OVER 1 MILLION TEXTBOOKS DISTRIBUTED TO SCHOOLS IN SOUTH SUDAN

ECW investment delivered through Save the Children in partnership with Norwegian Refugee Council, Finn Church Aid, and the South Sudan Ministry of General Education and Instruction, delivers textbooks in more than 3,700 primary and secondary schools.

ECW investment delivered through Save the Children in partnership with Norwegian Refugee Council, Finn Church Aid, and the South Sudan Ministry of General Education and Instruction, delivers textbooks in more than 3,700 primary and secondary schools.

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24 March 2021, Juba – The first of over 1.12 million textbooks was handed to school leaders in Juba today as part of a massive program aimed at ensuring out-of-school children are able to learn in South Sudan. The textbooks will play a vital role in the teaching and learning process that gives every child the best possible opportunities for education in South Sudan.

The programme, led by Save the Children in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council, Finn Church Aid, and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) is funded by Education Cannot Wait (ECW).

The programme is one of the most wide-reaching education resourcing initiatives in South Sudan. More than 1.5 million children – including 1,449,219 primary school pupils and 109,854 secondary school students – in 3,391 primary and 401 secondary schools in the six states of Eastern Equatoria, Lakes, Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity and Warrap will benefit from the books.

“Many children are not learning in South Sudan and one of the factors is that both learners and teachers do not have access to adequate reference materials, guides or textbooks that they need to effectively facilitate quality teaching and learning,” said Rama Hansraj, the Country Director of Save the Children in South Sudan. “We believe that these 1.12 million textbooks will reduce the high pupil- textbook ratio thereby allowing more children to get access to textbooks. Thus, putting books in the hands of learners. These textbooks have come in handy at a time when social distancing is a key requirement to controlling the spread of COVID-19. This means that with more books, we are able to reduce the number of children that come together to share a book.”

The textbooks ratio is expected to be reduced to 1:1 for secondary and primary learners in the targeted six states across South Sudan.

Globally, Save the Children and partners work to ensure that every child receives a good quality education and gains the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the 21st century. Save the Children is committed to coordinating and working with all development partners to ensure that all children have access to safe, inclusive, and quality learning opportunities they need to realize their full potential.

ECW’s US$20 million catalytic grant in South Sudan set in motion a multi-year educational response programme for two years in the country. The programme provides access to pre-primary education, boosts gender equity, prevents early dropouts, and supports children and youth in accessing the psychosocial support they need to recover and rebuild from trauma, conflict and displacement in South Sudan.

Highlights

  • 1.12 million textbooks distributed in Juba, set to reach 3,792 primary and schools across South Sudan
  • Programme is in response to the 2.2 million children still missing out on education.
  • 1 in 3 schools have been damaged, destroyed, occupied or closed due to conflict, weather events, and COVID-19 in South Sudan.
  • Only 3.5% of girls enrolled in secondary schools, primary school completion rate is the lowest in the world, at less than 10%

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Notes to Editors:

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):
ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

On Twitter, please follow: @EduCannotWait @YasmineSherif1 @KentPage

Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

For press inquiries:
Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820
Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735
For other inquiries: info@un-ecw.org

About Save the Children international:

Save the Children has been working with and for children, their families and communities in South Sudan since 1991. We provide children with access to equitable quality education, healthcare and nutrition support, and families with food security and livelihoods assistance. Our child protection programmes support vulnerable children including unaccompanied and separated children and those affected by violence, as well as advocating for children’s rights at national, state and community levels. We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights and we help them fulfil their potential.

For any other inquiries, please contact:

Kangu Tito Justin, Media and Communication Coordinator Save the Children Tito.Justin@savethechildren.org | +211922844458

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT APPROVES US$1 MILLION EMERGENCY RESPONSE ALLOCATION FOR DISPLACED CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN MOZAMBIQUE

New funding will provide children and youth displaced by violence in Cabo Delgado and doubly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with safe and protective learning environments

Portuguese Version

4 February 2021, New York – In response to the escalating humanitarian crisis in Mozambique, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced a US$1 million first emergency response allocation to benefit displaced children and youth impacted by increasing violence in Cabo Delgado province. Ongoing violence and insecurity have displaced more than half a million people, including 250,000 children in just the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic makes matters even worse, straining education, health and financial systems, and forcing crisis-affected children even further to the margins.

There has also been a rise in attacks on schools in Mozambique. Between 2017 and 2020, 171 schools were affected by school attacks and 45 schools were destroyed. This affected close to 75,000 students and 1,500 teachers. Even more concerning were the killings of six teachers over this same time period. Mozambique endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration in 2015. The declaration is an inter-governmental political commitment to protect students, teachers, schools, and universities from the worst effects of armed conflict.

“Without access to safe and protective learning environments in such a volatile environment, girls face the risk of sexual abuse, early pregnancy and child marriage, while boys may be recruited into armed groups or forced out of school into child labour. The Safe Schools Declaration is our global commitment to ensure every girl and boy on the planet has the right to an education without fear of violence or attack,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. “Amidst insecurity, forced displacement and COVID-19, education means not only means safety, protection and a sense of normalcy for these crisis-affected girls and boys, it also means the possibility for a brighter tomorrow.”

“Cabo Delgado Province has been experiencing armed violence in its central and northern zone districts since 2017, forcing many displaced people to take refuge in the districts of Mecúfi, Pemba, Metuge, Ancuabe, Chiúre, Namuno, Balama, Montepuez, Mueda, Nangade and Palma. Before this, classrooms were already overcrowded in the province,” said Mr. Florencio Mbiquem, Cooperation and Emergency Coordinator with the Cabo Delgado Provincial Education Directorate. “Furthermore, Cyclone Kenneth in 2019 resulted in damage to 185 schools in the province, affecting 45,242 students and 966 teachers. The rainy seasons are causing more education infrastructural damage, not to mention the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19. Education Cannot Wait’s support is therefore very important for children, youth, teachers and their families.”

