CATALYTIC INVESTMENTS TO SUPPORT QUALITY EDUCATION FOR 9 MILLION CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN THE WORLD’S WORST HUMANITARIAN CRISES
13 June 2019, New York – Education Cannot Wait and its partners are launching the “Act 4 Education in Crisis” campaign calling on governments, private sector companies, philanthropic foundations and global leaders to rise and support the Fund’s efforts to mobilize $1.8 billion by 2021 for 9 million children and youth living in the midst of war, forced displacement and disaster.
In times of crisis, education can play a life-saving and life-sustaining role. Yet, a large gap persists in funding for education in crisis, with just 2 to 4 per cent of annual humanitarian funding going to the education sector. This underfunding has left behind 75 million children whose education is disrupted by conflict, disaster and crisis.
Education Cannot Wait – a global fund for education in emergencies hosted by UNICEF – is filling this gap. Working with a wide range of partners, our investments provide speedy educational responses when a crisis erupts or escalates, while also linking humanitarian and development aid efforts to optimize collective efforts and ensure quality learning outcomes for children and youth in protracted crisis contexts.
“Girls and boys caught up in conflicts and crises endure abnormal circumstances of unspeakable violence, dispossession and disruption to their young lives. Their will to survival compels them to develop extraordinary resilience in coping with these sudden or chronic circumstances,” said Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif. “If we who are spared their suffering act generously now by investing in their intellectual, social and emotional development through continued quality education, we can protect them, and help them transform their experiences and scars into creativity, knowledge and productivity, and may even open the doors for a new generation that is empowered to bring positive change.”
Education Cannot Wait’s new Case for investment in Quality Education in Crisis lays out the urgency and the value of investing in the education of children in crisis-affected countries as one of the soundest investment in human and socio-economic development and in peace and stability to make today. It is endorsed by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the Fund’s High-Level Steering Group, Rt Hon Gordon Brown, development ministers, education ministers of crisis-affected countries, Heads of UN agencies, private sector partners and philanthropists, global education ambassadors and civil society partners.
“Hope dies when a child or young person is unable to plan and prepare for the future, and it is up to us to keep hope alive. So, let us bridge this gap between humanitarian and development aid. Let us fund humanitarian aid in education properly. Let us ensure Education Cannot Wait has the funds to support and facilitate coordinated education responses in all the conflict areas of the world,” said Gordon Brown.
Around the globe, hundreds of civil society organizations are rallying behind the “Act for Education in Crisis” campaign.
“Across the world children affected by crises tell us that education is the key to their futures, their safety, their health and their happiness, and that it cannot be delayed. We call upon donors to urgently support the education of girls and boys, including forcibly displaced children, caught up in humanitarian crises by fully funding Education Cannot Wait so that it can provide quality, inclusive and safe education to 9 million children and youth annually by 2021,” said a coalition of civil society organizations in a joint statement issued today.
Since it became operational in 2017, Education Cannot Wait has reached 1.4 million children. This includes close to half a million refugees and over 200,000 internally displaced children and youth. Half of all the children reached by the Fund are girls.
For Aisha, a 16-year-old refugee girl in Chad who fled Nigeria after a Boko Haram attack on her village, this is the difference between the hope of becoming one day a doctor and a life of marginalization. For 12-year-old Zakaria in Syria, this means an opportunity to continue his schooling and hang on to the dream of a better future despite the conflict raging in his country.
By raising $673 million by 2021, the Education Cannot Wait Global Trust Fund responds to new sudden onset crises, such as the recent devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa or the escalating Venezuela crisis. The Fund also supports multi-year educational responses with a target of 25 priority countries affected by protracted crises to provide hope and opportunities to 9 million children like Aisha and Zakaria. These groundbreaking programmes, launched with Education Cannot Wait’s seed-funding allocations, need to catalyze an additional $1.2 billion in co-financing at the country level.
To date, Education Cannot Wait has mobilized over $344 million from 15 generous public and private donors. With the launch of the “Act 4 Education in Crisis” campaign, the Fund builds on its first two years initial success, deepening the support of existing partners and calling on new donors to join the partnership.
