THE GOVERNMENT OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT, AND A WIDE COALITION OF DONORS AND PARTNERS LAUNCH US$77.6 MILLION EDUCATION PROGRAMME FOR 900,000 CHILDREN

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THE GOVERNMENT OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT, AND A WIDE COALITION OF DONORS AND PARTNERS LAUNCH US$77.6 MILLION EDUCATION PROGRAMME FOR 900,000 CHILDREN

WITH A CATALYTIC US$6.5 MILLION IN SEED FUNDING FROM EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT, THE PROGRAMME WILL BE A ‘FOUNDATION OF PEACE, SECURITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT’

27 February 2019, Bangui – The Government of the Central African Republic and Education Cannot Wait launched a three-year education programme today that will reach an estimated 900,000 children – half of whom are girls – and address the violence and displacement that have left nearly half a million children out of school in the country.

“Education will build the foundation of peace, security and economic development for the people of the Central African Republic,” said Mr. Aboubakar Moukadas-Noure, Central African Republic Minister of Education. “By providing girls and boys with safe learning spaces, qualified teachers, learning materials, school meals, counseling support and other services, this bold and comprehensive programme signals a new age of progress in the Central African Republic. Our children deserve an education. If we are ever to end hunger, violence, displacement and poverty in our country, truly, their education cannot wait.”

The programme benefits from an initial investment of US$6.5 million for 2019-2020 from Education Cannot Wait, a new global fund for education in crisis. The fund is looking to catalyze US$1.8 billion by 2021 to address the needs of children in crisis-affected countries such as the Central African Republic.

Building on the successes of a 12-month US$6 million First Emergency Response financed by Education Cannot Wait, the programme seeks to mobilize US$77.6 million over the next three years. Education Cannot Wait has indicatively committed an additional US$6.5 million per year for the second and third years of the programme, dependent on successful results and availability of funds.

“The global community must step up to fund educational responses in the Central African Republic,” said Graham Lang, Senior Education Advisor at Education Cannot Wait. “The challenges to overcome for children in the country to have universal access to quality education may be immense. But the resilience of these children is even greater. Education is the key that can empower them to tap into this strength to realize their potential and become agents of positive change. Without education, there can be no sustainable recovery, reconciliation and peace.”

The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the world’s most unstable countries. Widespread violence has had a heavy toll on the population, with one out of four Central African uprooted by the conflict and over two-third of the population in need of humanitarian assistance. Girls and boys are particularly affected, with reports of separated children, sexual violence, forced marriage and early pregnancies, and forced recruitment into armed groups. Since 2017, 89 attacks against schools have been reported while 20 per cent of schools remain closed.

“The programme will target displaced children and host communities with comprehensive efforts to increase access to education, improve retention and ensure education continuity, improve the quality of learning and teaching, and establish safe, protective and inclusive learning environments” Lang said.

 

As part of Education Cannot Wait’s efforts to strengthen links between humanitarian and development aid efforts, the programme connects actors from across the government, UN organizations, national and international NGOs and the private sector.

Key Facts & Figures on the Multi-Year Resilience Programme

  • With transitional classes, the rehabilitation and construction of over 1000 classrooms, and the distribution of 320,000 school kits, the ECW investment in the overall multi-year programme seeks to get over 360,000 out of school children back in protective and safe learning environments, with the goal of reintegrating 90 per cent of the country’s out of school children into the formal education system.

 

  • To reach children in remote locations, an innovative radio education programme is expected to reach around 300,000 girls and boys. It also looks to test cash transfer programmes and will connect with the World Food Programme to implement school feeding programmes in 35 schools.

 

  • Without pay, most teachers have left their posts in CAR, and the educational system primarily relies on untrained community teachers, which comprise over half the teaching force. The programme will provide training and incentives to 12,000 teachers – 35 per cent of whom are female – with the goal of providing better education, keeping children in school and equipping teaching personnel to help children deal with the scars of war, violence and displacement.

 

  • Only one in four girls in CAR are considered literate. The programme seeks to increase the participation of girls in formal and non-formal education by 5 per cent per year. Girls-only sanitary facilities and comprehensive campaigns on sexual education and girl’s rights are part of the programme’s overall efforts to get more girls back in school. The programme will also support 90,000 girls and boys in obtaining official documentation.

 

[PDF] CAR-MYRP-Launch-Press-Release-ENG

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

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

 

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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.”

Download the PDF version of the Press Release

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Download Afghanistan MYRP Factsheet

 

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.

