News

Strenghten GIAN Right to Education core group meet in Madrid

Strenghten GIAN Right to Education core group meet in Madrid

  • Posted: Oct 27, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

The Core Group of GIAN (Global Ignatian Advocacy Network) for the Right to Education comprised of representatives from different Conferences (CPAL, Europe, JESAM, South Asia, and Canada/USA) and international organisations (Fe y Alegría and JRS) working within the schools, universities and social organisations of the Society of Jesus met from 10 to 13 October 2016 in Madrid (Spain).

Throughout four days of work, the group reflected on the current state of global education and discussed how to encourage a more concrete commitment among Jesuit institutions to support the right to a quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

For this purpose, one of the first tasks were to update the positioning document on the right to education that was developed by a group of Jesuit organizations collectively committed with the education in 2008.

One of the aims of this network is to raise awareness at the inner Society about this essential right. Accordingly, some impact data, additional challenges, and the latest communicative outcomes were shared from the coordinating team. One of these outcomes was the video which was launched on June, 2016 as a tool to communicate the “Right of Education, Right to Hope Campaign”.

The Network is based on the urgent need of the access to the education of quality and in the priority of the Company to positively contribute to the greatest good. Due to this reason, it seems to be important to gradually increase the need of enhancing the group networking in support of the justice. In accordance, we could appreciate this issue in the international meeting, with Networking for Justice gathering, which took place in Loyola and where the global Jesuit networks that dedicate to the social apostleship got together.

In this sense, one of the major announcements has been the incorporation of new members to the core group coming from the United States and Latin America. As a result, the core group is actually formed by: Giulia McPherson (JRS USA), Jorge Cardoso (Europe – Social), Ricardo Angulo (JECSE – Europe), Luis Ugalde SJ (CPAL), Mª Eugenia Ocampo (CPAL-AUSJAL); William Muller SJ (USA- Canada Jesuit Schools Network), John Chathanatt SJ (South Asia), Augustin Kalubi SJ (JESAM) Carlos Fritzen SJ y Lucía Rodriguez (Fe y Alegría).

With this global perspective and in a participatory approach, we came up with the idea of how to work together in a network for the subsequent years. As a result, the first lines of action and planification of work were elaborated. In order to carry out this task, we completed a final document with the conclusions and requests which will be sent to the new Superior General, Arturo Sosa SJ and to his government group. The network addresses him with the hope of contribute to what it seems to be impossible in the current days, where there are 263 millions of children who are receiving no schooling education. More than half of this children are located in the South of Asia and Sub Saharan Africa and 61,9 millions of this children live in countries involved in conflict.

Educating for peace, the challenge Colombia must take on

Educating for peace, the challenge Colombia must take on

  • Posted: Sep 21, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

The president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, announced on August 25 the definitive ceasefire with FARC after delivering the peace agreement to Congress and request the convening of the plebiscite to endorse the agreements on October 2nd. In this climate of optimism we want to rescue the reflection of Oscar Sanchez, National Coordinator of EDUCAPAZ, National Program of Education for Peace, which focuses on rural education and citizenship education and former Secretary of Education of Bogotá on the role, importance and the challenges of education in these new times.

“Although it is not too difficult to understand that the lack of opportunities for young people is the basis of the reproduction of violence, the” factory of warriors “is wide open. More than 400,000 guerrillas, paramilitaries and above all professional soldiers, have swelled a contingent of boys (and girls lesser extent) as cannon fodder that have waged war for the past 50 years. Their profile is very accurate and well studied: from 11 or 12 years, these peasant children defected from a rural school system with little access and less sense, and almost without exception have suffered abuse in their families. Looking for a job opportunity as children, and be enlisted fighters becomes their life project.

From the rank and file fighters State and illegal armed groups, virtually none finished secondary education and very few went from elementary school. In Colombia overall coverage of secondary education is not particularly high. But these warriors come exactly in the geographical areas where  it is. … ..Allá Teachers do not get to take their places, or when they arrive is mostly unprepared boys without vocation. Right there transport and school meals are almost nonexistent. Pedagogy is very precarious, and models that the Ministry of Education offers little consult the reality, especially from the sixth grade. Schools have no water or energy. The system of protection for children is very precarious, and psychosocial counseling does not exist in schools or in community social promotion. Nor is there greater opportunities or social and labor, sports or cultural background. What most it reaches these areas is public forces (police and army) force illegal armed groups with a political idea (guerrillas and paramilitaries), or force of criminal groups who need young people for their businesses drug trafficking, smuggling or illegal extraction natural resources.

And meanwhile, the urban country continues to focus social policies, including education and child protection policies. Although only some cities reduce the risks of some of the boys end up in a youth gang in which the same fate of rural warriors. …… A highly segregated urban education makes specific groups of very violent schools in marginal areas are the most reproof, desertion and violence occur. In addition schools are under siege by gangs that feed the drug lords.

