ON THE CONTACT LINE

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “ON THE CONTACT LINE”

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.

FROM THE ASHES OF WAR AND VIOLENCE SPRINGS HOPE

@UNICEF/Sokhin- On November 6, 2017, 13-year-old Jospin stands in front of the blackboard in Kaga Bandoro displacement site’s Temporary learning space.
@UNICEF/Sokhin – On November 6, 2017, 13-year-old Jospin stands in front of the blackboard in Kaga Bandoro displacement site’s Temporary learning space.

CHILDREN LIVING IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC’S DISPLACEMENT CAMPS FIND A PATHWAY TO EDUCATION

Jospin is a 13-year-old boy living in the Kaga Bandoro Internal Displacement Camp in the Central African Republic (CAR). He came here almost four years ago by foot with his mother, father and seven brothers and sisters. Like many of the 680,000 people who have been displaced by wide-scale uptick in violence in CAR, Jospin had never been to school.

Now with support from Education Cannot Wait, and the backing of a broad international coalition that includes the Norwegian Refugee  Council, INTERSOS, UNICEF and Plan International, Jospin is in school and hopes one day to become a doctor.

“I think I am 13 but my birth certificate was lost when they burnt my house. I am from a village 17 kilometers away, on the road to Kabo. Three years ago, we fled the village on foot. We sought refuge on Kaga Bandoro’s church site, then on the internally displaced persons site near the [United Nations Peacekeeping Base] when the church was attacked. I had never been to school before becoming an Internally Displaced Person. I started going to school for the first time here and I love it. I am in 3rd grade now. I have decided to become a doctor because once I was sick and I went to the hospital and this big man, the doctor, treated me. He was very kind. So, I have decided to become a doctor, too, so I can help my people one day.”

The new Kaga Bandoro school, supported in part with funding from Education Cannot Wait, has 11 classes and 1,675 registered children. All the 11 teachers are themselves displaced and live on the site.

 “I teach 80 children in the 4th year of primary school. Now I see that many of these children have become advocates for their friends, they convince the parents to send the children to school,” said 52-year-old widow and mother of five, Elizabeth, who was displaced over four years ago and now works as a teacher in the Kaga Bandoro school.

Despite this progress, huge challenges remain. With the constant displacement of populations due to insecurity in the region and a steady flow of refugees and internally displaced people, resources are stretching thin in Kaga Bandoro’s school. On a recent Education Cannot Wait mission to the school, more than 80 children were in attendance in one of the temporary classrooms, which only had 40 children just the week before.

Recent estimates from UNICEF indicate that more than 357,400 children lost access to education, health and protection services due to the violence and protracted crisis in CAR.

@UNICEF/Sokhin- On November 6, 2017, Elisabeth, 52 years old, is teaching 4th graders at the Temporary learning space in the Kaga Bandoro’s displacement site that lies near the MINUSCA base.
@UNICEF/Sokhin – On November 6, 2017, Elisabeth, 52 years old, is teaching 4th graders at the Temporary learning space in the Kaga Bandoro’s displacement site that lies near the MINUSCA base.

PROVIDING SUSTAINED SUPPORT FOR EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES IN CAR

To date, Education Cannot Wait’s initial US$6 million allocation has reached an estimated 65,000 children, 31,000 of whom are girls. The support in CAR extends across a broad range of activities, designed through local engagement, to build lasting solutions to one of the world’s most significant education crisis today.

The funding from Education Cannot Wait is working to provide a range of formal and non-formal education opportunities for out-of-school children in the central and northern areas of the country.

Coalition partners are also implementing specific interventions focused on early childhood education, as well as youth-focused activities that incorporate basic literacy and mathematics alongside vocational and life skills training.  In addition, both UNICEF and INTERSOS are focusing on the quality of education by providing materials to both children and teachers, and building local technical capacity to provide education in emergency contexts. The Norwegian Refugee Council also implemented a successful “Accelerated Learning Programme,” allowing primary school children to catch up on schooling missed due to their displacement.