“Our strategic donor partners are generously and steadfastly seeking to meet the challenge but much more remains to be done,” says Sherif. “By working together and investing about $113 per child per year, we can empower the next generation of leaders. When we invest in the human mind, when learning is achieved, it cannot be taken away or destroyed. Indeed, a good education is all that is left when all else crumbles.”
Learn more about the “Act for Education in Crisis” #Act4Ed campaign and its supporters: www.act4educationincrisis.org
Download the Education Cannot Wait’s Case for Investment in Quality Education In Crisis here.
The joint statement by civil society partners is available here.
EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES BY THE NUMBERS*
- 30%. Children and youth in fragile and conflict affected countries are 30 per cent less likely to complete primary education.
- 50%. Children and youth in fragile and conflict affected countries are 50 per cent less likely to complete lower-secondary education.
- 5X. Girls in crisis settings are 2.5 times more likely to be out of primary school than boys.
- 90%. Girls in crisis settings are 90 per cent more likely to be out of secondary school than those living in countries where there is no crisis.
- 39 Million. An estimated 39 million girls caught up in war, disasters and crisis need urgent educational support.
- $15-30 Trillion. The World Bank estimates that if every girl worldwide were to receive 12 years of quality schooling, irrespective of whether there’s a crisis or not, their lifetime earnings could increase by $15 trillion to $30 trillion.
SOCIAL MEDIA KIT
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Notes to Editors
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 is available at www.educationcannotwait.org
For press enquiries, contact: Anouk Desgroseilliers, firstname.lastname@example.org , +1 917 640-6820
For any other enquiries, contact: email@example.com
FUNDS WILL BENEFIT 84,500 CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN BRAZIL, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR AND PERU
4 June 2019, New York – In a coordinated response to the Venezuela regional crisis, Education Cannot Wait announced today a US$7 million allocation to support first emergency response grants in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
The grants will focus primarily on out-of-school children and adolescents from Venezuela and host-communities to get them back in protective, quality learning environments. In all, some 84,500 children and youth, including 42,600 girls, will benefit from the fast-acting investment.
“Children and youth who are uprooted and forced to flee are haunted by fears and uncertainty. They do not lose their right to education because they are on the move, but they will lose their hope and opportunities without education. Education provides a sense of stability, protection and hope to turn around their lives and positively impact the region. The ECW catalytic investment will, however, require additional funding for education that matches the immense need and hospitality shown by host-countries in the region,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, a global fund for education in emergencies hosted by UNICEF that seeks to mobilize US$1.8 billion by 2021 to reach close to 9 million children living in crisis.
The Venezuela crisis has displaced 3.7 million people, with an estimated 1.2 million children and youth affected in the four countries that will benefit from the grant. On average 50 per cent of the refugee and migrant children from Venezuela are not enrolled in formal schooling across the four countries.
While schools in these countries are generally well-resourced, the influx of children is pushing local coping mechanisms and resources to their breaking points. In this volatile and complex context, children – especially girls – are at greater risk of gender-based violence, child labor, sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
The Education Cannot Wait allocation aligns with the regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan led by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), for which there is a US$50 million funding gap for the educational response in these countries, according to in-country partners.
Education Cannot Wait’s allocation accounts for 14 per cent of this total funding gap and adds to the US$4.6 million already committed by other donors to respond to educational needs.
The funds will help sustain, rehabilitate and establish temporary learning spaces, facilitate access to formal education, support local education authorities in absorbing new students, create community-based back-to-learning campaigns, promote gender-equality and inclusion, and provide learning and teaching materials. Teachers and education professionals will also be trained to provide support to children living in such a volatile context.
On a regional level, the funds will improve coordination and cross-country collaboration and the monitoring of activities across the four countries. It will also strengthen the availability of data to facilitate policy dialogue to ensure the inclusion of children in national education systems.
The funding from Education Cannot Wait will be implemented by a wide range of international and national partners. It will be managed through four main grantees at the country level: in Brazil by UNICEF (US$749,000), in Colombia by Save the Children (US$2.6 million), in Ecuador by UNICEF (US$1.9 million), and in Peru by Refugee Education Trust (US$1.2 million). In addition, UNICEF will manage the US$376,000 allocation for regional support.
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.