The new 12-month grant builds on ECW’s COVID-19 response and cyclone relief grants, which have already benefited hundreds of thousands of children in the country. The new funding grants will be implemented in coordination with the Government of Mozambique and the Education Cluster through Save the Children (US$341,000), UNICEF (US$341,000) and Plan International (US$316,000).

Planned interventions will build age-appropriate educational opportunities for crisis-affected girls and boys, support safe and inclusive learning spaces, expand remote learning options, provide children with learning materials, train teachers, and raise awareness to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, including psychosocial support. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, water and sanitation services will be built at schools and learning centres.

In launching this new US$1 million investment, Education Cannot Wait calls on donors, philanthropic foundations and the private sector to fully fund the US$4.2 million education funding gap within Mozambique’s Humanitarian Response Plan.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT APPROVES US$20.1 MILLION FOR MULTI-YEAR RESILIENCE PROGRAMME IN NIGERIA

In response to the armed conflict and escalating humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria that has left over 1 million girls and boys in need of educational support, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$20.1 million in catalytic investment grants to accelerate the response to the protracted crisis.

Three-year education programme for the protracted crisis in northeast Nigeria aims to reach 2.9 million children and youth in response to armed conflict and ongoing humanitarian needs

18 December 2020, New York – In response to the armed conflict and escalating humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria that has left over 1 million girls and boys in need of educational support, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) today announced US$20.1 million in catalytic investment grants to accelerate the response to the protracted crisis.

The initial programme will run for three years, with the goal of leveraging an additional US$98.7 million in co-financing from national and global partners, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to reach over 2.9 million children and youth.

“Education Cannot Wait has been supporting the education in emergencies response in Nigeria since 2018 through the First Emergency Response intervention. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ECW was the first donor to offer support to conflict-affected North East Nigeria. Once more, ECW is supporting Nigeria in the advancement of education in emergencies through the multi-year resilience programme. This is highly commendable, and a much appreciated endeavor,” said Dr. Shettima Bukar Kullima, Executive Chairman, Borno State Universal Basic Education Board Nigeria.

“Children and teachers are being targeted in violent attacks. Killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction and child recruitment are putting girls and boys at extreme risk. Education is not only every child’s right, but the protection it provides is also all too often life-saving,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “This new education in emergency response, which delivers across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, helps sow the seeds of peace and tolerance, while also ensuring girls and boys have access to safe and protective learning environments.”

“Nigeria is making progress in addressing the protracted crisis in the northeast of the country, but with limited resources and continued violence, progress has been uneven,” said Sherif. “There are still approximately 1 million children, including 583,000 girls, and 18,000 education personnel that are in rapid need of support to either resume or sustain education in northeast Nigeria. I call on public and private sector donors to urgently help close the $98.7 million funding gap for this crucial programme. There is no time to lose.”

The number of children and youth with chronic needs in education remains high across the three states targeted through the Education Cannot Wait investment. Estimates indicate that nearly 60 per cent of primary school-age children and adolescents are not attending school, with girls disproportionally affected. Despite a decrease in the number of security incidents targeting education structures since 2017, the risk of violent attacks, abduction, and kidnappings remains a constant threat.

Poverty remains one of the greatest barriers to educational access. Parents simply cannot afford to send their children to school. COVID-19 has made matters even worse. Classrooms often lack school furniture and water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, teachers are poorly paid, and schools and learning centres often lack high-quality learning materials.

Implementing in partnership with the Government of Nigeria by UNICEF, Save the Children, and a consortium between the Norwegian Refugee Council and Street Child, the overall multi-year resilience programme targets 2.9 million children and adolescents from 2021 to 2023. Half of the targeted beneficiaries are displaced children and youth, while the other half live in host communities that are affected by conflict.

The programme builds on the success of the Education Cannot Wait funded ‘first emergency response’ in northeast Nigeria that reached 290,000 children.  Education Cannot Wait seed funding will initiate the implementation of the programme by focusing on reaching girls and boys in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. In total, over 482,000 girls and boys will access learning opportunities of whom over 60% are girls and adolescent girls. The programme also targets 48,000 girls and boys in early learning programmes, 380,000 at primary level and some 50,000 at the secondary level, in both formal and non-formal education settings.

Among its various outputs, the programme will build and renovate classrooms and learning spaces, support stipends for teachers and increase continuity by working with local partners to keep children and youth in school. It will also ensure educators have the training and tools they need to build gender-responsive learning plans, and safe and protective learning environments that respond to the specific needs of girls, children with disabilities and crisis-affected children in need of psychosocial support.