It is a pity that Colombia has not so far taken seriously initial postulate of the letter of Unesco, which states that since wars begin in the minds of men, is there must be constructed bastions of peace.

The hope is in organized communities, where social grassroots leaders, teachers and restless young people show every day a firm commitment to change reality. These beings are not the majority, but if they are many and they are wonderful. …… Across the country, in the hands of those leaders, to do social-emotional, civic education and for reconciliation. And in the most remote rural areas, a model of strengthening schools with community participation and a pedagogy that respects the context and trust the children and their teachers and teachers.

If that priority was clear, they would be investing some two million additional pesos ($ 700) a year for each of those boys in rural areas of the 150 municipalities most affected by the armed conflict. And if it were clear, while we have understood that knowledge and character formation are the most effective means for institutional stability and economic performance, but above all, are the only possible way to give freedom to people and make us we value each other. And we have understood the prohibitive for everyone to maintain a society where good education is a privilege cost.

A couple of years ago a group of organizations, on which Fe y Alegría Colombia is part, decided to take the road together for the outstanding work described here a reality. Then it created the National Program of Education for Peace -EDUCAPAZ-, which focuses on rural education and citizenship education, and which have begun to partner with some communities and schools to make a demonstrative work and define a strategy impact on education policies in the country and its territories. ”

 

Oscar Sanchez has worked more than 25 years in social-emotional, civic and political education and improve educational institutions and systems. He currently coordinates the National Program of Education for Peace in Colombia -Educapaz-. He was Secretary of Education of Bogotá between 2012 and 2015. Coordinated the Democratic Governance UNDP in his country. He has been an activist, teacher, official, advisor, social entrepreneur and columnist.

This article was extracted from the International Federation Fe y Alegría Newsletter – July, 2016. You can read the whole article here (in Spanish).

Refugee Summits Provide Historic Opportunity for Refugee Education

Refugee Summits Provide Historic Opportunity for Refugee Education

  • Posted: Sep 20, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

By: Giulia McPherson

This week, world leaders are gathering in New York City for the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants and the U.S. Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, to agree on policies and set forth commitments that can create significant change in the lives of displaced children who are currently out of school. This presents an historic opportunity to ensure that education in emergencies and protracted crises is prioritized and to follow-up on previous pledges to invest additional resources in these critical programs.

According to a recent report released by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, more than half – 3.7 million – of the six million school-age children under its mandate have no school to go to. Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee children and only 50 percent have access to primary education, 22 percent attend lower secondary school and just one percent have access to higher education.

Following the May 2016 launch of Education Cannot Wait, a new fund for education in emergencies, the Refugee Summits provide an opportunity for the global community to further current initiatives that seek to bridge the gap in access to refugee education.

After several months of consultations, a draft New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants has been released, in advance of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants taking place on September 19. The Declaration calls for the provision of quality primary and secondary education in safe learning environments for all refugee children within a few months of initial displacement. It also supports wider access to early childhood and tertiary education, as well as skills training and vocational education.

To complement this initiative, U.S. President Barack Obama is co-hosting a Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on September 20, in partnership with the Governments of Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Jordan, Mexico and Sweden. This Summit will bring together leaders of Member States who are prepared to make new and significant commitments in 2016 that help address the most urgent needs of refugees.

The U.S. Leaders’ Summit aims to 1) increase humanitarian financing by 30 percent; 2) double the global number of resettled refugees; and 3) increase the number of refugees with the right to work by one million and increase the number of refugee children enrolled in school by one million. Organizers of the Leaders’ Summit are expecting both financial and political commitments by participating Member States that will help reach all three goals.

Civil society representatives have called on the UN, the U.S., and world leaders to consider a number of recommendations in advance of the September Summits. These include:

  • Fully funding the new Education Cannot Wait Fund;
  • Ensuring that commitments towards refugee education are new and the previous pledges are not double-counted;
  • Including education as a priority in humanitarian funding appeals;
  • Encouraging refugee-hosting governments to make commitments towards integrating refugee students and teachers into national school systems; and
  • Ensuring that a public accountability mechanism must be put in place to track Summit commitments, including regular public reporting on progress against commitments.

 

In addition, initial investments by the Education Cannot Wait fund are expected to be made next week in New York, which will also bolster support for, and awareness of, the critical need for education in times of crisis.

While the details have yet to unfold, 3.7 million refugee children are waiting for an answer to whether they will go to school this year. We must deliver on past promises and invest in their futures.

Giulia McPherson is the Assistant Director for Policy |Jesuit Refugee Service/USA You can follow her on Twitter.

