools in the intervention area are qualified professional teachers holding teaching diplomas. Many of these teachers are refugees themselves. Providing advanced education for these teachers not only improves the quality of education in the camps, but it also provides a real chance to reverse the negative cycle that perpetuates poverty traps and limits opportunities for refugees young and old.  In all, the project targets training for 1,000 teachers and education professionals, of whom 444 will be women.

Poch Jackson Petov has been a refugee all his life. Energetic, determined and fearless, the 25-year-old Poch has created opportunities for himself – seemingly out of nothing.

Poch’s father died in South Sudan before he was born and he was separated from his mother when he was in the second grade. He fled the violence in his home country to seek refuge in Ethiopia. Against all odds, he managed to gain a primary and secondary education and learn Amharic while living in the Sherkole Refugee Camp in Ethiopia.

Community-minded and driven, Poch became a “volunteer teacher” for the camp, making around US$25 a month to teach primary school.

Sudanese refugees Anur, Sami, James and Abdalaziz © UNICEF Ethiopia/ 2018/Amanda Westfall
“I am proud of this programme. It will enable me to improve the knowledge of my community.” – James. Sudanese refugees Anur, Sami, James and Abdalaziz © UNICEF Ethiopia/ 2018/Amanda Westfall

“We had a meeting with school principals. We asked them, ‘Why can’t we get training to improve our skills?’ We are stuck in one position. Then we waited,” said Poch.

With funding from Education Cannot Wait, scholarships were created for Poch and others to attend college. This is a key component of Ethiopia’s focus on inclusion and empowerment for refugees as outlined in the Comprehensive Response Framework to “increase enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary education to all qualified refugees without discrimination and within the available resources.” The “full-ride” scholarships include education, room and board, health care, and transport between the refugee camps and the college.

Some 343 refugees are now enrolled in college through the scholarships. The courses are taught in English, and students can study along a variety of tracks from physical education and integrated sciences to math, social science and English.

“Finally, [the opportunity] came and we have a partner to help us continue education,” said Poch.

South Sudanese refugees and current college students, Poch Jackson Petov and Hamid Abdallah Hamad in front of Gilgel-Beles College of Teacher Education. © UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Amanda Westfall
South Sudanese refugees and current college students, Poch Jackson Petov and Hamid Abdallah Hamad in front of Gilgel-Beles College of Teacher Education. © UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Amanda Westfall

PROMISING RESULTS

The Education Cannot Wait programme in Ethiopia has already exceeded targets for the number of children reached. Thus far over 82,000 children of the targeted 68,000 have been reached. Girls are often the most vulnerable. Of the targeted 28,000 girls, now over 32,000 have been reached with formal and non-formal education initiatives. Of the 157 classrooms targeted for support with equipment, infrastructure and classroom materials, 73 have been reached thus far, while additional infrastructures are being built.

Sami Balla is another refugee who is receiving training through the programme.

“Now, we can go back with the diploma and say we are teachers and we are professionals! I now have pride to work at the school,” said Sami, who has been a refugee for seven years now.

With their diplomas, Posh, Sami and hundreds more like them will return to the refugee camps to use their new skills to improve the quality of education for their communities. With improved teaching skills, and renewed self-determination, these educators are pioneering a new path for refugees living in Ethiopia – and a bold example for the rest of the world on the value of education.

Learn More

Based on the original story by Amanda Westfall.

 

 

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 IS AT THE HEART OF YOUNG PEOPLE’S FUTURE, THEIR COMMUNITIES AND OUR PLANET’ – SARAH BROWN, CHAIR THEIRWORLD & EXECUTIVE CHAIR, GLOBAL BUSINESS COALITION FOR EDUCATION

GLOBAL EDUCATION ADVOCATE SARAH BROWN EXPLORES PRIORITIES FOR EDUCATION IN CRISIS AND A NEW REPORT ON SAFE SCHOOLS AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Sarah Brown connecting with children in the field. Photo © Theirworld
Sarah Brown connecting with children in the field. Photo © Theirworld

GLOBAL EDUCATION ADVOCATE SARAH BROWN EXPLORES PRIORITIES FOR EDUCATION IN CRISIS AND A NEW REPORT ON SAFE SCHOOLS AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Sarah Brown is a passionate advocate for global education and health issues. One of the true leaders in advocating for improved resource mobilization to reach the 75 million children and youth living in crisis today that need support in accessing safe and reliable education, Sarah’s work brings together the worlds of business, philanthropy, social media and charity campaigning.