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Notes to editors:
Programme outputs:

  • Continued delivery of strong education in emergencies programming: The programme will continue the delivery of holistic education in emergencies programming for conflict-affected children, adolescents and families in Northeast Nigeria. Initiatives to strengthen access, equity and quality all remain a primary focus.
  • Mainstreaming of learners into formal education: Many learners remain in temporary learning spaces or alternative education programmes. As the situation stabilises, the formal education system will need to increase its capacity to ensure the delivery of quality, equitable education to all children currently in informal programmes. Further efforts will need to promote the flexibility and adaptability of the formal education system to meet the needs of learners, especially those affected by conflict.
  • Addressing key crosscutting issues, with a special focus on gender, disability and mental health and psychosocial support: Myriad crosscutting issues have also been incorporated into this programme, with a key focus on gender, disability, inclusion and vulnerability. Meeting the needs of those traditionally not included within education systems comprises a primary focus of this programme. Moreover, the programme aims to mainstream protection and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services for learners and teachers as they access schools.
  • Strengthening educator and school leader capacities and motivation: Local educators and school leaders continue to need substantial support with regards to their capacity and motivation to deliver quality, equitable, and inclusive education. As learners are mainstreamed into formal education programmes, the programme will ensure these educators have the required skills to deliver effective education well into the future. A key focus of this programme is addressing the MHPSS needs of the teachers themselves – their own psychosocial needs must be considered and addressed if they are able to support those of their students,
  • Strengthening local leadership to take full ownership of delivery and transitions to formal education: Local stakeholders in government (at the national, state and local government levels), as well as in National NGOs, are expected to take on increasing leadership and responsibility for the education in emergencies response.

ECW, SAVE THE CHILDREN, ABDULLA AL GHURAIR FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION AND WORLD BANK ADDRESS REFUGEE EDUCATION AT HIGH-LEVEL UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY EVENT

Leading organisations invested in children’s education met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last week to share programmatic and financial learnings developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the need to strengthen digital learning.

MEETING OUR PROMISES ON REFUGEE EDUCATION DURING COVID-19

8 October 2020 – Leading organisations invested in children’s education met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last week to share programmatic and financial learnings developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the need to strengthen digital learning.

Entitled ‘Meeting our Promises on Refugee Education during COVID-19’ the virtual roundtable brought together senior government, institutional, private sector and philanthropic partners to discuss learnings and solutions that have emerged throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Co-hosted by Education Cannot Wait (ECW), Save the Children, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, and the World Bank, this high-level event provided a unique opportunity for partners from across the aid sector to discuss these important education topics.

“The global pandemic crisis has exacerbated the several challenges that the refugee education was already facing. Philanthropists have a unique role in being responsive and strategic in addressing challenges during the pandemic. We came together today to confirm our commitment to continue our support to ensure that refugee education is prioritised and successfully supported with solutions that have been shown to make a difference,” said H.E Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education.

“All financing options must be pursued – additional donor resources, debt relief, as well as more efficient and equitable public spending – in order to ensure that every refugee child receives a quality education. This has always been true and is even more urgent given the exacerbation of inequalities in education service delivery resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Keiko Miwa, Regional Director, Human Development, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank.

Learnings and insights from the discussions will result in a joint paper, published to inform the sector on how to better respond to refugee children’s learning and wellbeing needs during this on-going pandemic and in the face of future such crises.

Among the attendees were senior representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Community Jameel, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the LEGO Foundation, Dubai Cares and the Olayan Foundation.

The themes of the event were:

  • Adapting financing mechanisms for refugee education: Philanthropists, the private sector and multilateral funding institutions shared how financing mechanisms for refugee education have been adapted throughout the pandemic, and how philanthropy can be directed strategically to complement institutional and private sector funding during crises.
  • Adapting education approaches to distance learning and ensuring that other school services are continued: governments, non-governmental organisations, donors and foundations that have implemented distance education shared their best practices. This included no-tech, low-tech and high-tech approaches such as distributing paper materials and the use of radio, computers, tablets, mobiles and TVs.

Organisations shared how they have continued school services that refugees rely on. These services included: school meals, health services, child protection services and mental health and psychosocial support. The roundtable co-hosts were: His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation, Dr Sonia Ben Jaafar, Chief Executive Officer, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation, Keiko Miwa, Director for the Educational Global Practice, World Bank, Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait, Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive, Save the Children UK, The roundtable moderator was Andrew Jack, Global Education Editor, Financial Times.

The event was held on Tuesday, September 29.

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View original on ReliefWeb.

About Save the Children

Save the Children exists to help every child reach their full potential. In the UK and around the world, we make sure children keep safe, healthy and learning, and change the future for good.

About Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education

AGFE aims to empower Emirati and Arab youth to thrive and contribute to the sustainable development of the region, through innovative education solutions and authentic partnerships. As one of the largest privately-funded philanthropic foundations in the Arab region, AGFE supports the provision of high-quality technology-based education opportunities, as well as the development of relevant skills for a successful transition into higher education and the labor market. Founded in 2015, the Foundation is dedicated to the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 8, calling for inclusive and equitable quality education that leads to improved standards of living for all.

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

About the World Bank

The World Bank Group (WBG) is the largest financier of education in the developing world (active portfolio of US$20.6 billion). The World Bank’s active education portfolio in fragile and conflict-affected states as well as projects receiving financing from either the IDA-18 Refugee Sub-Window or co-financed by the Global Concessional Financing Facility amounts to US$5.4 billion. The World Bank also provides just-in-time policy advisory support and leverages partnerships to develop policy knowledge and global public goods to support country-driven reforms. Under the IDA-19 replenishment, the Window for Host Communities and Refugees will finance up to US$2.2 billion in operations, including a dedicated sub-window of US$1billion to respond to the COVID-19 impact on refugees.

RESPONDING TO THE EDUCATION CRISIS IN CENTRAL SAHEL

INVITATION

Online event: Responding to the Education Crisis in Central Sahel
12 October 2020 at 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. CEST, 9 a.m. EDT
Side event to the Ministerial Roundtable on Central Sahel in October 2020
We invite you to register today for this event: Via this link

Invitation Événement virtuel – Répondre à la crise de l’éducation Sahel central

An education crisis is facing Central Sahel, requiring urgent response in order to build the future of the region.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have seen education under attack from armed conflict, displacements, climate change and recently the COVID-19 crisis, leaving 13 million out of school and exposing especially vulnerable children and girls to risks of abuse, child labour, early marriage or radicalisation.

