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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo © Theirworld
Photo © Theirworld

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Children in Chad. Photo © Devaki Erande/JRS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any other points and messages you would like to make?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUT OF THE SHADOWS AND INTO THE LIGHT

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

By Aida Orgocka

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

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

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

DISABILITY IS REVERSIBLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A WHOLE-OF-SYSTEM APPROACH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

Aida Orgocka is the Gender Advisor for Education Cannot Wait.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Click here to download the PDF version

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Notes to Editors:

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

For press enquiries, contact:

Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers,

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

 

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

Education Cannot Wait is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes

 

 


 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cliquez ici pour télécharger le PDF

 

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

Contact pour la presse:

Anouk Desgroseilliers,

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

 

À propos du fonds Education Cannot Wait  (ECW)

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

 

EMPOWERING LANGUAGE LEARNING IN LEBANON

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

US$2.2 MILLION UNESCO PROJECT FUNDED BY EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT WILL IMPROVE FRENCH TEACHING AND LEARNING TO BENEFIT REFUGEES FROM SYRIAN CRISIS AND OVERALL LEARNING OUTCOMES

28 November 2018, Beirut – Language is power. To empower its students and improve French teaching and learning – especially for Syrian refugees who have struggled to progress and thrive in classes primarily taught in the French language – UNESCO is partnering with the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) to scale up the impacts of a US$2.2 million project funded by Education Cannot Wait.

The project will promote the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning in French for both Lebanese and non-Lebanese students to improve learning outcomes in core subjects. In a bilingual society, this will contribute to improvements in transition and retention rates, and provide a safer, more effective learning environment for recent arrivals fleeing the war, chaos and danger in Syria.

“This investment in developing the capacity of schools and teachers to deliver quality education to vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian children is one of the high priorities of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon to stress that access and enrollment to schools are not enough to ensure quality learning,” said Mr. Fadi Yarak, Director General of Education at the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education. “We have to continuously improve to deliver the best education for these children to ensure that they successfully finish their school years and move on to a brighter future.”

UNDERSTANDING THE LEBANESE EDUCATION CONTEXT

Development of Lebanon’s education sector was disrupted by the onset of the Syria Crisis, which obliged the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) to focus on coordinating and managing an emergency response.

Since 2011, MEHE has created places for more than 200,000 non-Lebanese, primarily Syrian, students in its public schools, from a starting point of around 3,000. As a result, the kindergarten to Grade 9 public school population has doubled in the last seven years.

The Ministry’s focus from 2018 is on transitioning from emergency response to meeting the development challenges of managing a protracted crisis. This is critical if Lebanon is to be able to offer all children the kind of education envisaged in Sustainable Development Goal 4 by 2030.

Around three-quarters of Lebanon’s public schools use French as the primary language for instruction for core subjects including mathematics and science from Grade 4 onwards. Students’ ability to learn effectively and progress is therefore highly dependent on developing functional literacy in a second language in early grades, supplemented by continuous, targeted, pupil-centric support from teachers onwards.

While many Lebanese students find the transition from Arabic to French instruction challenging, this issue is compounded for their non-Lebanese peers. These students are overwhelmingly Syrian nationals who have fled the conflict in their home country. Seven years into the Syria Crisis, half of all pupils enrolled in public schools are non-Lebanese. This presents significant challenges for the system, teachers, communities and students themselves.

“I believe that Education Cannot Wait has a very important role to play both to Lebanon and in other countries across the region. ECW’s financial resources and investments focus on quality education and powerful political advocacy, making ECW an impressive vehicle to influence and bring change,” said Philippe Lazzarini, Deputy UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon and the United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative. “Although we now have 200,000 Syrian students absorbed in Lebanese public schools, we have approximately 300,000 more who are out of school, largely girls and youth over 14 years old.”

Lazzarini went on to underscore the value of this investment, encouraging its replication and scaling up across all regions in Lebanon to address the pressing needs of vulnerable host communities and displaced populations.