“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.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org , +1 917 640-6820
For any other enquiries, contact:
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.
GLOBAL FUND’S HIGH-LEVEL STEERING GROUP LAUNCHES $1.8 BILLION CALL FOR ACTION TO REACH 9 MILLION CHILDREN IN CRISIS SETTINGS BY 2021
The High-Level Steering Group of Education Cannot Wait met on the margins of the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings on 11 April in Washington, D.C. Ministerial and senior education stakeholders from government and donors, civil society, the private and philanthropic sector, and heads of UN Agencies convened to take stock of Education Cannot Wait’s progress after two years of operations.
With more than 1.3 million children and youth reached in 19 crisis-affected countries, the Fund’s High-Level Steering Group, chaired by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Rt Hon Gordon Brown, commended the Fund’s investment model and promising results, stressing that if “ Education Cannot Wait did not exist we would need to invent it.”
The Fund’s Director, Yasmine Sherif, presented Education Cannot Wait’s results to meeting participants, launching the Fund’s new Results Dashboard. As of 11 April, support for quality education is reaching close to 1 million children in primary, 300,000 in secondary and 70,000 in pre-primary. Overall, 51 per cent of the total children reached to date are girls.
Following a presentation by the Under-Secretary-General of the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs/Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, participants at the biannual meeting discussed the instrumental role played by the Fund in advancing the humanitarian–development nexus in the education aid sector in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education for all. The meeting welcomed the Fund’s collaboration and partnerships, and its focus on results at the country-level. Participants stressed the collective need to catalyse additional and predictable financing, ensure an effective and coordinated response, build resilience of affected people and communities, and strengthen systems.
The Ministers of Education from Afghanistan and South Sudan briefed the members of the High-Level Steering Group on the education sector in their respective countries and called for stronger support from multilateral and bilateral donors, including through Education Cannot Wait.
In his moving intervention, Afghanistan’s Minister of Education, Dr. Mohammad Mirwais Balkhi, highlighted the needs of Afghanistan’s 3.7 million out-of-school children (60 per cent of whom are girls), who have lost the opportunity and hope of an education due to the ongoing conflict and insecurity, forced displacement, social and economic constraints, and other factors. He also highlighted the progress driven by Education Cannot Wait’s First Emergency Response and the recently launched Multi-Year Resilience Programme in supporting the national community-based education strategy. Through these programme, the government and implementing partners are increasing access to education in hard-to–reach areas, recruiting women teachers and reducing the gender gap, building capacity, and providing safe and quality learning opportunities.
South Sudan’s Minister of General Education and Instruction, Deng Deng Hoc Yai, shared his personal journey as a refugee, and his new hope after the Civil War for peace, security and educational opportunities for the young people of South Sudan. According the Deng Deng Hoc Yai, more than 2.2 million children are out of school in South Sudan, the majority of whom are girls. He underscored that it is a pressing issue of gender equality and human rights to ensure children are not left behind, schools are built, text books are delivered, teachers are trained and the new national curriculum is rolled out to support better educational outcomes. Education Cannot Wait and its partners are currently supporting the development of a multi-year resilience programme in South Sudan.
The meeting also included important pledges and commitments for children and youth affected by Cyclone Idai. The United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID) and Dubai Cares announced new commitments of US$5.2 million (4 million pounds) and US$2 million respectively to support a total US$14 million Education Cannot Wait allocation for emergency educational responses in the wake of the devastation from the cyclone in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Global Citizen and the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation also presented a six-figure check to Education Cannot Wait from the funds raised through Will Smith’s jump over the Grand Canyon.
With these pledges, the Fund has mobilized US$344 million since its inception and has surpassed annual resource mobilization goals since it was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016.
A CALL TO ACTION
The High-Level Steering Group approved Education Cannot Wait’s new Case for Investment, which calls on partners to “rise and support our efforts to mobilize US$1.8 billion in funding for education in crisis settings by 2021. Built through integrated partnerships, these catalytic investments will support quality education for close to 9 million children annually in some of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.”
The High-Level Steering Group members signalled their commitment to support Education Cannot Wait in advocating for resource mobilization with plans for a high-level pledging event at this year’s United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.