Global Campaign for Education and JRS alerts on refugeed children

Global Campaign for Education and JRS alerts on refugeed children

  • Posted: Sep 09, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

In advance of the September Refugee Summits that will take place in two weeks, the Global Campaign for Education – US along with the Jesuit Refugee Service and 80 others members of the civil society such as Global Citizen, Jesuit Refugee and US Fund for UNICEF are alerting on the need  to accelerate progress towards universal access to education for displaced children.

As civil society representatives, they call on the UN, the U.S., and world leaders to consider the following recommendations in advance of the September Summits:

  • Donor governments must follow-through and deliver the approximately $90 million in pledges made at the World Humanitarian Summit to the new Education Cannot Wait fund for education in emergencies.
  • Donor governments must commit to fully funding the first year of Education Cannot Wait by closing the $63 million gap needed to launch this critical platform, with an eye towards meeting the Fund’s 5-year financing plan of $3.85 billion.
  • Ensure that at least an additional one million refugees gain access to education as a result of the U.S. Leaders’ Summit and that previous pledges – including those made at the February 2016 Supporting Syria and the Region Conference – are not double-counted.
  • Include education as a priority in humanitarian funding appeals and close the current gap in funding for existing appeals. Only 26 percent of education sector financial needs have been met by international donors this year, resulting in a current gap of $469 million.
  • Advance priorities included in the July 29 Outcomes Document for the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, including greater access to early childhood education, tertiary education, skills training and vocational education for the displaced.
  • Refugee-hosting governments must make commitments towards integrating refugee students and teachers into national school systems, enacting flexible policies related to enrollment criteria and documentation and providing language support programs, if necessary, without discrimination.
  • A public accountability mechanism must be put in place to track Summit commitments, including regular public reporting on progress against commitments.

World leaders will gather for the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants (September 19) and U.S. Leaders’ Summit on Refugees (September 20) to agree on policies and set forth commitments that can create significant change in the lives of displaced children who are currently out of school. These Summits follow the May 2016 launch of Education Cannot Wait, a new fund for education in emergencies, which provides a concrete platform for action to address the gap in financing in this sector.

Here you can read the full statement.

International Literacy Day: little to celebrate

International Literacy Day: little to celebrate

  • Posted: Sep 08, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

Fifty years ago, UNESCO officially proclaimed 8 September International Literacy Day to actively mobilize the international community and to promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals, communities and societies.

Now International Literacy Day is celebrated worldwide, bringing together governments, multi- and bilateral organizations, NGOs, private sectors, communities, teachers, learners and experts in the field. On this day also International Literacy Prizes are awarded to people with outstanding solutions that can drive literacy towards achieving the 2030 Education Agenda. This year the focus is on innovation.

This is the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this context the vision of literacy is aligned with lifelong learning opportunities with special focus on youth and adults. Literacy is a part of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. The target is that by 2030 all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy (SDG Target 4.6).

The International Literacy Day will be celebrated all around the world. The main global celebration of the day will take place at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris in the form of a two-day conference on 8 – 9 September, the highlight of which will be the awarding of the Literacy Prizes. At the same time the Global Alliance for Literacy (GAL) will be launched, a new and ambitious initiative to make all major stakeholders pull together to promote literacy as a foundation for lifelong learning.

In addition, the Incheon Declaration , signed by more than 150 education ministers and representatives of civil society in May 2015 step during the World Education Forum has a specific commitment to promoting adult learning opportunities :

IncheonDeclaration

Check out the information (in English ) on the various ups and downs of adult literacy showing the following infographic and points out that, despite numerous international agreements since 1960, there is little to celebrate as more than 758 million people are still illiterate in the world and this represents 15 % of the world population .

ild-2016-infographic (1)

Olympics 2016: bronze medal winner Stefany Hernández, Jesuit Fe y Alegría student

Olympics 2016: bronze medal winner Stefany Hernández, Jesuit Fe y Alegría student

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

You cannot choose the country where you are born, the family you belong to, or the gifts that you have been given. What you can determine is how far you would like to go and the limits you set for yourself.” 

Stefany Hernández is a Venezuelan athlete who has just won the bronze medal  of women’s Individual BMX Cylcing in the Olympics Rio 2016. She is also a graduate of a Fe y Alegría school, a network of Jesuit primary schools throughout Latin America, Caribbean, and Africa, serving children from families facing stark economic poverty.

Editor’s Note: Stefany won the Bronze Medal – Read more via Washington Post.

Stefany Hernandez“I recently visited my school, Escuela Básica Virgen Niña de Fe y Alegría Puerto Ordaz, and I was happy to hear that my physical education teacher at the time still remembers the day I came to school excited to share with my classmates the news that BMX was declared an official Olympic sport. I cut out the article from the newspaper, stuck it all over the school and told my classmates: I’m going to win that gold medal.” In 2015, Stefany represented Venezuela in the world championship and was crowned BMX World Champion; and today, the Olympic Games are awaiting her, every day her Olympic dream is a bit closer.