She is the Chair of the children’s charity Theirworld and Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education. At the nexus of humanitarian relief, development and private-sector engagement, Sarah’s work through Theirworld and other charities is paving the way to mobilize more funds for the girls and boys living in the midst of war, conflict and protracted crisis that need immediate and lasting support to ensure no one is left behind in our global efforts to provide inclusive and equitable education for every child on earth by 2030.

Sarah has been a long-time champion for Education Cannot Wait. We caught up with the education luminary to get her perspectives on education in emergencies, lessons learned from the new Theirworld report ‘Safe Schools: The Hidden Crisis,’ the need for partnerships and a number of related topics.

Photo © Theirworld
Photo © Theirworld

Can you tell us why education in emergencies and crisis must be a priority for the international community to advance gender-equality, the SDGs, peace and stability?

SB: Education is at the heart of young people’s future, their communities and our planet – and never more so than for those caught up in crises rarely of their own making.

Theirworld has just completed a eye-opening report on safe schools and learning environments which underscores the scale of the challenge, and highlights exactly what we can do about it. In 2030, one-third of all school age young people will live in countries affected by conflict, humanitarian disaster and violence.  And shockingly, 75 per cent will not have the most basic skills required for employment. That means the vast majority of young people living in emergencies will be left behind and without hope for a brighter future. That is why education in emergencies is so important.

Residents at a Syrian refugee camp in the Beqaa Valley of eastern Lebanon. Photo © UN/Mark Garten
Residents at a Syrian refugee camp in the Beqaa Valley of eastern Lebanon. Photo © UN/Mark Garten

Why was Education Cannot Wait created and how did the Global Business Coalition for Education and Theirworld contribute to make it a reality?

SB: Education Cannot Wait was the positive response to the void in the global architecture of financing for education in emergencies. The history of humanitarian relief has been to act to deliver to short-term needs – food, shelter, emergency medical support – but there was no plan for education. Now that it is the norm for a crisis to last years and not just weeks or months, we need to offer education in emergency situations with a  bridge to the future.

As much as development organizations wanted to help they were unable to work with the speed needed in an emergency — and most are not able to operate in some of the countries where the largest numbers of refugees were living. This means that children were waiting years before education was funded and deprived of all hope.

I remember when Theirworld published a report a few years ago laying out the plan for delivering education to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. We had all of the major actors in the room — but there was no one capable of delivering the plan despite the willingness to help. That became the basis for the Lebanon RACE initiative — which started a new way of working between partners to deliver education in emergencies.

It was immediately clear at that point that we needed to create something to deliver education in emergencies with humanitarian speed and development depth wherever it is required in the world.  We were hearing strong messages from Theirworld’s cohort of Global Youth Ambassadors that this was a top priority — so we put our energy and resources into a campaign to create a new fund specifically for education in emergencies.

At the start, it wasn’t the most popular idea to campaign for (too difficult, too dangerous, too different- the Global Youth Ambassadors heard it all) but today, one million of young people are being given a chance at education because we all came together and stood up for the most marginalized children and youth.

At Theirworld we also wanted to make sure the business community plays its part to deliver free, quality education as a valued partner. So we made a pledge to bring business behind Education Cannot Wait. We helped ensure there was a business representative on the High-Level Steering Group and then really focused on how to make practical use of business assets to solve challenges alongside governments, international organizations and delivery NGOs.

Julie Cram of USAID and Justin van Fleet of the Global Business Coalition for Education, an initiative of Theirworld, are chairing the group which has made significant progress on private-sector engagement in support of Education Cannot Wait — with both practical examples of progress as well as the innovative thinking that seeks out the high-hanging fruit of real, lasting improvements.

Children in Afghanistan schools. Photo © Education Cannot Wait
Children in Afghanistan schools. Photo © Education Cannot Wait

Can you explore why Education Cannot Wait’s model is promising in making a difference on the ground, and the progress thus far.

SB: What I admire about ECW is that it is operationally based on results. I am also astonished (in a good way) on its speed of delivery. It truly lives up to its name: Education Cannot Wait.