GRANTS WILL BE IMPLEMENTED BY UNICEF, WORLD VISION, SAVE THE CHILDREN AND THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (WFP)
2 May 2019, New York – In response to the urgent needs of children impacted by Cyclone Idai to access safe learning environments and psychosocial support, Education Cannot Wait and its partners announced a US$1 million grant to support over 77,000 children in 174 schools in Malawi, including close to 33,000 girls in the five most affected districts of Chikwawa, Mulanje, Nsanje, Phalombe and Zomba.
The emergency response will support relief efforts to immediately establish temporary learning spaces, deliver early childhood development kits, school-in-a-box learning materials, recreation materials and textbooks to schools damaged in the floods. It will also support school feeding programmes for 32,000 children receiving nutrition while in school.
Cyclone Idai exacerbated the impact of previous flooding in Malawi, which had initially damaged schools and disrupted learning for over 1,000 children in Chikwawa District prior to the declaration of the national disaster. According to the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST) data and the latest post disaster needs assessment, Cyclone Idai has affected close to 500,000 primary school learners (half of whom are girls) nationwide, with some 400 primary schools impacted. Younger children were also affected, with over 41,000 children impacted in 424 Early Childhood Development Centres.
A sudden disaster severely disrupts the daily lives of children and makes them more vulnerable. The longer a child’s education is interrupted, the less likely the child is to return to school and continued learning. Many children may resort to earning a living or be exposed to protection threats. Girls are especially vulnerable to child marriages and gender-based violence in disaster zones. Girls and boys also face higher risks of exploitation, child trafficking, abduction and forced recruitment into armed groups.
The response is coordinated on the national level through the Ministry of Education and the Education Cluster. This allocation will be implemented by UNICEF (US$394,000 grant), World Vision (US$198,000 grant), Save the Children (US$137,000 grant) and the World Food Programme (US$270,000 grant).
The synergistic response complements the ongoing efforts being undertaken by clusters focused on shelter, health, protection and water.
Women and children, especially adolescent girls, who are victims of any form of abuse including sexual violence, emotional, economic and physical abuse, will be referred for psychosocial support and counseling through the investment. The provision of handwashing facilities and menstrual hygiene kits for adolescent girls complements the efforts by the WASH cluster.
This $1 million allocation is part of the total $14 million commitment from Education Cannot Wait and its partners to support a rapid educational response to cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
UNICEF, CARE, PLAN INTERNATIONAL, SAVE THE CHILDREN AND WORLD VISION TO IMPLEMENT EDUCATIONAL RESPONSE
30 April 2019, New York – As part of its ongoing commitment to support children whose lives have been ripped apart by Cyclone Idai, Education Cannot Wait approved a US$1 million grant that will help quickly restore education services for 55,000 children in Zimbabwe, including 27,000 girls.
The 12-month grant will establish safe learning spaces, provide teachers and students with learning materials, and train educators to provide the psychosocial support required to help children recover and rebuild after the catastrophic floods and destruction that affected some 270,000 people in the country, including 129,600 children.
According to recent reports, 139 schools have been impacted by the cyclone, affecting 90,000 students. The displacement of people also underscores the widespread disruption of learning, with some teachers and children being temporarily housed in collective centres or camp like settings. Loss of life, injury, disappearance of family members, and the trauma and distress associated with the uncertainty and risk that goes with an emergency like this, is impacting the ability to re-establish learning as a normal part of community activity. Even where communities are able to return to their homes when water subsides, the levels of trauma and distress are preventing the resumption of classes.
Evidence shows that children who are out of school for prolonged periods of time after a disaster are increasingly less likely to ever return to the classroom. For girls, there is an increased risk of this prolonged absence leading to early marriage. In the chaos caused by a natural disaster of this magnitude, children are always at greater risk of exploitation, including sexual abuse and trafficking. Older girls are also more likely to be held back from school to help with chores in an emergency situation.
The new investment will help get children back in safe learning environments as soon as possible. It will be implemented by UNICEF (US$113,000 grant), CARE (US$100,000 grant), Plan International (US$225,000 grant), Save the Children (US$281,000 grant) and World Vision (US$281,000 grant).