Building on these initial results, Education Cannot Wait is now focusing on kick-starting a new multi-year programme that will provide sustained support for education in emergencies in CAR. Discussions are underway with high-level government officials to outline the immediate needs for support, also connecting with a variety of stakeholders, including UN representatives, NGOs, and boys and girls whose lives have been uprooted by crisis.

@UNICEF/Sokhin - On November 2, 2017, Adamou Rodina, 13, stands in front of her classroom in Bouar’s prefectorale school. She is in her last year of primary school. “I fled my village, Niem Yelewa, when the war started there. I lost a lot of time and when I started school again here. I was late, the others had already been in school for a while, so I have to work hard to catch up.”
@UNICEF/Sokhin – On November 2, 2017, Adamou Rodina, 13, stands in front of her classroom in Bouar’s prefectorale school. She is in her last year of primary school. “I fled my village, Niem Yelewa, when the war started there. I lost a lot of time and when I started school again here. I was late, the others had already been in school for a while, so I have to work hard to catch up.”

BUILDING MULTI-YEAR RESPONSES

“The development of the Multi-Year Response Programme is already serving as a resource mobilization tool with potential funding being discussed with key donors, including the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) and the Central African Republic Humanitarian Fund, building toward a goal of mobilizing some US$75 million for the three-year programme,” said Education Cannot Wait Senior Advisor Graham Lang, after a recent mission to CAR.

The education system in CAR faces structural challenges that can only be addressed through multi-year programming connecting practical on-the-ground work to build schools, provide supplies and fund teachers, with longer-reaching policy and support programmes to build capacity, improve teacher training and create the enabling environments required for long-term sustainability.

@UNICEF/Sokhin- On November 9, 2017, children studying in a temporary learning space in Bangui’s Damala neighborhood. Most of them are returnees from displacement sites in Bangui, and their families have settled in this remote neighborhood that is kilometers away from the closest regular school. The temporary learning space has 5 tents that can accommodate a total of 2,000 children aged 3 to 15 and 18 teachers.
@UNICEF/Sokhin- On November 9, 2017, children studying in a temporary learning space in Bangui’s Damala neighborhood. Most of them are returnees from displacement sites in Bangui, and their families have settled in this remote neighborhood that is kilometers away from the closest regular school. The temporary learning space has 5 tents that can accommodate a total of 2,000 children aged 3 to 15 and 18 teachers.

It will be an uphill battle in CAR.  Prior to the crisis only 67 per cent of children were attending school, and in 2009 it was estimated that only 35 per cent of the population was literate.

Elizabeth has already taken on the battle: “We have the responsibility to teach these children and make sure they do not become bandits. If they do not go to school, what will become of them?” she says.

“Through sustained and more collaborative efforts among donors, humanitarian and development aid actors and with the Government, this is a fight we must win, as the future of an entire nation is at stake,” said Lang.

Car-impact-vid

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT DELIVERS US$2.6 MILLION TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY EDUCATION RELIEF FOR CHILDREN IMPACTED BY INDONESIA TSUNAMI

PRESS RELEASE

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT DELIVERS US$2.6 MILLION TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY EDUCATION RELIEF FOR CHILDREN IMPACTED BY INDONESIA TSUNAMI

To re-establish education for 60,000 children, Education Cannot Wait partners with Government of Indonesia, UNICEF and Save the Children, to provide temporary learning spaces, educational supplies, coordinated responses and training for teachers

31 October 2018, New York – To provide immediate relief for the boys and girls whose lives have been shattered by the devastating 28 September earthquakes and tsunami in Indonesia, Education Cannot Wait announced today a US$2.6 million first emergency response allocation that will benefit over 60,000 children and youth.

Recent estimates from national authorities indicate that over 2,000 lives have been lost in the disaster, which displaced more than 200,000 people and directly impacted more than 160,000 students.

“A tsunami is a horrible experience that renders people and communities completely powerless. There is no mercy. The devastating tragedy in Indonesia is ripping families apart and disrupting the life of children and youth in the most painful ways. We need to get these boys and girls back in safe and secure learning environments immediately. It is about restoring the safe foundation and necessary lifeline for children without delay and thus their education cannot wait,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, a new global Fund that seeks to raise US$1.8 billion to provide access to quality, reliable education for 8.9 million children living in crisis and emergencies by 2021.