Education is a human right and the passion and creativity with which Education Cannot Wait is operating is impressive.  At times, people heads spin a bit because it is such a new way of working — but that is what we need if we are to achieve SDG 4.

The multi-year programs — which are now crowding in funding in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Uganda — are basically replicating and improving on Lebanon’s RACE model in the various emergency contexts and building a bridge to development while protecting development funding.

I could not be prouder of Theirworld’s role in pushing for the innovation for Syrian refugees education in Lebanon, and now seeing this same idea replicated in other parts of the world welcoming in refugees fleeing from conflict and seeking education for the children. We often both say that our organisations are full of ‘next generation actionists’ and these new programmes are the proof of that.

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Children in Chad. Photo © Devaki Erande/JRS

Please help us explore the importance of partnerships with Education Cannot Wait, including development donors, humanitarian donors as well as the private sector and foundations.

SB: Partnerships lie at the core of all success stories in the humanitarian world – to deliver education in emergences as rapidly and successfully as Education Cannot Wait, partnerships are needed with donors of all kinds from governments to philanthropists to business.

In Theirworld’s new Safe Schools report, we set out three categories to help actors identify interventions that reflect their areas of interest, organisational objectives, and comparative advantages – and they are immediately relevant to Education Cannot Wait:

1. Prioritise safe schools and learning environments in organisational and government policies

2. Invest in safe schools and learning environments by ensuring adequate financing is available and supports best practice

3. Deliver results for children and youth through safe schools and learning environment programming which scales up best practice through direct engagement with affected communities

At the Global Business Coalition for Education, the new REACT platform with private sector and foundations is being developed to map out who can deliver what, where and how fast for education in an emergency. This exists to work with Education Cannot Wait projects and is a great example of partnership in rapid action.

Delivering emergency school supplies with Education Cannot Wait funding. Photo © Devaki Erande/JRS

Any other points and messages you would like to make?

SB: Like all good action plans, this approach to delivering education in emergencies is rooted in the philosophy that only through next-generation partnerships, and working together in non-traditional ways, can we collectively rise to the challenge of creating a greater impact for the next generation and to enable children to reach their full potential. At Theirworld we stand by that, and are privileged when we work with Education Cannot Wait that we find a like-minded partner.

Sarah Brown. Photo © Theirworld
Sarah Brown. Photo © Theirworld

Let’s act before it’s too late: the urgent need for action on the hidden safe school crisis

 Justin van Fleet is the Director of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity & Chief Advisor to Theirworld.

When Education Cannot Wait was established, its founders knew there was an immediate issue which needed solved: systematically, education was not seriously included in humanitarian response plans and the link between emergencies and longer-term development was missing. A new way of working was necessary.

Continue reading “Let’s act before it’s too late: the urgent need for action on the hidden safe school crisis”

PRESS RELEASE: Multi-million-dollar project to construct schools in refugee camps and host communities launched in Ethiopia

Multi-million-dollar project to construct schools in refugee camps and host communities launched in Ethiopia

 The project is part of a US$15m grant from the Education Cannot Wait global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and humanitarian crisis and will benefit 12,000 children.

 Addis Ababa, 10 December 2018: A project to construct schools in refugee camps and host communities in Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz regions in Ethiopia has been launched. Part of a US$15 million two-year investment in refugee education in Ethiopia by Education Cannot Wait, the project will construct three new inclusive model secondary schools, 41 classrooms in eight secondary schools, and 84 classrooms in four primary schools. About 12,000 children from refugee camps and the surrounding host communities – half of them girls – are expected to benefit.

Continue reading “PRESS RELEASE: Multi-million-dollar project to construct schools in refugee camps and host communities launched in Ethiopia”

ON THE CONTACT LINE

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT STEPS UP TO HELP CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS IN UKRAINE DEAL WITH THE SCARS OF WAR
Imagine going to a school where every day you hear bombs exploding. Imagine riding your bike to class past thousands of rounds of unexploded ordnance, blown out buildings and land mines.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT STEPS UP TO HELP CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS IN UKRAINE DEAL WITH THE SCARS OF WAR

The testimonies from children cited in this story were collected by UNICEF and photographer Ashley Gilbertson for the December 2017 story Scars of War, and the May 2018 UNICEF story Schools on the Firing Line.