By coordinating the response through the existing Education Cluster in Zimbabwe, the investment links with broader aid coordination structures. According to the Cluster, to date, close to US$1.5 million has been received for the education humanitarian response in Zimbabwe, with a US$6.6 million gap remaining.
Education Cannot Wait and its partners have committed a total of US$14 million to the educational response in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe further to devastation caused by Cyclone Idai.
SAVE THE CHILDREN, WORLD VISION, FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY, AVSI AND PLAN INTERNATIONAL ACTIVATE FIRST EMERGENCY RESPONSE IN COORDINATION WITH GOVERNMENT OF MOZAMBIQUE
23 April 2019, New York – Just five weeks after Cyclone Idai hit the coast of Southern Africa, Education Cannot Wait, a global fund for education in emergencies, has approved US$5 million for immediate relief in Mozambique to get children back in school.
Recent estimates from the Government of Mozambique indicate that 3,504 classrooms were either destroyed or damaged in Mozambique, disrupting the education of more than 335,000 girls and boys.
Working with the Government of Mozambique in a coordinated response with international and national NGOs, UN Agencies, civil society and donors, the ECW investment will reach the most vulnerable children in Mozambique and keep girls safe from the heightened risk of gender-based violence that frequently occurs in emergencies.
The ECW response will reach 75,000 children, including 36,000 girls. Over 1,900 education personnel will receive specialized training to ensure children have the psychosocial support they need to resume their lives and deal with the trauma of seeing family members die, losing their homes in the floods or being displaced, and living in dangerous and unsafe conditions in temporary shelters.
The 12-month ECW investment will be implemented by Save the Children in partnership with CARE (US$1.7 million grant), World Vision (US$1.2 million grant), Food for the Hungry (US$550,00 grant), AVSI (US$700,000 grant), and Plan International (US$700,000 grant).
In getting children back in safe learning environments, implementing partners will establish temporary learning spaces, provide roofing for classrooms, and provide children and communities with life-saving information on hygiene to reduce the spread of disease.
ECW is working with partners to prepare an additional investment in Mozambique, as well as in neighboring Malawi and Zimbabwe, where the cyclone also caused serious damage.
Education Cannot Wait and its partners have committed a total of US$14 million to the educational response in the three countries to reach approximately half a million children in all.
The fast-acting response was made possible with the generous support of ECW’s donor partners, including DFID, Dubai Cares, and the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, who announced supplemental support to Education Cannot Wait’s US$7 million grant on the margins of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meeting.
11 April 2019, Washington – Today during the World Bank Spring Meetings, Jana Babatunde-Bey, President and CEO of the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation and Madge Thomas, Senior Director of Global Policy, of international advocacy organization Global Citizen presented Education Cannot Wait with a check to support children whose education has been disrupted by conflict and crisis. The Fund aims to mobilize resources to deliver urgent educational support to 75 million children and young people affected by the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
Will Smith, globally renowned actor and a high-profile advocate for education, is among those supporting Education Cannot Wait in its efforts to raise US $1.8 billion by 2021 to support education programmes for close to 9 million children and youth living in crisis settings. Last year, in partnership with Omaze, a platform which democratizes traditional auction-giving by offering people the chance to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience for as little as $10, Smith bungee jumped from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon on his fiftieth birthday to raise funds for Education Cannot Wait.
Will’s historic jump raised $746,000 from donors from 166 countries, and helped mobilize millions more through a unique partnership that brought together Global Citizen, Omaze and the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation to help empower vulnerable children across the globe.
The resources mobilized through Global Citizen and the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation will support Education Cannot Wait’s ongoing actions to provide education to children living through some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. This includes relief efforts to ensure children affected by Cyclone Itai – which destroyed parts of Mozambique and Southern Africa in late March – do not suffer from interruptions in their schooling. In addition, the relief efforts will include ongoing efforts to provide urgent access to education services to the hundreds of thousands of children fleeing the crisis in Venezuela and seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
Over the next three years, Education Cannot Wait will launch multi-year educational response programmes in 25 crisis countries that are struggling with long-lasting complex crisis to help reduce needs and build resilience. These priority countries include Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.