“By providing immediate support to re-establish education for these children and youth, we are taking an important first step in returning the people of Indonesia to normalcy and in contributing to a sustainable humanitarian response that protects and brings hope” Sherif said.

Through ECW’s funding, 910 temporary classrooms will be established, and children and teachers will receive educational supplies. An additional 2,700 teachers – of whom 75 per cent are female – will be trained so they can provide the necessary psychosocial support for these children, who have lost their homes, and sometimes their parents and loved-ones in this disaster. The intervention will target the most vulnerable girls and boys, including orphans, children who experienced severe traumas, children living in poverty and children with disabilities. Ensuring safe and inclusive access to schools is a priority for Education Cannot Wait, and over 50 per cent of the beneficiaries will be girls.

While the intervention will largely focus on getting children back in safe and reliable learning environments, additional support will be provided to conduct a rapid education impact and needs assessment, create a back-to-school campaign, and ensure a coordinated and integrated response between the various agencies and first responders on the ground under the overall coordination of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

At least 1,185 schools – from early childhood learning centers to secondary schools – have been directly affected in four districts of Sulawesi, according to the latest figures from UNICEF. In all, some 1.5 million people have been affected, and observations from local sources show a high number of separated and unaccompanied children, as well as missing children and teachers.

With children out of school since the earthquake, many of the basic human needs that are connected with safe learning environments – including school meals, child protection, safety from sexual abuse, and access to hygiene and sanitation facilities – have been limited, further exacerbating existing health and nutrition factors affecting Indonesia’s children.

The 12-month projects will be implemented by UNICEF and the local chapter of Save the Children (YSTC) in close collaboration with other partners including the localized entities of World Vision (WVI) and Plan International (YPII). All activities will be implemented in coordination with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture through the Safe School Secretariat, which has already allocated approximately US$28 million for the response, rehabilitation and recovery in the education sector.

 

 To download the PDF version click here

Women and girls take the lead in Afghanistan

On October 11, we celebrate the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. This year’s theme is “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce.”
On October 11, we celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. This year’s theme is “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce.”

Education Cannot Wait provides a new path for women teachers and community leaders, opening up re-envisioned learning opportunities for girls living on the edge of crisis

Education is enlightenment. It’s what will take girls out of the darkness to empower a future generation of dynamic women leaders, and to build the skills girls need to control their destinies.

For this year’s International Day of the Girl, the world will turn its eyes to building a “Skilled GirlForce.” In places like Afghanistan, where classes are largely divided by gender and women still have limited access to education – no matter where they live, be it a refugee camp in Rodat or the better-off suburbs of the capital – empowering women teachers is a key step to delivering equitable, gender-balanced education for girls living in crisis and ensuring no girl is left behind in our global efforts to provide inclusive and equitable access to quality education for everyone.

Without female teachers, Afghani girls could easily fall through the cracks. Education Cannot Wait, along with a powerful coalition of international actors, the Government of Afghanistan, and local leaders and teachers, are making positive first steps in rebuilding a pathway to education and skills training for the girls left behind by a protracted crisis that cost millions of lives and pushed women and girls to the margins.

Afghanistan’s education system has been devastated by more than three decades of sustained conflict, according to UNICEF. For many of the country’s children, completing primary school remains a distant dream – especially in rural areas and for girls – despite recent progress in raising enrolment.

In all, UNICEF estimates that 3.7 million children are out of school in Afghanistan – 60% of them are girls. That’s 2.2 million girls left behind because of war and lack of adequate teaching facilities and women teachers.

On a positive note, education enrolment as a whole in Afghanistan is rising. In 1999, not a single girl was enrolled at the secondary level, and only 9,000 girls were enrolled in primary school. By 2003, 2.4 million girls were enrolled in school, and by 2013, gross enrolment for girls rose to approximately 35 percent.