Imagine going to a school where every day you hear bombs exploding. Imagine riding your bike to class past thousands of rounds of unexploded ordnance, blown out buildings and land mines.

Continue reading “ON THE CONTACT LINE”

OUT OF THE SHADOWS AND INTO THE LIGHT

‘MORE THAN 1 BILLION PEOPLE IN THE WORLD LIVE WITH SOME FORM OF DISABILITY. IN MANY SOCIETIES, PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES OFTEN END UP DISCONNECTED, LIVING IN ISOLATION AND FACING DISCRIMINATION.’ – MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY GENERAL ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.

By Aida Orgocka

“If you are a girl, 11 years old, and disabled, you may not as well exist.” It was a blunt comment to my remark that I did not see any disabled children in the schools I visited last week in two refugee settlements in the West Nile region in Uganda.

Worldwide, one in every 10 children has a disability – and the proportion is even higher in areas with armed conflict, protracted crises or disasters. But, unless we ask about them, they are invisible. Cut off from the world, cut off from their education, play and laughter. Children with disabilities are perhaps the least serviced community when it comes to providing inclusive, accessible, reliable and safe access to education for children living in crisis.

Education Cannot Wait is investing to reverse this phenomenon. Making a difference in the lives of disabled children living in crises can be challenging, but it should not stop us from doing it. As part of a global movement to bring education to all vulnerable children living in crises, we are investing in solutions to make a positive change and pull disabled children out of the shadows and into the light.

DISABILITY IS REVERSIBLE

Impairment can be a lot of irreversible issues, congenital, an illness, an injury. But disability is about inaccessible environment, discrimination, poverty, lack of opportunities, all human made. And it can be reversible.

Having said that, the reality of living in a refugee or displacement camp or in the midst of crisis can be harsh. Most disabled children in crises settings live in tough places – rough terrain, no electricity, distance to travel to access water, few ill-equipped schools, limited access to health services. Even healthy children struggle to survive, to access education, to find toys to play with, and to find hope. For girls, it’s even harder. Now imagine being a girl in a wheelchair?

For this girl – and the millions more like her – accessing education is extremely difficult.

Let’s start with the basics. If you are in a wheelchair and live in a displacement camp in Uganda way out in the countryside by the border with South Sudan, just getting to school is a challenge. Most wheelchairs and accessibility devices are ill-equipped for this rough terrain. And wheelchair ramps? Forget about it.

Let’s say, however, that your parents overcome the stigma of having a disabled child and figure out a way to get you to class. From there, you risk facing the brutality, bullying and ridicule of your peers – children can be pretty tough on their peers sometimes, especially if there are no measures in place to address discriminatory attitudes and behaviors.

In one of the refugee settlements in Uganda, some teenage refugee boys from South Sudan suggested we could get them bicycles and they would ride children with disabilities to school. Sure, I thought, great idea.

But they added that they would rather these kids be set apart in different classrooms. They felt that in these already congested classrooms with more than 50 students vying for the teacher’s attention, they would be left out.

This is a real challenge. In fact, teachers in these settings are undertrained, underpaid and ill-equipped to deal with students with disabilities. Sometimes their own knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards disability are also part of the problem.

We have a problem of stigma, a problem of access, a problem of capacity. So how do we deal with it?

A WHOLE-OF-SYSTEM APPROACH

This is what people call a wicked problem. And the only solution to wicked problems are courageous solutions, not one-off stints. That means a whole-of-system approach.

We can’t just give children souped-up wheelchairs. We have to create behavior change across society, and we have to engage with all the actors across the human-development-education-emergency-response field to create integrated solutions.

Our friends at UNICEF have been working on this problem for a long time. Some solutions are presented in their guidance on Children Living with Disabilities in Humanitarian Crisis.

In order to do this, Education Cannot Wait is investing in programs that mainstream gender equality and equity including disability. We collectively work to make inclusive quality education a reality for disabled children. They cannot be an after-thought.

Inclusive education is a government policy in Uganda. As one colleague remarked deliberate efforts for inclusive education come with a cost but this should not deter us.

In the refugee settlements in Uganda it starts with understanding and creating a culture of inclusion. To push this, teachers (our frontline ambassadors for engagement with children with disabilities living in crisis), need to be sensitized to the value of inclusion, need to be trained on dealing with children with special needs and need to be given the tools they need to address the issue.