There is vital need for the education emergency to be addressed in a consolidated response to the Sahel crises through increased financing and stronger and more holistic partnerships. The event brings together ministers, donors, NGOs and the voices of affected children and youth to highlight the education crisis and its impact on the region, present best practices, and provide concrete recommendations.

The side event is co-hosted by the Ministry of National Education, Literacy and Promotion of National Languages of Burkina Faso, Education Cannot Wait, Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, and Save the Children. Recommendations from the side event will be put forward to the High-Level Ministerial Roundtable on Central Sahel to be held on October 20th 2020, hosted by the Governments of Denmark and Germany, the European Union and the United Nations

Speakers:
H.E. Stanislas Ouaro
Minister of Education, Ministry of National Education, Literacy and Promotion of National Languages of Burkina Faso

Ms. Yasmine Sherif
Director, Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

Mr. Michael Köhler
Deputy Director-General, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) (to be confirmed)

Ms. Goundo Odette Keita

National President, Organisation des Jeunes Africains pour le Développement et l’Emergence, Mali

Ms. Yasmina Mohamed Boubacar
Advocate for children’s and girls’ education, Plan International Niger

Mr. Issoufou Ouedraogo

Education in Emergencies Specialist, Save the Children Burkina Faso

Register for the side event to take place on Zoom: Via this link

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT INVESTMENTS REACH REFUGEE AND OTHER VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

With US$24.5 million in currently committed funds – and more on its way – ECW-financed COVID-19 education in emergency responses are now deployed across 27 countries and emergency contexts. For children and youth in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali and Uganda, these life-saving responses are allowing girls and boys to continue their education through distance learning, protecting lives with enhanced water and sanitation services, and slowing the spread of the virus through community awareness campaigns.

Priscille with her family. Photo © Save the Children

ECW-SUPPORTED RESPONSE TO COVID-19 IN UGANDA WITH SAVE THE CHILDREN

With support from Education Cannot Wait, Save the Children Uganda is distributing home learning kits and extending educational opportunities through innovative radio programmes to provide refugee girls and boys – and host community children and youth – ongoing remote learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools are still closed in Uganda – possibly for the remainder of the year. For these vulnerable refugee children and youth, life-saving education and health awareness materials are essential in keeping children safe, extending learning and slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Still, half of the primary school refugee children in Uganda have yet to receive home learning materials, highlighting the need to expand the global education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Imagine… I am in P7 (the seventh and final grade of primary school). As a girl, I am very proud to have reached this class. This virus should stop so that I can sit the Primary Leaving Examination since many girls cannot make it. This makes me happy and keen to complete my studies!” – Priscille, 15, refugee girl Rwamwanja refugee settlement in Western Uganda. Full Story

Grace is finding new hope through the ECW-financed response. Photo © UNICEF

ECW-SUPPORTED RESPONSE TO COVID-19 IN BURKINA FASO WITH UNICEF

In Burkina Faso, ECW funding is keeping girls and boys safe within the fast-evolving ‘crisis within a crisis’ affecting refugees, especially girls in the Sahel. For girls like Grace, the support provided by ECW partner UNICEF, in coordination with the Government of Burkina Faso, is making a difference. This includes the training and deployment of 15,000 volunteers who provide COVID-19 hygiene and prevention sensitization amongst refugee populations and host communities.

“At school we have to wear the mask, stay at least 1 meter apart, wash hands with water and soap and raise awareness of friends who don’t know how to fight this pandemic.” – Grace, Peniel High School in Tanghin.

Learn more in this BBC French report.

Photo © UNHCR

ECW-SUPPORTED RESPONSE TO COVID-19 IN MALI WITH UNHCR

“UNHCR Mali has now received money from Education Cannot Wait for distance learning, targeting 10,000 refugee and displaced children in Mali. With the money we aim to provide solar radios to refugee children, children who are internally displaced, and those from the host communities. These radios will ensure these refugee, displaced and host community children’s right to education, even in low-tech resource areas of Mali. The Ministry of Education together with teachers are now recording lessons for all levels so that they are ready to be aired on the radios.”- Leandro Salazar, Education Expert, UNHCR Mali.

Preventing the spread of the virus through education in Chad. Photo © JRS.

ECW-SUPPORTED RESPONSE TO COVID-19 IN CHAD AND THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC WITH JRS

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown and confinement measures have brought new challenges for educational facilities in both Chad and the Central African Republic. In addition to being central to learning, schools are crucial for raising community awareness to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

With the support of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) adapted its activities in the Central African Republic (CAR) and in Eastern Chad to ensure continued education, health and hygiene awareness raising and protection for refugee children and youth – already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, natural disasters and protracted crises – and now doubly hit by COVID-19.

In Chad, ECW partner JRS is supporting improved water and sanitation services and training education professionals on COVID-19 prevention measures to help them raise awareness within the communities. In Central African Republic, radio programmes are providing psychosocial support and ongoing lessons, with a special focus on refugee girls’ rights to access quality education.

¨We started some initiatives to be in contact with the students. This includes awareness raising activities with their parents and students on COVID-19 prevention measures through WhatsApp groups and home visits.¨ Tadjadine Abdallah Mansour, a secondary teacher at Kounoungou Refugee Camp, Chad.