In Afghanistan, education is largely delivered along gender lines, with very few mixed-gender schools. And a lack of girls-only schools and female teachers, provides a significant barrier to education for the 2.2 million girls that are still left behind.

As of right now, only 16 percent of Afghanistan’s schools are girls-only, and many of them lack proper sanitation facilities, which further hinders attendance, according to UNICEF. Deeply rooted cultural norms, socio-cultural factors, traditional beliefs and poverty all contribute to undermine education for girls. Significantly, girls continue to get married at an early age (17 percent are married before the age of 15 and approximately 46 percent of girls are married before the age of 18).

To address this issue, and increase access to education for girls in Afghanistan, Education Cannot Wait is supporting initiatives to empower women as community leaders and bring female teachers to remote areas.

By providing education to girls, these brave teachers are key to making a difference in the development trajectory of their country. This will prepare girls to enter the workforce, take part in civic life and regain control of their futures.

FEMALE TEACHERS ARE KEY

Only a third of Afghanistan’s teachers are women, providing a significant hurdle for education and undermining efforts to build lasting skills that will empower this future generation – this GirlForce as it is aptly named in this year’s International Day of the Girl Child – to enter the workforce and chart new pathways for women and girls everywhere.

At the Hisar Shahi displacement center in Rodat, for example, there was a significant lack of female teachers, particularly for biology.

“In conservative Afghan culture it is considered inappropriate for a male teacher to teach girls subjects such as biology that involve images of body parts and terminology that only a woman should speak about to girls,” explained a Malik (community leader) in a meeting with the Welfare Association For the Development of Afghanistan (WADAN), an implementing partner delivering education for children living in crisis in Afghanistan with the support of ECW. Along with WADAN, Education Cannot Wait has also partnered with the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children to mobilize education for children living in crisis in Afghanistan.

To solve this problem, community stakeholders went to Maliks, community elders and religious leaders to come up with an answer. They agreed that the lack of qualified teachers, especially for biology, was creating a significant bottleneck and keeping girls out of school.

The community set about looking for a new female biology teacher, a hard-enough task in a country where just four out of ten children attend secondary school and less than half the population between 15 and 24 is literate.

Then came Ms. Paria, who had studied sciences, chemistry and biology at Nangarhar University. Ms. Paria set about teaching biology for the girls living in the Hisar Shahi displacement center, and has become a ray of hope for girls living there.

Ms. Paria teaching biology in her classroom.
Ms. Paria teaching biology in her classroom.

“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.

In all, some 40 girls have returned to class with their new biology teacher.

It’s a small success, but an essential starting point to ensure access to education for girls across the country. To scale-up and replicate these successful pilot initiatives, ECW recently announced a new three-year programme in Afghanistan that will reach over 500,000 children. The US$150 million programme, starting with the US$12 million allocation from ECW, will create an inclusive teaching and learning environment, improve continuity of education, and create safer and more protective learning environments, with a target of 50 per cent of programme support going towards girls’ access to quality education.

COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION

Women are also stepping in as community leaders and organizers, through ECW investment, leading the delivery of equitable and quality education.

Saima is a resident of Merano Tapo village in the Behsood District of Nangarhar Province and a teacher by profession. Saima is a devoted advocate for Afghan women’s rights and has a history of speaking out for women.

During a workshop with religious scholars, community elders, civil society activists and other teachers, Saima spoke out to mobilize more education opportunities for girls living in Merano Tapo.

Saima-Crop
Saima facilitates a community meeting.

“I work for girls to motivate their parents to send their girls to schools,” Saima said.

Following the workshop, Saima organized a number of women into small groups assigned to various sections of the village, and asked them to start a campaign to connect with families and promote education for girls living in the village. In the most remote corners of Afghanistan, 87 percent of girls are excluded from education.

With Saima in the lead, and substantial political and social backing behind her from the community she had organized, more than 50 families agreed to send their girls to class.

Thanks to Saima’s community activism, 10-year-old Asma is now attending a school supported through Education Cannot Wait.