PRESS STATEMENT: Urgent appeal for new funding for lost generation of 30+ million displaced and refugee young people

PRESS STATEMENT
For Immediate Release
February 19 2019

Urgent appeal for new funding for lost generation of 30+ million displaced and refugee young people

** Two major programmes launched this month to help the 75 million children without education trapped in emergencies and crises

Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, speaking at the United Nation headquarters in New York said:

“I am here today to speak up for the 99 percent of the world’s young refugees – the lost generation who are now becoming, to us, the invisible generation – who will never get a place in college or in higher education.  And to speak for the 80 percent of refugee teenagers who will never get a secondary education.

A lost generation is not only identified by empty classrooms, silent playgrounds and short, unmarked graves.  A lost generation is one where hope dies in those who live.

The urgency comes as 2019 is starting with escalating crises:

  • the estimated 3 million exodus from Venezuela – the largest in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • the half a million out-of-school children living in the Central African Republic (CAR);
  • the need to reopen 1,000 schools in Afghanistan where there are still 3.7 million out-of-school children, more than 2 million of them girls;
  • and the ongoing refugee crises as result of the Rohingya, Syria, Yemen and South Sudan conflicts.

The desolation of the lost generation is so extreme that there have been reports last autumn from the Moria refugee camp, where there is no formal education on offer to thousands of young people, that two young boys had attempted suicide.  At ten, when life should be in front of you – full of hope and excitement at every new dawn – young boys are so devoid of hope that they attempted to take their own lives.

These young people are no longer only the lost generation, they are the invisible generation. And we must do more.

On Thursday February 21, the Education Cannot Wait Fund (ECW) – headed by Yasmine Sherif – and a coalition of partners will launch a program for safe and reliable education for 500,000 children in Afghanistan, including 325,000 girls.

The following week, on 27 February in the Central African Republic, ECW, the government and a coalition of partners will launch a new three-year education response program to reach an estimated 900,000 children – half of whom are girls – to address the violence and displacement that has left nearly half a million children out of school.

This follows the multi-year program in Uganda, launched in September, to help with the influx of South Sudanese refugees, which has already brought $70 million in additional resources through the coordinated multi-year approach.

ECW aims to catalyse a total $1.8 billion in education financing by 2021. This includes mobilizing $570 million by 2021 for the Trust Fund which will support rapid responses, global goods and seed funding investments to catalyse an additional $1.1 billion of in-country financing for multi-year programmes to be rolled out in ECW’s 25 priority countries.

Current investments will soon reach 2.5 million children – with 1 million children covered by the end of 2018 and 1.4 million in new programs announced by the end of this month.

Already ECW has invested $134.5 million in 19 crisis-affected countries, including in 16 emergency responses.

It is time to count the cost of a decade of disruption:

  • 12 million child refugees and rising
  • More than 30 million displaced children in total – with Venezuela, CAR, the DRC, South Sudan, Pakistan, Myanmar and Syria some of the biggest numbers
  • 75 million children with education disrupted because of conflict and emergency

People – children – are not broken just by the wave that submerges the life vest or the convoy that does not make it to the besieged town. They are broken by the absence of hope – the soul-crushing certainty that there is nothing ahead for which to plan or prepare, not even a place in school.

What holds them back is not just their location, their homelessness, and their poverty – but the death of their dreams.

The only way to reach the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of every child at school is for a child’s real passport to the future stamped in the classroom – and not at a border check post.

So today I propose:

First, let us expand Education Cannot Wait and recognize that committing to the SDG on education for all means committing to education without borders – the right of even the stateless and the displaced child to a quality education.

And second, for the long-term, we must support the International Finance Facility for Education, which is designed to serve the 700 million children and youth living in lower-middle-income countries, where the majority of out-of-school and displaced children reside.  The facility is advancing rapidly with a high-level event scheduled in April where prospective donors will agree to constitute what could be a $10 billion fund this year.

—Ends—

Download the full press statement as PDF

 

 

Notes:

  • According to UNHCR, the number of forcibly displaced people is 68.5 million. Among them are nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Today 1 out of every 110 people in the world is displaced.
    Source: UNHCR Global Trends,
    unhcr.org
  • A report from Médecins Sans Frontières says that MSF teams are seeing multiple cases each week of teenagers who have attempted to commit suicide or have self-harmed.  In group mental health activities for children (aged between six and 18 years) between February and June 2018, MSF teams observed that nearly a quarter of the children (18 out of 74) had self-harmed, attempted suicide or had thought about committing suicide. Other child patients suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, aggressive outbursts, constant nightmares or voluntarily become mute.