“For the moment, and until the end of the pandemic, we will continue teaching our students within their areas through home-based learning.¨

RESPONDING TO COVID-19 IN UGANDA

Girls like Priscille are continuing their education during the COVID-19 lockdown. Photo © Save the Children

With support from Education Cannot Wait, Save the Children is distributing home learning kits and extending educational opportunities through innovative radio programmes to provide refugee girls and boys – and host community children and youth – ongoing remote learning opportunities.

Stories from the Field

Special Contribution by Save the Children. View Original.

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates in many parts of the world, Education Cannot Wait investments implemented by Save the Children in Uganda are working to reach refugee girls and boys with innovative remote learning programs. Schools are still closed in Uganda – possibly for the remainder of the year. For these vulnerable children and youth, life-saving education and health awareness materials are essential in keeping children safe, extending learning and slowing the spread of the coronavirus.  Over half of the primary school refugee children in Uganda have yet to receive home learning materials, highlighting the need to expand the global education in emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For girls and boys like Priscille, Ronald and Kato,* education and continued learning are provide hope, safety and opportunity in these tough and troubling times.

Priscille is keeping up on her schoolwork with the distance learning packs. Photo © Save the Children

Meet Priscille

Getting back to school is 15-year-old Priscille’s biggest wish.

She is in her final year of primary school, at an age when many girls in her community often drop out. In late March all schools in the Rwamwanja refugee settlement in Western Uganda, closed as part of prevention measures against Covid-19.

“Imagine… I am in P7 (the seventh and final grade of primary school). As a girl, I am very proud to have reached this class,” says Priscille. “This virus should stop so that I can sit the Primary Leaving Examination since many girls cannot make it. This makes me happy and keen to complete my studies!”

Through Education Cannot Wait’s education in emergency COVID-19 response, Priscille received a new home learning kit from Save the Children. The study books will help her keep learning while she’s at home and the schools are closed.

Priscille and her family fled to Uganda to escape the war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. She now lives with her parents and four sisters in the vast refugee settlement.

The family doesn’t have a radio, but she’s heard about the Covid-19 outbreak from listening to her neighbour’s radio and from the community awareness sessions being held in the settlement.

When she heard about the importance of washing hands, she installed a handwashing facility at the family home.

As part of the ECW-funded response, Save the Children will be providing some of the most vulnerable families in the refugee settlement with radios, so that they can listen to information and education programmes – and stay entertained while stuck at home.

“I will listen to music over the radio to make me happy,” says Priscille. “I will also look for stations that are conducting lessons, as reading alone is very hard.”

At home Priscille reads as much as she can while keeping up with the daily chores like cooking, fetching water and washing clothes.

Ronald and his brothers with their new learning materials. Photo © Save the Children

Meet Ronald

Every day Ronald and his three brothers all gather round the family radio and listen for the latest news about the Covid-19 outbreak.

He knows from the radio that the virus can be deadly and how it can spread in the community. “The virus spreads through handshaking, sneezing and coughing in public. Our people do not fully follow the President’s directive on social distancing,” he says.

At 13 years old, Ronald is in his last year of primary school. He’s Ugandan and his community in western Uganda has received a lot of refugees over the past few years.

At home Ronald encourages his family and friends to keep distance as much as possible. “Children should maintain social distance everywhere and wash their hands with soap every time!”

He’s looking forward to sitting his Primary Leaving Examination this year, but the schools were closed in late March as part of the Covid-19 prevention measures, and he has been at home ever since.

Ronald reads as much as he can at home, “but it is challenging without guidance.”

“The children should be given books and supported to learn from home,” says Ronald’s father.

Working closely with the local government, Save the Children provided Ronald with learning packs that included study books with exercises designed for each grade of primary school. Together with the radio programmes, these distance learning materials are helping keep Ronald and other children like him from falling too far behind during the lockdown.

Ronald’s mother and father are at home due to the lockdown, along with their eldest son who is normally away at secondary school, and the father says they will support Ronald and the younger ones to study the materials.

Brenda helps Kato continue his lessons. Photo © Save the Children

Meet Brenda and Kato

Brenda is a teacher in Rwamwanja refugee settlement, where more than 70,000 refugees now live.

With schools closed due to Covid-19, Brenda is determined to ensure that children keep learning at home during the lockdown. With support from Education Cannot Wait, Brenda and other teachers are distributing these home learning packs and child-friendly information about the virus and how to stay safe.

Every day she walks miles around the vast settlement, visiting some of her most vulnerable pupils at home to answer their questions and give one-on-one support, which is allowed under government guidelines.

Kato, 15,  is in his fifth year of primary school and one of the children to have received a home learning pack. Just before school closed he borrowed a science textbook and has also been using that to read.

Brenda frequently visits him to check in on how his studying is going.

“I’ve found it easy to do the tasks provided in my learning pack because my teacher has guided me on how to use the textbook to answer the questions in the pack,” says Kato.

Kato looks forward to the day when schools will reopen. “Learning at school is better than at home as sometimes we are disrupted by housework!”

ECW funding also supports teachers in sharing broadcast lessons on Nyumbani FM – the only radio station in the settlement.

Kato says his father owns a radio and lets him listen to the daily sessions. These have also helped him learn about the virus. “I first heard of the measures to prevent Corona through the radio, and from my parents and community leaders,” he says. “So I make sure I collect enough water to wash my hands.”

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Learn more about Save the Children’s ECW-supported investments in Uganda.

Education Cannot Wait’s ‘Stories from the Field’ series features the voices of our implementing partners, children, youth and the communities we support. These stories have only been lightly edited to reflect the authentic voice of these frontlines partners on the ground. The views expressed in the Stories from the Field series do not necessarily reflect those of Education Cannot Wait, our Secretariat, donors or UN Member States.