Global Citizen recently led a field mission to Peru, which has taken in over 650,000 Venezuelan refugees – the second highest intake in the region, and met with Peruvian families who benefited from a previous Education Cannot Wait grant, as well as families arriving from Venezuela in search of hope, normalcy and a better future and regular schooling for their children.
“We need more people like Will Smith to take up the cause of education in crisis and fill the US$8.5 billion funding gap. He is truly driven by a sense of humanity. Providing education for the 75 million children and youth that lack access to reliable education worldwide is the way to go to serve our shared humanity. For boys and girls subjected to utmost inhumanity, such as sexual violence, kidnapping, forced recruitment to become child soldiers, and children living with the scars of violence and conflict, education is the only hope they have left,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait. “Education is one of the best investments we can make to empower the next generation to raise out of poverty and protect themselves from exploitation and extremism. Investing in them today means investing in peace, justice and prosperity tomorrow.”
Notes to editors
Will Smith has long been a champion for education. Will Smith: The Jump, a YouTube Original special, produced by Smith’s Westbrook Studios, provided global visibility to a crisis that affects millions of children worldwide, and profiled global efforts to provide universal, equitable and accessible education for all by 2030 as outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
At the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park,, Yasmine Sherif, Education Cannot Wait Director, underscored that global advocacy efforts – and the visibility created through the Global Citizen partnership and millions of fans who tuned in to see Smith’s “The Jump” and called on their governments to support the organisation.
Their calls encouraged $70 million in new commitments to Education Cannot Wait during the 2018 UN General Assembly from several donors, including Norway, the Netherlands and Dubai Cares. The Government of Denmark announced its new funding to Education Cannot Wait at the Global Citizen Festival, with a new US$46 million contribution – making Denmark the single largest government donor to Education Cannot Wait’s history. Minister for International Development for Denmark, Ulla Tørnæs, saluted both Will Smith’s bravery and deceased former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s belief in the power of education when committing the new funding.
“Thank you Will Smith! I admire your bravery and share your passion for this cause…Kofi Annan was right. Education is the foundation on which free, liberal, democratic societies are built….We need to act. And Denmark does act. Next year Denmark will… reserve US$46 million for our good friends at Education Cannot Wait,” Tornaes said.
At the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 in South Africa, additional funds were pledged by the leaders of Germany and Canada taking the total raised in 2018 to $124M. Minister of Education for South Sudan, Deng Deng Hoc Yai said: “Someone who understands the importance of education is Will Smith, a true champion for children’s rights, who bravely bungee-jumped over the Grand Canyon in September raising over US$750,000 for the Education Cannot Wait initiative, to help countries like mine provide education in emergencies. I appreciate Will Smith for his support! Absolutely, education cannot wait.”
About Global Citizen
Since the first Global Citizen Festival in New York in 2012, Global Citizen has grown into one of the largest, most visible platforms for young people around the world calling on world leaders to honor their responsibilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ending extreme poverty by 2030.
Global Citizens have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. This year alone Global Citizens have secured 29 commitments totaling over $2.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 501 million people by 2030.
With less than 2% of all humanitarian aid allocated to education, Global Citizen will continue to support Education Cannot Wait and other education finance initiatives to raise millions of dollars in funds from governments, businesses and individuals to fill the gap and leave no child behind.
For press enquiries and to schedule an interview, contact: Mr Andrew Kirk email@example.com +1 347 712 1877
About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
ECW is a global fund launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to deliver education 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.
ECW’s Secretariat is hosted by UNICEF in its Headquarters in New York.
Additional information is available at www.educationcannotwait.org
For press enquiries and to schedule an interview, contact:
Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers,
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Peter Tabichi, a science teacher in Kenya whose outstanding dedication to his students earned him the prestigious 2019 Global Teacher Prize is appointed as the first “Champion for Children in Conflicts and Crisis” for Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in crisis.
‘It gives me great pleasure to work together with like-minded people such as Peter Tabichi to ensure that nobody is left behind in achieving our goal of universal and equitable education.’ – Gordon Brown
11 April, New York – Peter Tabichi, a science teacher in Kenya whose outstanding dedication to his students earned him the prestigious 2019 Global Teacher Prize is appointed as the first “Champion for Children in Conflicts and Crisis” for Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in crisis.