The report by Theirworld, Safe Schools: The Hidden Crisis, showed that by 2030, 622 million – nearly a third of all children that will be alive at that point – will live in countries where education is under threat from war, endemic high violence, or environmental threats. In the absence of increased investment and delivery of safe schools and learning environments, three of every four young people in these countries are projected to be unequipped with the skills to participate fully in society and the economy.

 

ABOUT EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT (ECW)

 

Education Cannot Wait is the first global movement and fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises.  It was established during the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to help reposition education as a priority on the humanitarian agenda, usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground and foster additional funding to ensure that every crisis-affected child and young person is in school and learning. Based on the recognition that continuous access to quality learning is a priority for children and families affected by conflicts, natural disasters and displacement and that no organisation can do it alone, ECW comes as a ground-breaking initiative bringing together public and private partners eager to work together differently and mobilise the funding required to deploy immediate and sustainable programmes tailor-made to the educational needs of these children.
www.educationcannotwait.org

 

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL FACILITY FOR EDUCATION (IFFED)

 

The International Finance Facility for Education is a groundbreaking way to finance education in countries around the world. By multiplying donor resources and motivating countries to increase their own investments, the Facility will unleash tremendous new funding streams for education. The Facility has the power to help tens of millions of children go to school and prepare millions more young people for the future of work.

The Facility is a recommendation of the Education Commission, put forward in The Learning Generation report released in September 2016. In the first round of funding, donor countries will provide the Facility with about $2 billion in guarantees, which will then be leveraged to create up to about $8 billion in new financing. By blending this financing with grant funding, the Facility would help mobilize more than $10 billion for education. www.educationcommission.org

For more information contact: Francois Servranckx, at fservranckx@educationcommission.org

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

RESILIENT EDUCATION

Photo © UNESCO
Photo © UNESCO

RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND A FIERCE EL NIÑO THAT DEVASTATED PORTIONS OF NORTHERN PERU, EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT AND UNESCO WORK TO GET CHILDREN BACK TO SCHOOL AND REDUCE FUTURE RISKS

When Peru suffered unprecedented damage from floods and mudslides induced by the El Niño phenomenon in 2017, Education Cannot Wait sprang into action to fund a rapid response to restore educational services for affected children.

In all, 162 people died in the disaster and over 66,000 homes were destroyed, leaving a quarter of a million men, women and children homeless. The Piura Region in Northern Peru was especially hard hit. Around 100,000 people were made homeless, and the education of an estimated 37,000 children was interrupted as their classrooms were destroyed.

Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crisis, allocated a fast-acting US$250,000 grant to UNESCO that was implemented in coordination and close collaboration with the Government of Peru, UNICEF and other frontline agencies to build new schools and get children back in the classroom.

The grant helped build prefabricated classrooms in nine schools. In addition, gender-segregated bathrooms were built to ensure a better protection for girls in the precarious environments that often follow natural disasters of this magnitude.

Beyond this immediate response to restore infrastructures, Education Cannot Wait also supported efforts to “build back better.” This meant helping to develop the response plans necessary to insulate children from future risks.

This was done through 27 workshops organized to map community risks, especially around schools, create family emergency plans, and build improved disaster and risk management plans, strategies and frameworks.

The family emergency plans helped households to identify better housing materials, reduce risks, identify hazards, and protect children when disaster strikes.

With the new school facilities in place, some 590 students were able to return to school, including 288 girls. The project closed in September 2018 but has had a lasting impact.

“This isn’t just about building infrastructure, but also about building happy spaces,” said UNESCO Representative Magaly Robalino.

Peru-Impact

THE LINK WITH CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is affecting educational outcomes the world over – and putting children at ever greater risk.

Rising seas, more extreme weather, drought, floods and rising temperatures push resources, economies and livelihoods to the edge. Farmers in poor countries are seeing decreasing yields and are struggling to adapt. Nations are seeing vast economic impacts that are syphoning off resources. And families are struggling to find the resources they need to send children to school, feed children healthy meals, and save money for the future.

With more frequent and severe risks from sea-level rise, stronger and more intense hurricanes and other natural disasters, the world’s most vulnerable children face ever-increasing risks. This will make it harder to reach global goals of achieving universal and equitable education by 2030 as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The economic returns for investing in education in emergencies are significant. 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.

In the same way, investments in disaster risk reduction also have similar benefits, with recent World Bank reports indicated that risks from climate change, of which natural disasters are a core component, could cost up to 20 per cent of GDP.