*The names of the children featured in this story have been changed for their safety and protection.

CIVIL SOCIETY: A DYNAMIC FORCE IN THE GLOBAL EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT MOVEMENT

Education Cannot Wait interviews Birgitte Lange, CEO Save the Children Norway and Civil Society Organization Representative to the ECW High-Level Steering Group

Colombian and Venezuelan children involved in play-based learning with their teacher. Birgitte Lange recently visited the Colombia-Venezuela border to see first hand the impact of ECW’s investment being implemented by Save the Children. Photo: Kristoffer Moene Rød /Save the Children

Education Cannot Wait interviews Birgitte Lange, CEO Save the Children Norway and Civil Society Organization Representative to the ECW High-Level Steering Group

Birgitte Lange is a leading champion in the global movement to ensure children and youth living in protracted crises and emergencies have access to the safety, hope, opportunity and protection of a quality education. The CEO of Save the Children Norway, and Civil Society Organization Representative for Education Cannot Wait’s (ECW) High-Level Steering Group, recently took part in a mission to the Colombia-Venezuela border to see first-hand the impact of ECW’s investments and partnerships. In this Q&A, Lange explores new ways to partner with civil society to push the movement forward and achieve the commitments from the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.

ECW. Our Director Yasmine Sherif always says, “we are all ECW,” that we are working together towards the common goal of improving education for children affected by crisis. What do you think are the biggest challenges we face as a community and what is civil society’s unique role in taking on these challenges?

Birgitte Lange. Our major challenge is that 75 million children are deprived of their right to education as a result of crises and conflict. Even amongst these vulnerable children, some are more marginalized than others. Many factors, such as gender, social and economic status, disabilities and ethnic background affect a child’s opportunity to access quality education in a crisis.

Against the scale of this challenge, education remains significantly underfunded in emergencies.  Although we have seen improvements over the last years – including the establishment and funding of ECW – we are far behind what is needed. Adding to this, a lack of efficient coordination may delay operations and increase costs.

While states are responsible for upholding human rights, they are sometimes unable, or even unwilling, to provide safe, inclusive quality education to certain groups or in some geographical areas. In such cases, civil society often play a strong role in protecting rights and providing support for those in most need. Working with local communities, civil society is often able to bring left-behind children into school, or to work with local and national governments to promote inclusive and quality learning. Moreover, humanitarian organizations work based on the humanitarian principles and may often be the neutral force needed to facilitate access to education for diverse groups of children.

Civil society is also a strong advocacy and campaigning force for increased funding, and our operational experience working with communities, governments and agencies to deliver education in emergencies is valuable when making efforts to improve coordination and efficiency.

One example is the Education Consortium in Uganda, hosted by Save the Children, with 17 partners in the first year of implementation. This was the first ECW Multi-Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) to be designed and implemented and a radical shift from disjointed and short-term humanitarian responses towards more harmonized implementation. Through a joint civil society programme, the Consortium has effectively improved quality, technical harmonization and coordination, aligning with the Education in Emergencies Working Group. The ECW programme is one of the major contributing factors to an increase in the primary gross enrolment ratio for refugee children from 53 to 72 per cent.

On the visit, Lange met with children at a temporary learning centre in Maicao settlement, Colombia. The centre is supported through the ECW-financed multi-country response to the Venezuela regional crisis through Save the Children. Photo: Layla Maghribi / Save the Children

ECW. You were recently at the border between Venezuela and Colombia to see the response to the ongoing migration and refugee crisis. What were your main takeaways from the trip? What left you feeling hopeful about the work we are doing and the role of education?

Birgitte Lange. I was very impressed by the ECW-funded education response I saw at the border. There is an enormous need for access to quality education for migrant and refugee children from Venezuela, but also for children from the host communities. Adding to the complexity of the large and sudden increase in the number of children in the community, many of the refugees lack formal documentation, and children come from different ethnic groups with different cultures and languages.

I feel proud of the joint efforts of civil society and the Colombian government to secure children’s right to education at the border. I was excited to see CSO efforts to ensure bilingual education for children from ethnic minorities. I also got to visit a class where children were involved in meditation and mindfulness exercises. It made a deep impression on me to see these children learn techniques that can help them find a moment of peace in otherwise challenging living conditions. I also want to recognize how the Colombian authorities are welcoming Venezuelan children into their school system. I was left with the impression that the spirit and operational approach in this response is to draw on each other’s strengths and join forces to solve problems and improve the reach and quality of education. Whilst challenges remain, we have a lot to learn from the collective efforts of ECW, civil society and the Colombian government to provide safe, inclusive quality education at the border between Colombia and Venezuela.

ECW. As the representative of civil society organizations, what motivates you to be part of the ECW High-Level Steering Group? What do you hope to achieve?

Birgitte Lange. When we talk with children and parents in some of the toughest places on earth, their answers are clear, unambiguous – and surprising: Even when food is scarce, water is dirty and medical care non-existent, children tell us they want one thing above all else: the chance to go to school. This is an important driver for me.  We must listen to children and be accountable to delivering upon their needs and rights.

I am convinced that ECW is a crucial channel to provide funding for education in emergencies. At the High-Level Steering Group, I have the privilege to show-case the work that civil society undertakes across the world, every day, to ensure children affected by conflict and crises access education. On behalf of civil society, I have the opportunity to take part in shaping ECW’s strategy and priorities so that together we can deliver better education to more children.