Tabichi will champion the cause of Education Cannot Wait and 75 million children whose education is disrupted by conflicts and natural disasters. With travels to the world’s most crisis-affected children and planned engagements at the 2019 United Nations General Assembly and other high-level events, Tabichi’s inspiring story and powerful voice will help raise the urgency on the world stage to invest in the future of girls and boys left behind in crisis.
Tabichi was awarded the US$1 million Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize last month in Dubai, with actor Hugh Jackman and Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum joining him on stage to celebrate the teacher’s tireless efforts to bring quality education to poor children in Kenya’s Rift Valley.
“The award is a testament to Mr. Tabichi’s dedication to the education of the children of Pwani and inspiration to all involved in teaching and in learning,” said Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of Education Cannot Wait’s High-Level Steering Group. “It gives me great pleasure to work together with like-minded people such as Mr. Tabichi to ensure that nobody is left behind in achieving our goal of universal and equitable education.”
Tabichi’s school in Kenya has just one computer and a student-teacher ratio of 58 to 1. In all 95 per cent of Tabichi’s students come from poor families, almost a third are orphans or have only one parent, and many go without food at home. Drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, dropping out early from school, young marriages and suicide are common.
Nurturing the talents of these students, Tabichi expanded the school’s Science Club, mentoring his students to win first prize in the national science fair for an invention they built to allow blind and deaf people to measure objects. The students have also been honored by the Royal Society of Chemistry for an experiment that harnessed local plant life to generate energy.
Enrollment has doubled in the past three years at Tabichi’s school, and in 2018, 26 graduates went on to studies at the University.
“The students I teach see true hardships every day, from poverty to drought and hunger. But I also see in them raw talent and great creativity, hard work, a determination to defy the odds, and be the best they can be. Every child, everywhere in the world deserves the chance to fulfil their full potential,” said Tabichi. “It is heart-breaking to know that 75 million children around the world see their educational chances disrupted by conflict and natural disasters. Education Cannot Wait is doing vital work to make sure these children are not left behind. It will be my great honour to help them ensure children whose lives have been blighted by war and catastrophe are given their birth right: a decent education.”
Teachers in crisis settings are today’s world unsung heroes. Day after day, they strive to preserve a sense of normalcy and hope for the millions of children and youth whose future is at stake. Some are killed or injured in performing their duties. Some go without a salary for months or years. The majority face extremely challenging working conditions: insecurity, widespread violence and psychological trauma, overcrowded classes, lack of the most basic infrastructure and teaching materials, epidemics and gender-based violence. What’s more, many are volunteers who sometimes have never been trained to perform their function but who are committed and choose to devote their life to making a difference for children.
“Every day a child is out of education is not just a tragedy for the child, it is a tragedy for the world they will inherit. To tackle the education crisis, most severe in those places plagued by conflict and natural disaster, it is vital that we learn from teachers like Peter Tabichi, who are working on the front line to give young people born into the most challenging circumstances the skills they need to face the future with confidence,” said Vikas Pota, Chairman of the Varkey Foundation.
Through its investments, Education Cannot Wait relieves the hardship of teachers in crisis settings by providing them with the support they require to fulfil their role as a fundamental cornerstone of quality learning outcomes for children and youth. This entails providing training opportunities for teachers – with a special attention to ensuring females are equally represented in the teaching force – teaching materials, monetary incentives, school infrastructure upgrades, safe teaching and learning environments, and psychosocial services for children.
“We are honored to have Peter Tabichi as our Champion for Children in Conflicts and Crises. He is a profound visionary and a scholar, and he embodies the values of Education Cannot Wait. We feel privileged to partner with Mr. Tabichi because he represents the essence of education and its transformative power. His sense of service is inspiring and his pioneering achievements are a beacon of hope for the young generation of children, their teachers and, indeed, all of us,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.
About the Varkey Foundation
The Varkey Foundation believes every child deserves a vibrant, stimulating learning environment that awakens and supports their full potential. We believe nothing is more important to achieving this than the passion and quality of teachers. We founded the Global Teacher Prize to shine a spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world and we continue to play a leading role in influencing education debates on the status of teachers around the world. https://www.varkeyfoundation.org