Yes, engaging with parents and communities is important, but let’s not forget to make young girls and boys key agents of change. What a wonderful world it would be to see a child biking with a friend with a disability to school and sharing notes as they prepare for school exams!

And how about inviting organizations that provide disability services to sit in the same aid coordination fora with those who specialize in providing education services? They would have so much to say about what inclusive education is and how to help children with disabilities live a normal life.

No matter how we look at the problem, as we connect to reach the Sustainable Development Goals for inclusion, universal access to education and peace, it is certainly clear that we need to take immediate action. One-off responses are no longer enough, we need a collective response to ensure that being in a wheelchair, developmentally challenged or having special needs is not a sealed fate. No girl or boy living in crises should be left behind.

About the Author

Aida Orgocka is the Gender Advisor for Education Cannot Wait.

Photo: Geofrey Arum, Save the Children.
Children in Uganda. Photo: Geofrey Arum, Save the Children.

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA ANNOUNCES US$38 MILLION PLEDGE FOR EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT [EN/FR

GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION FROM CANADA TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO EDUCATION FOR GIRLS LIVING IN CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES

2 December 2018, New York – The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, announced a significant new CAD$50 million (US$38 million) pledge to Education Cannot Wait during today’s Global Citizen Festival in South Africa.

The Government of Canada stressed that its contribution will “improve children’s education in countries facing humanitarian emergencies and crises” and that “investing in education, especially in crisis situations, empowers girls and prepares them for the future”.

This new pledge from Canada to Education Cannot Wait tops up its initial US$15 million contribution for a total of US$53 million in contributions to date. Canada is now the second-largest donor to the Fund.

The funding will provide much-needed gender-responsive education for girls living in the midst of crisis, in war zones, in refugee camps, in displacement and in emergencies settings.

Canada’s pledge marks an important milestone as leaders from the G7 step up efforts to deliver on the commitments of this year’s Charlevoix Declaration, which promises to increase equal access to quality education for girls and women.

In the declaration, G7 leaders underscored the value of a quality education for girls in crisis settings to “promote peace and security and drive improved health and life outcomes” and committed to “continue investing in girls’, adolescent girls’ and women’s quality education in developing countries, including in emergencies and in conflict-affected and fragile states”.

“Canada’s pledge sends a clear signal to the world that girls and adolescent girls everywhere can no longer be left behind, that they deserve equal access to education and opportunities. Today, Canada, together with the broad coalition of Education Cannot Wait’s partners, is telling the world that girls matter. We are telling the world that education cannot wait for the 39 million girls living in war and disaster that don’t have the opportunity to go to class, learn and thrive,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

Education Cannot Wait, a new global fund for education in crisis and emergencies hosted by UNICEF, seeks to mobilize US$1.8 billion by 2021 to provide access to safe, reliable, quality education for 8.9 million children – half of whom will be girls – enduring some of the worst possible human conditions on the planet.

Girls and adolescent girls living in crisis are often excluded from education. They are 2.5 times more likely to be out of primary school and 90 per cent more likely to be out of secondary school than those living in countries where there is no crisis. Girls’ access to quality education in conflict and crises settings helps to protect them against the risks of childhood marriage and early pregnancies, sexual assault and gender-based violence.

 

Click here to download the PDF version

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Notes to Editors:

For more information on Education Cannot Wait, visit: www.educationcannotwait.org

For press enquiries, contact:

Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers,

adesgroseilliers@educationcannotwait.org, +1 917 640-6820

 

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

Education Cannot Wait 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

 

 


 

 

LE GOUVERNEMENT DU CANADA ANNONCE UNE CONTRIBUTION DE 38 MILLIONS DE DOLLARS USD AU FONDS EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT

LA CONTRIBUTION GÉNÉREUSE DU CANADA RENFORCERA L’ACCÈS À L’ÉDUCATION DES FILLES ET ADOLESCENTES VIVANT DANS LES PAYS EN CRISE

2 décembre 2018, New York – Le premier ministre du Canada, Justin Trudeau, a annoncé une nouvelle contribution de 50 millions de dollars CA (38 millions dollars USD) au fonds Education Cannot Wait dans le cadre du Global Citizen Festival aujourd’hui en Afrique du Sud.