HOLISTIC APPROACHES

Addressing education in crisis in the extremely complex region requires multiple bespoke approaches, engagement with a wide variety actors, innovation and flexibility. In neighboring Syria, Education Cannot Wait-funded activities have reached nearly 30,000 children, including over 15,000 girls. In the Occupied Territories of Palestine, Education Cannot Wait-funded activities have reached over 138,000 children, including 67,300 girls. (Figures June 2018)

“Quality education is an essential building block for peace, stability and a better future in this region,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, a new global fund for education in crisis hosted by UNICEF that is looking to mobilize US$1.8 billion to reach 8.9 million children living in crisis by 2021. ““This project enables Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese to effectively study core subjects and participate in the cultural heritage of diversity, art and literature. Such pluralism is a critical aspect of education for peace and stability.”

PROJECT OUTPUTS AT A GLANCE

  • Supporting schools, teachers and students, with a range of high quality, teaching and learning software, materials and equipment, focused on Francophone education.
  • Building the capacity of the existing cadre of teacher coaches (DOPS Counselors) to support teachers in the classrooms of French medium schools, with an emphasis on math and science, as well as French language.
  • Sharing and debating the results of the project and the broader issues of Francophone teaching and learning, and of education in non-mother tongues through a series of workshops and seminars, and producing learning materials and resources.

To download the PDF version click here.

EUROPEAN UNION ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT AND SETS STRONG POLICY AGENDA FOR EDUCATION IN CRISES

UN Photo: Isaac Billy
UN Photo: Isaac Billy

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CALLS ON MEMBER STATES AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR EDUCATION IN CRISIS

26 November 2018, Strasbourg – The European Parliament announced earlier this month new support for Education Cannot Wait, calling on the European Commission and Member States to increase funding for the new global fund for education in crisis.

In their resolution on European Union development assistance in the field of education, the Parliament welcomed the Commission’s objective of “devoting 10 per cent of the Union’s humanitarian aid to education from 2019.”

The resolution stresses that “education of refugee or displaced children must be regarded as a priority from the very outset; emphasizes the importance of supporting countries affected by fragility and conflict to improve the resilience of their education systems and guarantee access to quality education – including secondary education – for refugee children and young refugees, internally displaced children and their host communities.”

“EU’s landmark resolution shows European commitment to education in emergencies and protracted crisis. In line with the new EU Policy Framework approving 10% of education in emergencies and crisis in May this year, it follows years of EU leadership in making quality education for children and youth affected by conflicts and natural disasters a priority in humanitarian crisis,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, a new global Fund hosted by UNICEF dedicated to providing safe, reliable education for 8.9 million children living in crisis by 2021.

“The collective commitment to action is very inspiring,” said Sherif. “With the bold new EU policy framework and EU resolution, as well as the generous G7 Summit in Charlevoix for girls and women education in crisis, and now the outstanding Global Education Monitoring Report for 2019 spearheaded by UNESCO, we have all reason to be hopeful. We are hopeful that the financial needs to deliver quality education to 75 million children and youth in emergencies and crisis are fully materialized. Through collective commitments of this kind, we see a powerful and action-oriented promise for real change.”

EUROPEAN COUNCIL GIVES CLEAR POLICY ORIENTATION TO PRIORITIZE EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES

The European Council set a strong policy agenda in support of education in emergencies and protracted crises in its Conclusions  adopted on 26 November.

“The Council expresses its grave concern that more than 75 million children affected by emergencies and protracted crises have no access to quality education. The Council is equally concerned that violence is on the increase in and around the education environment. Education is a human right that must be upheld in all contexts as an essential means to help children and young people meet their full potential, to strengthen individual, community and country resilience, to achieve sustainable development and to ensure peaceful, inclusive and prosperous societies.”