“Suddenly and unexpectedly seven women arrived at my house. I was surprised and to be honest I was a bit scared; I did not know why they came. I knew only one of them, but they introduced themselves and asked my wife and me to relax and listen to their team leader,” said Asma’s father, Abdul Wali. “She talked about the importance of education for women. By the end of her presentation both of us decided to allow our daughter to go to school. We are happy and believe we have made a good decision.”

Education heroes like Saima and Ms. Paria – bold women who are breaking boundaries to bring education to Afghanistan’s girls – are a great force and example in mobilizing women teachers across the globe. Along with support from governments, donors, civil society and international funds such as Education Cannot Wait, these education heroes will be the driving force in building a “Skilled GirlForce” and empowering women and girls everywhere.

animation

International coalition led by Education Cannot Wait provides new educational opportunities for 194,000 children displaced by conflict in Nigeria

NG_newsline_dauda
The 12-month programme will provide educational supplies, permanent schools, basic humanitarian support, and training for teachers to promote the psycho-social development of war-affected children, like this 10-year-old boy. © UNICEF Nigeria/2018

CHILDREN RETURNING HOME TO BENEFIT FROM US$2.5 MILLION IN FUNDING TO REHABILITATE 50 CLASSROOMS AND BUILD CAPACITY FOR 800 TEACHERS

New York, 10 October 2018 – Connecting a broad international coalition that includes Plan International, Save the Children, Street Child and UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait announced a new allocation totaling US$2.49 million to provide safe and equitable access to education for 194,000 conflict-affected children – 52 per cent of whom are girls – in the Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States of North East Nigeria.

The overall emergency education package includes US$210,000 for Plan International, US$249,999 for Save the Children, US$230,000 for Street Child, and US$1.8 million for UNICEF.

The 12-month programme coordinated by the Education Cluster in North East Nigeria in partnership with the Government of Nigeria, will support capacity building for 800 teachers and rehabilitate 50 classrooms. In all, 116,400 internally displaced children and 77,600 children permanently settled in these regions will be targeted with the intervention, which will provide educational supplies, permanent schools, basic humanitarian support, and training for teachers to promote the psycho-social development of these war-affected students.

“This support is essential in responding to the immediate needs of the people of North East Nigeria,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, a new global Fund that has already reached close to 1 million children living in conflict. “Education for all cannot be an afterthought in crisis. This First Emergency Response is just the beginning of our efforts to break the cycle of poverty and violence in the region, and protect boys and girls returning from conflict and still living with the scars of war. As we scale up this work through multi-year investments along with other local, national and international actors, we will expand our support to include more comprehensive actions to reach the estimated 1.8 million children in the region in need of this targeted support.”

The conflict in North East Nigeria and neighbouring states has been devastating, with schools and children often targeted in violent attacks.

“Girls were raped, children were forced into violent extremism, teachers were murdered, and families were ripped apart by this protracted crisis,” said Sherif. “If we are to reach our goal for universal, inclusive and equitable education for all as outlined by world leaders in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, immediate action needs to happen – not just in Nigeria, but across the globe.”

Since the rise of armed conflict in 2009, some 1,400 schools have been damaged or destroyed in Nigeria. In Borno State alone, 57 per cent of schools remain closed today.

According to Human Rights Watch, in some cases students recruited by Boko Haram attacked their own schools and killed their own teachers. An estimated 19,000 teachers have been displaced by conflict in Nigeria since 2009, with 2,295 killed in the violence.

“Without teachers and without schools, the children of this region have very limited opportunities. To halt the continued scourge of violent extremism in the region – and protect our most valuable natural resource, our children – we’ve partnered with key actors in this humanitarian response phase to help rehabilitate schools, train teachers, provide essential educational supplies and get boys and girls back in safe and secure educational environments,” Sherif said.

The situation in North East Nigeria continues to be a highly complex humanitarian crisis. With 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including 4.3 million children who remain the primary victims of the ongoing conflict.