Le gouvernement du Canada a souligné que cette contribution va « améliorer l’éducation des enfants dans les pays touchés par des urgences et des crises humanitaires » et « qu’investir dans l’éducation, surtout en situation de crise, renforce le pouvoir des filles et les prépare pour l’avenir. »

Cette nouvelle contribution du gouvernement du Canada à Education Cannot Wait s’ajoute à sa contribution initiale de 15 millions de dollars USD pour un total de 53 millions de dollars USD à ce jour, hissant le Canada au deuxième rang des plus importants donateurs du Fonds.

Le financement permettra d’assurer un accès équitable des filles et adolescentes vivant dans des zones touchées par les guerres et les crises humanitaires, dans des camps de réfugiés ou en situation de déplacement interne, à une éducation qui leur fait cruellement défaut. Le tout, à travers des programmes d’éducation prenant en compte la dimension genre.

Cette contribution du Canada constitue une étape importante dans les efforts des dirigeants du G7 pour tenir les engagements pris dans la Déclaration de Charlevoix plus tôt cette année. Le texte promet d’accroître l’égalité de l’accès à une éducation de qualité pour les filles et les femmes.

Dans la Déclaration, les dirigeants du G7 ont souligné l’importance d’une éducation de qualité pour les filles vivant dans des situations de conflits et crises: «  une éducation de qualité favorise la paix et la sécurité et favorise l’amélioration de la santé et de la qualité de vie », ils  se sont engagés à « investir dans une éducation de qualité pour les filles, les adolescentes et les femmes dans les pays en développement, y compris dans les États en situation d’urgence, en proie à des conflits et fragilisés. »

« La contribution du Canada est un signal clair pour le monde entier que les filles et les adolescentes ne peuvent plus être laissées pour compte, qu’elles méritent un accès égal à l’éducation et à des chances égales. Aujourd’hui, le Canada et la vaste coalition de partenaires du fonds Education Cannot Wait, disent au monde entier que les filles sont importantes. Nous disons que l’éducation des 39 millions de filles et adolescentes qui sont dans des situations de guerre et de catastrophes et n’ont pas la possibilité d’aller en classe, d’apprendre et de s’épanouir ne peut pas attendre », a déclaré Yasmine Sherif, Directrice de Education Cannot Wait.

Education Cannot Wait est un nouveau fonds mondial pour l’éducation dans les situations de crise et d’urgences. Le Fonds, hébergé par l’UNICEF, cherche à mobiliser 1,8 milliard de dollars USD d’ici 2021 afin de fournir un accès à une éducation fiable, de qualité et dans un environnement protecteur à 8,9 millions d’enfants – dont une moitié sont des filles – vivant dans des conditions parmi les plus difficiles sur la planète.

Dans les situations de crises engendrées par les guerres et les catastrophes, les filles et les adolescentes ont un accès plus limité à l’éducation. Elles sont 2,5 fois plus susceptibles de ne pas fréquenter l’école primaire et 90 % plus susceptibles de ne pas fréquenter l’école secondaire que les filles dans les pays où il n’y a pas de crise. Un meilleur accès à une éducation de qualité aide à les protéger contre les risques accrus de mariages et grossesses précoces, d’agressions sexuelles et de violences basées sur le genre.

 

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Pour plus d’informations sur Education Cannot Wait, visitez: www.educationcannotwait.org

Contact pour la presse:

Anouk Desgroseilliers,

adesgroseilliers@educationcannotwait.org, +1 917 640-6820

 

À propos du fonds Education Cannot Wait  (ECW)

Education Cannot Wait (« L’Éducation ne peut attendre ») est le premier fonds mondial dédié à l’éducation en situation d’urgence. Il a été lancé par des acteurs internationaux de l’aide humanitaire et du développement, ainsi que des donateurs publics et privés, pour répondre aux besoins éducatifs urgents de 75 millions d’enfants et adolescents touchés par des situations de conflits et de crises. Les modalités d’investissement du Fonds visent à instaurer une approche plus collaborative entre les acteurs sur le terrain, en veillant à ce que les acteurs humanitaires et de développement unissent leurs forces pour obtenir des résultats en matière d’éducation.