The Council reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring access to inclusive lifelong learning and safe, equitable quality education and training at all levels in emergency and crisis situations. It also welcomed the comprehensive approach to education in emergencies and protracted crises, which includes preparedness, disaster risk reduction, prevention, mitigation, rapid response, and a commitment to building resilient education systems.

LINKS

GIRLS IN CRISIS – ORANGE THE WORLD

Providing education for girls and adolescent girls living in crisis and conflict is the single most powerful act we can take to empower a marginalized gender. As a global community committed to end violence against women, promote women leadership and ensure universal access to education, anything less would miss the target.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls – and the connected 16 Days of Activism Campaign – Education Cannot Wait is banding together with global leaders, UN Agencies, leading education advocates, and girls and women everywhere to highlight the need for improved education for girls in crisis as a key means to ending violence against women once and for all. Photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran, UNAMID
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls – and the connected 16 Days of Activism Campaign – Education Cannot Wait is banding together with global leaders, UN Agencies, leading education advocates, and girls and women everywhere to highlight the need for improved education for girls in crisis as a key means to ending violence against women once and for all. Photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran, UNAMID.

Providing education for girls and adolescent girls living in crisis and conflict is the single most powerful act we can take to empower a marginalized gender. As a global community committed to end violence against women, promote women leadership and ensure universal access to education, anything less would miss the target.

Providing access to safe, reliable and continuous education for girls and adolescent girls living in crisis is an essential stepping stone to eliminating violence against girls and women. It takes quality education to ensure that girls and adolescent girls are empowered to acquire new skills to thrive, exercise leadership and find productive employment in the fast-evolving work environment of the 21st Century. It also mitigates the risks for abuse and discrimination, while strengthening the odds for increased security, better opportunities and new chances to chart their lives forward.

Education Cannot Wait – a new global fund hosted by UNICEF – which will provide access to 8.9 million children living in crisis by 2021, including over 4.4 million girls – is making great strides to protect girls from violence across the globe by working with governments, leading non-profits, donors and other essential stakeholders to empower access to education for the millions of girls and adolescent girls living in refugee camps and displacement centers, and on the edge of crisis, war zones and emergencies.

To empower girls and adolescent girls, the ECW Fund is strengthening equity and gender equality, increasing access to education, promoting safe and protective learning environments, improving learning and skills for teachers, and ensuring greater continuity and sustainability for gender-responsive education responses in crisis settings.

Education Cannot Wait has reached more than 800,000 children and youth with quality education – of which 364,000 are girls – in 19 crisis-affected countries, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh (Rohingya), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Ukraine, since it became operational in early 2017. With continued support from donors, the Fund will exceed its target with over 1 million children by the end of 2018.

ORANGE THE WORLD

“On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls – and the connected 16 Days of Activism Campaign – Education Cannot Wait is banding together with global leaders, UN Agencies, leading education advocates, and girls and adolescent girls everywhere to highlight the need for real quality education for young girls in crisis as a key means to ending abuse, discrimination and disempowerment,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

The facts around violence against girls and women – especially girls and adolescent girls living in crisis – are simply astounding. Girls in crisis settings are 2.5 times more likely to be out of primary school and 90 per cent more likely to be out of secondary school than those living in countries where there is no crisis. Analysis from 2015 indicates that 39 million girls were out of school or had their education disrupted because of war and disaster.

By providing vulnerable girls and adolescent girls with education, empowering female teachers, strengthening protection and promoting policies that connect gender-responsive approaches to education in emergencies, Education Cannot Wait bridges the humanitarian-development divide, particularly in protracted crises, and links urgent humanitarian needs to sustainable and systemic change.

“For girls and adolescent girls enduring crisis and conflict, we have to be especially firm and principled in our approach, because they are also subject to additional discrimination simply because of their gender. The best we can do to serve them is to deliver on our promise of quality education, which also entails protection and targeted measures to ensure access, equality and continuity,” said Sherif.