Education Cannot Wait’s modalities, designed to link emergency relief and development efforts are well placed to support disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness from the onset of responses through to recovery.

In the end, the goal is not just to get children back in school, but to also insulate these communities from future shocks to build a brighter future for generations to come.

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Peru

FROM CONFLICT TO THE CLASSROOM – A REFUGEE’S STORY

The author Benoite Gyubahiro (right) at Bambasi refugee camp primary school with a classmate. She is the only student from DRC in her 8th Grade class, whereas the vast majority are from Sudan. © UNICEF/Ethiopia/2019/Tsegaye
The author Benoite Gyubahiro (right) at Bambasi refugee camp primary school with a classmate. She is the only student from DRC in her 8th Grade class, whereas the vast majority are from Sudan. © UNICEF/Ethiopia/2019/Tsegaye

BENOITE GYUBAHIRO RECOUNTS HER INSPIRING JOURNEY FROM THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO TO BECOME A TEACHER AND STUDENT IN ETHIOPIA’S DISPLACEMENT CAMPS

I came to Ethiopia in 2013, and lived in the Sherkole refugee camp, where I spent four years. Before Sherkole I was studying in a government school in Uganda. Now I am in Bambasi Camp [in Ethiopia], where I have been for the last two years. When I left my home country the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), I was 12 years old and studying in Grade 2. We lived in a rural area close to the capital Kinshasa.

War made us leave DRC. It was a war between two tribes. When it broke out in Rwanda, some Rwandan people fled to the Congo. Many in the Congo wanted them to go back. And that’s why there is conflict there.

My parents could sense there might be a problem and decided to leave before things became bad. While the conflict was on, we were not there to see it. I was in Uganda at the time studying in a government school in Grade 4. I did not see anyone get killed because we left before the real danger.

Eventually, we had to leave Uganda as well. My parents decided that we needed to get away to the farthest place possible. They communicated with relatives in Kenya who advised us to go to Ethiopia, because it was safer there.

We traveled by bus. I took one bag with clothes only. Everything else, we left behind. We couldn’t bring anything as we didn’t have the time. I don’t even have a passport or any identification. My parents do, but I have nothing.

Both my parents are educated. Back in the DRC my father worked as a photographer for the government. He took pictures and held exhibitions. Among other things he photographed dying people. He now studies at the University in Assosa. My mother worked simple jobs with UNICEF and Save the Children.

Right now, I am a 2nd Grade teacher. I teach mathematics: addition and subtraction. But I am also a Grade 8 student. I try to manage my time between teaching and studying. Between 8 am and 12 pm, I am at school teaching 100 students. Then I come back in the afternoon to pursue my own studies. It is difficult to manage, but I try. As a teacher I make 805 birr per month.

An Ethiopian national teaches my Grade 8 class of 65 students. He teaches in English and is very helpful. He’s a good teacher, but I want to be better than him.

I don’t get to interact much with the Ethiopians — our host community — because I am always busy, usually at school. I also have chores to do: making food and collecting water. When I cook, it’s usually rice, beans and meat. Tonight, I will cook fish that I bought from the market today.

For fun, I sometimes play volleyball, which I like. I have made some friends from Sudan in the camp. We communicate in English and I help whoever is interested to learn more.

After Grade 8 I want to go to Grade 9. I will then go to the new school (constructed with funds from Education Cannot Wait), something I am looking forward to.

I received some basic training in teaching (but not a professional certificate). I want to continue teaching now but eventually, I want to become a doctor. I am not married yet and I don’t want to have kids either. Maybe in the future.

For now, I want to stay in Ethiopia as it is better here. I think it is possible to learn Amharic and settle down and live here, where there is peace.

 

Benoite Gyubahiro at Bambasi refugee camp primary school with her Sudanese classmates. Of the more than 62,000 refugees in the region, 72% are from Sudan, 26.5% are from South Sudan, and 1% are Congolese (with 0.5% from other places). © UNICEF/Ethiopia/2019/Tsegaye
Benoite Gyubahiro at Bambasi refugee camp primary school with her Sudanese classmates. Of the more than 62,000 refugees in the region, 72% are from Sudan, 26.5% are from South Sudan, and 1% are Congolese (with 0.5% from other places). © UNICEF/Ethiopia/2019/Tsegay

Benoite Gyubahiro (17) is a Grade 2 teacher and student from Democratic Republic of the Congo, currently living as a refugee in Ethiopia. As told to Amanda Westfall, Communications and Resource Mobilization Specialist at UNICEF Ethiopia. View original.