“This First Emergency Response funding is specifically designed for sudden onset crises or escalations of existing emergencies such as what we are seeing in North East Nigeria and neighboring states today,” said Sherif. “This is a start, but the magnitude of the crisis requires specific, extensive, multi-year engagements to get Nigeria’s boys and girls back in safe schools and help them recover from years of conflict.”

Education Cannot Wait has been operational for just over a year, the new global Fund was created to mobilize US$1.84 billion in funding by 2021 to provide reliable and quality education to 8.9 million children affected by crisis.

Read the PDF version of the press release here

Links

 

From the ground up

In Shaheedan Village, WADAN through ECW funding purchased school bags, stationery, tarpaulins and tents and hired a teacher.
In Shaheedan Village, WADAN through ECW funding purchased school bags, stationery, tarpaulins and tents and hired a teacher.

In war-torn Afghanistan displaced children find hope to receive an education

Rabidullah is just 12 years old. He’s a tough kid. Smart, energetic and interested in the world around him. But Rabidullah is living a life interrupted by war.

In October 2017, fighting between ISIS, Taliban and Government Troops uprooted the boy, who was attending the fourth grade at the Teko School in Nangarhar’s Achin District. Now Rabidullah lives in the Shaheedan Village displacement camp. There are no school facilities, books, classrooms or teachers for Rabidullah and the countless other kids like him that lack access to safe, high-quality free education.

“I suffered. I lost my home, my classmates and my teacher, and was left without a school, class or books,” said Rabidullah.

While life in the refugee camp is tough, a new light is providing an opportunity for young people like Rabidullah to find a piece of safety and normalcy in a world turned upside down.

With financial support from Education Cannot Wait, a global fund dedicated to helping the 75 million children and youth worldwide who live in crisis-affected areas and are deprived from reliable education, a new community-based school is being established in the Shaheedan camp.

While the school gets started, a number of community activists, Mullahs and elders (“shuras”) have come together to volunteer to teach the displaced children living in the village.

“I will start teaching these pupils to read and write and will mobilize others to dedicate time to teach the camp children,” said Mr. Rafiqullah, one of the first volunteers to sign up to teach in the Shaheedan camp.

This means new hope for the children of war living in Afghanistan, and a new hope to shape young minds, end illiteracy and empower a whole new generation of Afghanis as the nation works toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4) to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

“I thought that our children’s future had been destroyed and lost forever. I could not imagine that my children would find a place to learn,” said Rabidullah’s Mother. “This is a very remote area, an isolated, rugged desert without government facilities. However, this program has revived our hopes and will help build our future.”

With financial support from Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the Welfare Association for the Development of Afghanistan (WADAN) implements community-based interventions to provide education for children affected by crisis in six districts of Nangarhar Province: Khogyani, Surkhroad, Behsood, Shiwa, Kama and Rodat.  The goal of the project is to provide safe, quality, free education to 10,000 children that are not able to attend school. These children and youth include returnees, internally displaced people (IDP) and host community children aged 3-18. As part of global efforts to ensure inclusive access to education, the programme in Afghanistan also focuses on children with disabilities and prioritizes education opportunities for girls, young women and the most vulnerable.

Rabidullah connects with Mohammad Yousaf, the ECW Project Manager and Rafiqullah, the first volunteer teacher in Shaheedan Village.
Rabidullah connects with Mohammad Yousaf, the ECW Project Manager and Rafiqullah, the first volunteer teacher in Shaheedan Village.

ECW ALLOCATES US$3 MILLION TO MEET URGENT EDUCATION NEEDS OF NEWLY DISPLACED CHILDREN IN NORTH-WEST AND NORTH-EAST SYRIA

New York, 22 June 2018 – The Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund announces an allocation of US$3 million to support the delivery of education services to newly displaced children in the ongoing Syria crisis. This allocation will support aid organizations in meeting urgent growing education needs resulting from new population displacements in Idleb and Aleppo Governorates in the North-West of the country and in Deir-ez-Zour, Hassakeh and Raqqa Governorates in the North-East.