What I would really like to see is that it becomes obvious for all humanitarian actors that education needs to be part of a rapid humanitarian response, and that education will receive the financial and human resources to fulfill every last child’s right to an education.

For ECW specifically, right now I find it important that we meet our shared commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 particularly in connection with enabling rapid responses that meet the needs of children through national organizations. We need to adopt ways to ensure more national organizations are clearly involved in decision making and can access ECW funding in the most streamlined and direct way possible. I would also like to see ECW create a stronger feedback and learning mechanism to ensure that good practices and learning are systematically captured, transparently shared or applied by ECW and partners.

ECW. What are civil society’s main priorities for education in emergencies throughout 2020?

Birgitte Lange. One priority globally, is to follow up on commitments ECW made at the Global Refugee Forum at the end of last year. Save the Children played a central role in facilitating the joint pledge from ECW, the Global Partnership for Education and the World Bank, and feel a responsibility to follow up on its delivery.

Civil society will also play our watch dog role when it comes to other commitments, such as donor commitments to the ECW, and we will support ECW in its ongoing resource mobilization. Moreover, we will push for ECW to meet its commitment to spend 10 per cent of its funding on early childhood education, as we know that early care and development lays the foundation for learning in later years.

We will continue to learn from both the successes and challenges of delivering education in emergencies and continue to strive to ensure that tax-payer money is spent wisely to meet our collective goals of delivering quality education to all children and youth in emergencies.

ECW. Why is it so important that we recognise education as a vital intervention at times of humanitarian crisis?

Birgitte Lange. Education is a human right that needs to be fulfilled, no matter where a child lives or under which circumstances. Also, when we ask children themselves, children of all ages tell us that they see education as the key to their safety, their health, their happiness and their future.

Education provides protection in crises. Being in school or a temporary learning center can provide physical protection from armed conflict and possible abuse happening outside the learning site. Going to school can prevent children – typically boys – from being recruited to armed forces, and it can prevent children – typically girls – from being married early or under-age. Quality education also provides psycho-social protection and social-emotional support through activities at the learning site, and by providing a sense of normality in a perhaps otherwise chaotic situation where the regular rhythm of everyday life is disturbed. It strengthens well- being and children’s resilience to cope with the challenging environment. Children also tell us that being able to continue learning gives them hope for the future.

About Birgitte Lange

Birgitte Lange is the CEO of Save the Children Norway. She plays a leading role in Save the Children’s global work for education and child rights.

Birgitte Lange has a background in political science with a Master’s degree in comparative politics. She has held several senior management positions including as Deputy Director General for the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration and Director General of the Ministry of Culture. She has worked in the field of child welfare for several years, both at ministerial level and in another NGO.

Birgitte Lange is the author of several books and is a columnist on management issues in the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT INVESTS $48 MILLION IN CHAD AND ETHIOPIA

In just one week, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), with the Governments of Ethiopia and Chad and implementing partners, launched two new multi-year resilience programmes in Chad (7 February) and Ethiopia (14 February) with US$48 million in seed funding over three years to roll out crucial programme activities and catalyse additional resources.

TOGETHER WITH PARTNERS, THIS WEEK SAW THE LAUNCH OF TWO MULTI-YEAR RESILIENCE PROGRAMMES TO ACCELERATE SDG 4  

10 multi-year programmes have been approved to date as ECW – the global fund for education in emergencies – and partners gain momentum to support UN Decade of Action

15 February 2020, New York – In just one week, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), with the Governments of Ethiopia and Chad and implementing partners, launched two new multi-year resilience programmes in Chad (7 February) and Ethiopia (14 February) with US$48 million in seed funding over three years to roll out crucial programme activities and catalyse additional resources.

The budgets for these multi-year programmes total US$216 million and thus call for urgent funding to fill the remaining gaps. When fully funded, the programmes will support quality education for approximately 1 million children and youth affected by conflict, forced displacement, protracted crises and impacts of climate change, including droughts and floods.

With the launch of the government-led programmes in Chad and Ethiopia, ECW and its partners have now realized a proven model for advancing humanitarian-development coherence in 10 crisis-affected countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, State of Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Uganda.

“In Chad, Ethiopia and other crisis-affected countries, children’s lives have been ripped apart by conflict, forced displacement, climate change impacts and protracted crises. Girls are the most affected and are therefore our top priority. Across these programmes, we must ensure that every child and young person can enjoy their right to inclusive and continued quality education in a protective learning environment – one that caters to all their educational needs and allows them to become who they were meant to be,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait.

“We must not leave these children behind. They all have the right to develop and thrive. By working together with national governments, UN agencies, donors and other key partners, we are building a global movement to reach these children and to accelerate actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals within the UN’s Decade of Action,” continued Sherif.

ECW operates with unprecedented speed and agility in mobilizing partnerships and resources to deliver results for children, helping to advance Sustainable Development Goal 4 – quality inclusive education – for children and youth affected by conflicts, disasters, forced displacement and protracted crises.

In just three years of operation, the Fund has already raised over half a billion dollars and reached over 2.3 million girls and boys, including refugees, internally displaced children, and other children and youth affected by emergencies and protracted crises. 

Kickstarting resource mobilization

The programme launches in Chad and Ethiopia kickstart global efforts to fully fund each of the multi-year resilience programmes (MYRPs), and donors are encouraged to help make a transformational difference in the lives of crises-affected children and youth.

  • In Chad, ECW plans to allocate a total US$21 million over three years in seed funding grants to catalyse the additional US$30 million required to fully fund the three-year programme and reach 230,000 crisis-affected girls and boys.
  • In Ethiopia, ECW plans to allocate a total US$27 million in seed funding grants to catalyse the additional US$138 million required to fully fund the three-year US$165 million programme and reach approximately 746,000 crisis-affected girls and boys.