 

ENSURING EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR REFUGEE AND HOST COMMUNITY CHILDREN IN ETHIOPIA

Pal Biel Jany, 15, grade 4, wants to be the future president of South Sudan. He goes to school in Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp, Gambella Region. UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha
Pal Biel Jany, 15, grade 4, wants to be the future president of South Sudan. He goes to school in Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp, Gambella Region. UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha

Refugee primary school teacher Changkuoth Ter Wal explains the importance of investing in new schools and teacher training diploma programmes. With US$15 million from Education Cannot Wait (ECW), new schools and trained teachers are on the rise in the refugee-hosting regions of Gambella and Benishangal-Gumuz.  Story originally published  on UNICEF Ethiopia.

By Amanda Westfall

Like most children in Tierkidi Refugee Camp in Gambella, Ethiopia, 15-year-old Pal Biel Jany fled from violence in South Sudan five years ago. He left his entire immediate family behind and currently lives with his aunt in the camp.

Pal has been displaced and separated from his parents and siblings for nearly one-third of his life. For refugee children, especially those experiencing traumatic displacement processes, it is imperative that they find stability and support – and schools can play a significant role.

Pal is lucky to have Changkuoth Ter Wal as his fourth-grade teacher at Teirkidi #3 Primary School. Changkuoth was never given the opportunity to attend formal training for teaching – like most refugee teachers who hold no professional diplomas and only participate in short trainings offered at the camp. Nevertheless, he is determined to improve the conditions for the next generation.

Changkuoth, Ter, 26, is a grade 4 science teacher. He joined Tierkidi School No. 3, Refugee Camp in 2014. His first daughter, 6, goes to the same school where he teaches. Whereas his wife, 22, is in grade 10 and goes to Diaca Secondary School located in the same Refugee Camp. He is hopeful that the buildings currently being constructed will help overcome the various obstacles that the students face such as; rain, outdoor noises and heat created by the metal walls. Tierkidi School No. 3, Refugee Camp, Itang Woreda, Gambella Region. UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha
Changkuoth, Ter, 26, is a grade 4 science teacher. He joined Tierkidi School No. 3, Refugee Camp in 2014. His first daughter, 6, goes to the same school where he teaches. His wife, 22, is in grade 10 and goes to Diaca Secondary School located in the same Refugee Camp. UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha

“I can see how education is good for the community and the children. In South Sudan and here in the camps, there are more illiterate people than educated,” said Changkuoth.

But the situation changed last summer when he was given an opportunity of a life time. He and 343 other refugees were told they would be able to attend college and pursue teaching diplomas. Now, they can finally become professional teachers and improve the quality of education for refugee children.

In addition to investing in teachers, the refugee camps are benefitting from the construction of new schools and classrooms. Primary and secondary school access is still low (at a 75 per cent and 12.5 per cent Gross Enrollment Ratio for Gambella region) and class congestion is extremely high (the primary school student/teacher ratio is 106:1). With the expansion of learning spaces and investments in teacher training, the hope is to bring more children to school, reduce congestion, and improve the delivery of education.

The new schools are part of a US$15 million two-year investment by Education Cannot Wait, a new global fund for education in crisis hosted by UNICEF. The investment includes the construction of three new inclusive model secondary schools, 41 classrooms in eight secondary schools, 84 classrooms in four primary schools, and the provision of classroom furniture (desks, chairs, chalkboards) in Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella regions, which are host to mostly South Sudanese refugees.

But the support goes further than construction, since infrastructure alone may increase access to schools, but doesn’t guarantee quality of teaching in the schools. The investment also supports teacher training through diploma programmes (like the one Changkuoth attends) as well as providing teaching and learning materials.

Students learning in Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp, Gambella Region. UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha
Students learning in Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp, Gambella Region. UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR REFUGEES AND HOST COMMUNITIES

Pal’s camp sits within three kilometers of the neighboring ‘host’ Ethiopian community. Like their refugee peers, the host community also struggles with poverty and limited access to quality education. The Education Cannot Wait-supported investment brings equal opportunities for education to both host and refugee children and introduces integrated services through the construction of new secondary schools where both refugee and host children can learn together in government-run schools overseen by the Ministry of Education. Key project partners include the Ministry of Education, the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, UNICEF, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Niyakueka Gatluak, 20, teaches grade 1 students in Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp. She teaches Nuer language (Thok Naath), spoken by Nuer people of South Sudan and people of Gambella. She has a 9 months old son. She wants him to be a doctor when he grows up. Gambella Region, UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha
Niyakueka Gatluak, 20, teaches grade 1 students in Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp. She teaches Nuer language (Thok Naath), spoken by Nuer people of South Sudan and people of Gambella. She has a 9 months old son. She wants him to be a doctor when he grows up. Gambella Region, UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha

MOVING FROM TEMPORARY TO STABLE

Classrooms like those currently at Tierkidi #3 were first constructed as temporary solutions when it was uncertain how long the refugees would stay in Ethiopia. the temporary low-cost structures were made of wood and metal sheets that could be destroyed by harsh weather but as the conflict continues in South Sudan, services can no longer be viewed as short-term solutions.

“The [temporary] school may fall down because of rain and wind so we are very excited with the new classrooms [permanent structures built from concrete bricks]. There will be so many advantages. When the students hit the metal sheets, it makes loud sounds and disturbs the children who are learning inside. With the new buildings this won’t happen,” said Changuoth.

Students posing for a picture for the camera outside of their classroom in Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp, Gambella Region. UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha
The Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp provides a safe and secure learning environment. Gambella Region. UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha

THE IMPACT OF THE INVESTMENT

Pal’s family trusts in him to gain a good education so he can help his younger siblings one day. For this reason, his family agreed that he lives with his aunt in the Tierkidi camp since there are no educational opportunities in South Sudan where his immediate family still lives.

“I have to work hard to complete my education so I can support my two younger brothers and three younger sisters who are still in South Sudan and can’t go to school,” said Pal.

Through the investment in construction, teacher training, and provision of teaching/learning materials, Pal and an expected 12,000 other children from refugee camps and surrounding host communities will enjoy an improved quality of education.

Story by Amanda Westfall, published with express permission from the original.

MORE PHOTOS

Gambella Region, Ethiopia

 

TRANSPARENCY FIRST

TRANSNEW OPEN-UNICEF PORTAL PROVIDES COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION ON FLOW OF FUND’S INVESTMENT FROM DONOR TO POOLED FUND

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is pleased to announce a new transparency mechanism that provides up-to-date and comprehensive information on the flow of the Fund’s investments from donors to our pooled fund, and from the pooled fund to grantees. The portal features a map detailing the countries where the Fund invested and current levels of disbursements to grantees in UN Agencies, International NGOs and National NGOs.

Education Cannot Wait is a global fund hosted by UNICEF, and the portal is part of the Open UNICEF Portal. 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.

Transparency is an essential component of Education Cannot Wait’s core objectives, and will be a cornerstone in achieving the goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For education in crisis and Sustainable Development Goal 4, transparency means faster response, more coordinated approaches and linked tracking from end-to-end. It’s this system-wide approach that’s necessary to connect more partners and crowd-in the resources, knowledge and tools needed to fill the US$8.5 billion funding gap that’s left 75 million girls and boys living in crisis behind.

THE VALUE OF POOLED FUNDS

The new portal provides Education Cannot Wait’s key stakeholders with an easy-to-understand visualization of the true value of a pooled fund concept. The idea behind this is simple. By partnering together, donors generate a bigger impact – and a more comprehensive approach – than stand-alone initiatives. This pooled approach also ensures more sustainability for these investments. Small contributions work together with larger contributions to reach scale and impact with invested funds. It also reduces transactional costs as pooled resources are bundled to reach common goals.

This is a positive step forward in Education Cannot Wait’s transparency efforts. At this early stage, the current transparency portal captures the resources being channeled through the global trust fund hosted by UNICEF. One of the core components of the Education Cannot Wait model is to catalyze additional resources at the country level through country-level co-financing, private-sector and civil-society engagement, and through donor-aligned investments that will be mobilized through the Education Cannot Wait-facilitated multi-year resilience programmes. As these multi-year resilience programmes advance, the Fund will work with its partners to track the flow of these funds and ensure greater transparency.

In the end, the goal of transparency is simple: Ensure funds reach the people who need them most through more comprehensive, coordinated and integrated approaches. These efforts toward transparency align with the New Way of Working and the UN Secretary General’s vision for increased efficiency across the UN system.

“We are reforming our development system to become much more field-focused, well-coordinated and accountable to better assist countries through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – our contribution to a fair globalization. And to underpin all these efforts we are pursuing sweeping management reform – to simplify procedures and decentralize decisions, with greater transparency, efficiency and accountability.” – UN Secretary General António Guterres.