The funds will improve access to quality education and learning opportunities for 20,000 newly displaced children and will support 500 education personnel. The 12-month programmes will include activities such as establishing safe learning spaces, delivering learning and recreational materials, distributing stipends and teaching resources to teachers and mobilizing communities in support of education.  Psychological support will also be provided to help children recover from the trauma they endured in active conflicts areas.

A displaced girl draws at a UNICEF-supported child-friendly space in Ain Issa camp, Raqqa Governorate, Syria. © UNICEF/Souleiman
A displaced girl draws at a UNICEF-supported child-friendly space in Ain Issa camp, Raqqa Governorate, Syria. © UNICEF/Souleiman

This allocation will build on the coordination and implementation architecture established under the ongoing Whole of Syria (WoS) ECW $15 million Initial investment. Activities to be implemented under this new allocation are also in line with the Syria Education Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2018.

Read the full press release here.

For press enquiries, contact:

Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@unicef.org, +1917 640-6820

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: ECW ANNOUNCES US$1.5 MILLION TO RESTORE EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN AFFECTED BY EARTHQUAKE

New York, 1 June 2018 – The Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund announces an allocation of US$1.5 million to bring thousands of children back to school in Papua New Guinea. The island nation was struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake at the end of February which affected more than half a million people and damaged key infrastructures, including hundreds of schools.

This ECW emergency response allocation will provide resources for humanitarian aid organizations to immediately start restoring education services, particularly through the setting up of temporary learning spaces. The funding will cover activities for a period of one year.

“It is urgent for children to recover a sense of normalcy in their lives after living through such a disaster. Going back to school is crucial to help them overcome the trauma they have endured and to ensure they continue to learn and thrive,” says ECW Director, Yasmine Sherif.

©UNICEF/Nybo: Lorina, 4, stands outside a makeshift tent where she has been living since a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on 26 February 2018 destroyed her home in nearby Daga village, in Pimaga, Papua New Guinea.
©UNICEF/Nybo: Lorina, 4, stands outside a makeshift tent where she has been living since a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on 26 February 2018 destroyed her home in nearby Daga village, in Pimaga, Papua New Guinea

ECW’s emergency response allocation targets some of the areas most affected by the earthquake in the Southern Highlands Province and in Hela Province. Thanks to ECW’s support, children will benefit from a safe learning environment while damaged infrastructure is being rehabilitated. They will also receive psychological support as well as learning and recreational materials. At total of 10,000 teachers will also be supported through these funds.

This is ECW’s second First Emergency Response allocation this year, further to a $3 million allocation announced in April to support the education response in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read the full press release here.

ECW Funding Announced for Emergency Response In Bangladesh and Nepal

Supporting Rohingya refugee children fleeing violence in Myanmar and children affected by the floods in Nepal

On the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly that took place in New York during the week of 18 September 2017, Education Cannot Wait announced immediate support to Rohingya refugee children fleeing violence in Myanmar and children affected by the recent floods in Nepal through its First Emergency Response funding window.

BANGLADESH

A $3 million emergency grant has been allocated to respond to the immediate educational needs of Rohingya children who have found refuge in Bangladesh, including US$500,000 donated by Dubai Cares. An estimated quarter of a million Rohingya child refugees are among the 430,000 people that have fled across the border from neighbouring Myanmar into Bangladesh in recent weeks. ECW’s funding will help partners on the ground, coordinated  by the Education Sector Group, to scale up the ongoing response in the southern city of Cox’s Bazar. ECW’s emergency grant will help cover more than 70 percent of the emergency educational needs of these children until the end of 2017.

More: OCHA update on the response to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh coordinated by the Inter-Sector Coordination Group

 

NEPAL

ECW has allocated $1.5 million to help ensure continuous access to quality learning for the children most affected by the recent flooding in Nepal. Generated by heavy mansoon rains, floods and landslides have impacted 1.7 million people in 75 districts. 460,000 people are displaced. The floods have destroyed 80 schools and damaged a further 710. ECW’s funding will support up to 50 percent of the emergency education response until February 2018, as defined in the joint Nepal Response Plan issued by the UN Resident Coordinator.

More: ReliefWeb update on the joint Nepal Response Plan

Posted 28 September 2017