The ECW-facilitated MYRPs help bridge the gap between emergency response and long-term development and focus on reaching the most marginalized and vulnerable children and youth, such as girls and children with disabilities. MYRPs are developed on the ground in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders – national   governments, UN agencies, donors, private sector and civil society.

Interventions are designed to provide whole-of-child solutions and to reintegrate out-of-school girls and boys into learning and training programmes, improve learning environments, train teachers, improve the governance of the education system in emergency situations, provide psychosocial and school feeding services, support early childhood education and to increase enrolment and retention.

H.E. Aboubakar Assidick Tchoroma, Chad’s Minister of National Education & Civic Promotion, with Yasmine Sherif at the Chad multi-year resilience programme launch

Key facts and figures on Chad

The protracted crisis in Chad has pushed 1.2 million children (aged 6 to 11) out of school. Only 19 per cent of girls and 40 per cent of boys access lower-secondary-school education, and only one out of every ten girls complete middle school. Developed under the auspices of Chad’s Ministry of National Education and Civic Promotion (MENPC) with the support of Education Cannot Wait and a range of UN agencies and international and national civil society partners, the new MYRP focuses on refugee, displaced and host community children and youth and those affected by food insecurity and malnutrition.

In advance of the Ethiopia launch, Yasmine Sherif visited with children in Ethiopia’s hard-hit Oromiya Region with the State Minister of Education H.E Tsion Teklu, and representatives from Save the Children and UNICEF.

Key facts and figures on Ethiopia

Ethiopia has an estimated 1.4 million displaced, returnee, and refugee children, mostly resulting from conflicts and natural disasters. One million of these children are out of school, 527,000 of them girls. Latest data shows that 728 schools have been damaged by conflict or natural disasters. In Ethiopia, the Ministry of Education will lead the programme in partnership with Save the Children, UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait, and the Education Cluster.

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Notes to Editors

  • Education Cannot Wait announces a record-high US$64 million investment to support new multi-year education programmes in Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Syria (Read full announce in here)
  • Multi-Year Resilience Programme in Chad  [Read the full announcement here: En, Fr]
  • Multi-Year Resilience Programme in Ethiopia  [Read the full announcement here
  • Share our social Chad video on facebook and twitter
  • Share our social Ethiopia video on facebook and twitter

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO DELIVER EDUCATION TO CHILDREN AFFECTED BY CRISES IN ETHIOPIA

Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies, has announced a three-year, US$165 million initiative to provide education to 746,000 children affected by crises in Ethiopia. Simultaneously, ECW announced a planned seed grant of US$27 million to support initial efforts that include mobilizing US$138 million needed to fully fund the programme.

The three-year, US$165 million investment will provide education to 746,000 children in areas affected by conflict

14 February 2020, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund dedicated to education in emergencies, has announced a three-year, US$165 million initiative to provide education to 746,000 children affected by crises in Ethiopia. Simultaneously, ECW announced a planned seed grant of US$27 million to support initial efforts that include mobilizing US$138 million needed to fully fund the programme.

Speaking at the launch in the Ethiopian capital, ECW Director Yasmine Sherif said the programme is designed to address the specific challenges holding back access to quality education of children and youth in communities – these are the children left furthest behind due to violence, drought, displacement and other crises.

“Working with the Government and all our Education Cannot Wait partners, this investment provides protective learning environments and inclusive quality education to girls and boys living in very difficult circumstances,” she said. “We must not leave them behind. They too have a right to develop and thrive. They have so much to achieve and give. By working together in mobilizing all the required resources, we now have a chance to ensure that no child in Ethiopia is left behind.”

State Minister of Education H.E Tsion Teklu and Yasmine Sherif talking with crisis-affected children in the Oromiya region

The multi-year resilience programme was developed by the Ministry of Education with support from Education Cannot Wait and a range of partners – United Nations agencies, civil society organisations and donors – to address the educational needs of displaced children.

Ethiopia has an estimated 1.4 million displaced, returnee, and refugee children, mostly resulting from conflicts and natural disasters. One million of these children are out of school, 527,000 of them girls. Latest data shows that 728 schools have been damaged by conflict or natural disasters.

The ECW programme will provide educational opportunities to 746,000 children – 380,000 boys and 365,000 girls, including 74,600 children with disabilities. Of these, 213,000 children will access early childhood education and 532,000 will receive primary education. The programme will further build the capacity of 1,200 refugee teachers to achieve diploma level certification.

ECW has earmarked seed funding of US$27 million to address the educational needs of 60,487 displaced children, returnees, and children from host communities in Amhara, Oromia and Somali regions. Part of this money will also support efforts to mobilize the funding gap of US$138 million needed to fund the whole programme.

The Ministry of Education will lead the programme in partnership with Save the Children International, UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait, and the Education Cluster. UNICEF and Save the Children will implement Education Cannot Wait’s planned $27 million three-year grant.

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About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):

ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.

To date, ECW investments span more than 30 countries affected by armed conflict, disaster and forced displacement.

Please follow on Twitter: @EduCannotWait  @YasmineSherif1   @KentPage

Additional information available at: www.educationcannotwait.org

For press inquiries, please contact:

Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735

Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@un-ecw.org, +1-917-640-6820

Victor Chinyama, vchinyama@unicef.org, +251-911-255-109

Wossen Mulatu, wmulatu@unicef.org, +251-911-308-483

Hiwot Emishaw, Hiwot.Emishaw@savethechildren.org