BRIDGING THE GAP TO PREVENT VIOLENCE

Integrated responses are required to build safer schools – some schools in refugee camps, displacement centers and on the edge of conflict and emergencies have become targets for violent attacks, while others have seen reports of sexual violence against both boys and girls.

In Afghanistan, Chad and Ethiopia, Education Cannot Wait funding has helped spur a comprehensive combination of interventions focused on training teachers, community engagement, protection measures and the rehabilitation and construction of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for girls.

In Afghanistan 2.2 million girls lack adequate teaching facilities and women teachers – that’s more people than live in Botswana today. With support from Education Cannot Wait and a new three-year programme that will reach over 500,000 children, including a quarter of a million girls, teachers are being recruited and trained to work in refugee and displacement camps.

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Ms. Paria delivering a biology lesson to her students. Photo: Education Cannot Wait Afghanistan.

“Teaching these girls is a wonderful opportunity for me. I am also glad to see that many girls are encouraged to resume their classes when female teachers are available,” said Ms. Paria, whose class has seen 40 girls return to school thanks to the recruitment of their new biology teacher as well as extended community activism to ensure more equitable education.

In the Lake Chad Region, where 3.5 million children are at risk and violent attacks on girls, forced marriages and abductions are commonplace, Education Cannot Wait has already reached over 100,000 girls.

For bright-eyed dreamers like the 16-year-old Aisha who lives in the Dar es Salam Camp in Chad, new educational opportunities provide a renewed sense of security.

Aisha Mahamadou, 16,. Photo: UnicefChad/2017/Azoura
Aisha Mahamadou, 16,. Photo: UnicefChad/2017/Azoura

“”Here in Dar es Salam [camp], we have food to eat, we go to school, we play with friends, we feel safe,” said Aisha.

THE GLOBAL CONTEXT

The Education Cannot Wait Gender strategy aligns with the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies, formally launched in 2013 by the United Kingdom and Sweden, key donors to the Education Cannot Wait Fund. Ongoing gender-responsive initiatives also align with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Gender Handbook for Humanitarian Action and its Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings, as well as the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Minimum Standards for Education.

By 2021, Education Cannot Wait plans to reach 8.9 million children living in crisis. Approximately 50 percent of these children will be girls and adolescent girls, with plans for two-thirds of teacher training to be directed to females. That means over 4.4 million girls – more than the total population of Gabon and Slovenia combined – will have the knowledge, power and skills training they need to stand up against violence and build a better world for generations to come.

GOVERNMENT OF GERMANY ANNOUNCES 15 MILLION EUROS PLEDGE FOR EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT

SUSTAINED SUPPORT FROM GERMANY ENSURES QUALITY, RELIABLE EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN LIVING IN THE WORLD’S MOST SERIOUS CRISES

20 November 2018, New York – The Government of Germany announced today a substantial 15 million euros (US$ 17 million) pledge for Education Cannot Wait, a new global fund dedicated to respond rapidly and provide sustainable quality education to millions of children and youth living in crisis worldwide.

The new pledge adds to Germany’s initial 16 million euros ($US18.7 million) contribution to Education Cannot Wait, providing a total of 31 million euros ($35.7 million) in contributions to date and making Germany the third largest donor to the Fund. Today’s announcement is an important milestone for the coalition of donors, United Nations (UN) agencies and civil society partners working together through Education Cannot Wait, as it ensures the Fund reaches its 2018 target – on its way to a total first funding goal to mobilize US$1.8 billion over the 2018-2021 period.

20 November 2018: State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Martin Jagër, announcing new pledge to Education Cannot Wait  at  the launch of the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report in Berlin, Germany.   
20 November 2018: State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Martin Jagër, announcing new pledge to Education Cannot Wait  at  the launch of the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report in Berlin, Germany. Photo: ECW/ Desgroseilliers

The announcement was made at the launch of UNESCO’s 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report in Berlin, Germany. “Education and training are the keys with which to unlock development. Yet there are still 75 million children and young people caught up in crisis and emergency situations who have no way to get an education. We must act now, with resolution and determination, otherwise they will grow up without any prospects” said Dr. Gerd Müller, the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“My goal is to invest 25 per cent of the development ministry’s budget in education and vocational training. As the next step we are launching a special initiative on training and job creation, setting up new training and jobs partnerships with German and African businesses. At the same time we are strengthening the international education fund for children in emergency situations with an investment of 15 million euros. This money will be used to fund school books in Yemen or to support 60,000 children in Indonesia following the devastating tsunami, so that they can still be taught” said Müller.

Education Cannot Wait has reached more than 800,000 children and youth with quality education – of which 364,000 are girls – in 19 crisis-affected countries since it became operational in early 2017. With continued support from donors, the Fund, hosted by UNICEF, will exceed its target with over 1 million children by the end of 2018.

“This generous pledge further confirms the global role of Germany in showing compassion, generosity and concrete support to those furthest left behind. This funding will accelerate our determined joint efforts to reach 8.9 million children and youth in emergencies and protracted crisis by 2021 and fill the US$8.5 billion funding gap for education in crises” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

“The millions of children and youth silently struggling in crisis who do not have access to quality education today sustain themselves by dreaming of one. This renewed pledge from the government of Germany may be the realization of that dream. It signals a continued commitment to achieve our goals for equitable education for every boy and girl on the planet by 2030 as outlined in the sustainable development goals” she said.

Education Cannot Wait is the first and only global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises countries. In partnership with donors, UN agencies, civil society, national governments and other key actors, the Fund is pioneering a new way of working that establishes education as the point of convergence in the humanitarian-development nexus to rapidly deliver agile, well-coordinated and sustainable quality education through collective efforts for children and youth in war zones, emergency areas and other crisis hot spots.

Education Cannot Wait has invested $134.5 million in 19 crisis-affected countries to date. These include 16 First Emergency Response allocations to countries facing sudden-onset or escalating crises, such as a recently announced programme to support children impacted by the tsunami and earthquakes in Indonesia. Four countries have been targeted by Education Cannot Wait’s two-year Initial Investments Programmes to date. The Fund also recently announced its first seed funding to roll out innovative multi-year programmes in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Uganda, while such mulit-year programmes are also planned in 20 other crisis-affected countries by 2021.

“By catalyzing agile, responsive and jointly planned programmes, education cannot wait ensures taxpayers’ money or strategic donor investments get to the people in need rapidly and sustainably,” Sherif said. “Education Cannot Wait brings all partners together to respond without delay and to remain until every child and young person have benefited from their non-negotiable right to quality education. Refugee, internally displaced or war-affected, both girls and boys, disabled and other-abled, make up the 75 million with a right to education in conflict and disasters. Thanks to Germany’s generous and continued contribution, their right, their dream, may come true.”

Children and youth in fragile and conflict affected countries are 30 per cent less likely to complete primary education and half as likely to complete lower-secondary education than other children. Indeed, conflict widens education inequalities, particularly gender and wealth disparities, derailing global efforts to build a more peaceful world.

“For a little over a $100 a year, a child or an adolescent living and growing up in the abnormal and testing circumstances of conflict and disasters will be able to get the quality education they deserve and need to give them hope, to give them a future,” said Sherif. “Now is the time to invest in these children and youth. Their education cannot wait. If our intention is to make a difference, we need to act today. Because, tomorrow might be too late.”

Contacts for the press:

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

German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development: presse@bmz.bund.de

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Notes to Editors:

Information on the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Fund is available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

For more details on ECW’s donors and partners: www.educationcannotwait.org/about-ecw

German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development: www.bmz.de/en/index.html

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

Cox’s Bazar, 13 November 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The press release is also available at the following links:

UNESCO office in Dhaka

UNICEF Bangladesh

 

 

Media contacts

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

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

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

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