Stefany was born in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela 24 years ago, and is the youngest daughter in a family of 3 brothers and sisters. Stefany now lives in Aigle, Switzerland at the world cycling center with 6 other BMX youth who also dream of becoming Olympic medalists.

Stefany is a proud alumna of Fe y Alegría, “I studied at Escuela Básica Virgen Niña de Fe y Alegría Puerto Ordaz, since the time I was six years old until I was 14. Slowly but surely, I became adapted to the style of education at Fe y Alegría – I loved the classes and the model of teaching because it was always a challenge, they demanded that we make the most of our abilities and I worked hard to try to be number 1 in the class and on the honor roll. I was very competitive not only in the classroom, but I also tried to be captain of all the sports activities that I took part in: basketball, volleyball, and soccer, which was supposedly only for boys. I love sports and competition, and it was impossible to stop. I learned to push myself, to respect my neighbor, and to never remain satisfied if there is still space to evolve.”

Meeting and listening to Stefany is to be in touch with the identity of Fe y Alegría, it allows us to recognize and experience that education empowers and gives people the ability to dream, to fight for their goals.

Stefany and her companions train hard, 4 to 6 hours in the mornings and afternoons, regardless of the weather. They train with determination, passion, and with the certainty that only by striving to bring out the best in themselves can they achieve their goals.

“I know I can reach the gold medal, that’s my dream. But, I am also aware that at this point the competition is with myself. All of us that will be in the Olympic arena have the same possibilities; this is why the struggle will be to give the best of myself.”

14047109_493201280886169_6321277731624195607_o

This is why she doesn’t stop; she knows that her strength is formed through discipline, courage and self-awareness.

When Stefany goes home to Venezuela, she wants to feel the warmth and strength that Fe y Alegría offers. She wants to share with children and youth at the Fe y Alegría’s around the world about her experience and what it meant for her to go to a Fe y Alegría school.

“I want children around the world to know that they can fulfill their dreams. It’s not about having money, the important thing is to fall in love with something, to dream and fight to fulfill your goals, that opportunities are achieved through effort, determination and commitment. I desire to share with the boys and girls of Fe y Alegria and encourage them to dream, to not be overcome by difficulties and their harsh surroundings. I dream that many of them in some years can say ‘I did it, I am what I always wanted to be, I am happy because every day I work hard and I overcome my own difficulties, I am happy because I love what I do’.”

Fe y Alegría is an international non-governmental organization, with over six decades of experience providing quality, inclusive popular education to the most vulnerable communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Fe y Alegría was first started by the Jesuit priest José Maria Vélaz on the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela in 1955 and has grown to currently work in 21 countries, providing education programs to over 1.5 million individuals. The Office of the International Federation is based in Bogotá, Colombia.

263 million children and youth are out of school from primary to upper secondary

263 million children and youth are out of school from primary to upper secondary

  • Posted: Jul 18, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

About 263 million children and youth are out of school, according to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). This is equivalent to about a quarter of the population of Europe. The total includes 61 million children of primary school age (6-11 years), 60 million of lower secondary school age (12-14 years), and the first ever estimate of those of upper secondary school age (15-17 years) at 142 million. These findings are presented in a new paper released jointly by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report.

“Countries have promised to provide every child with a primary and secondary education by 2030. These new findings show the hard work ahead if we are to reach this goal, “said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “Our focus must be on inclusion from the earliest age and right through the learning cycle, on policies that address the barriers at every stage, with special attention to girls who still face the greatest disadvantage.”

Of all regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of exclusion. Over a fifth of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by a third of youth between the ages of 12 and 14. According to UIS data, almost 60% of youth between the ages of 15 and 17 are not in school. A key obstacle to achieve the target is persistent disparities in education participation linked to sex, location and wealth.

Armed conflict poses another major barrier to education. Globally, 35% or 22 million of all out-of-school children of primary age, 25% of all adolescents of lower secondary age (15 million), and 18% or 26 million of all out-of-school youth of upper secondary age live in conflict-affected areas.

In general, older youth aged 15-17 year old are four times as likely to not be in school as children between the ages of 6 and 11. This is explained partly because primary and lower secondary education are compulsory in nearly every country, while upper secondary school is not. At the same time, these youth are often of legal working age. Many have no choice but to work while others try to combine going to school with employment.

Girls are more likely than boys to never set foot in a classroom, despite all the efforts and progress made over the past two decades. According to UIS data, 15 million girls of primary school age will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school compared to about 10 million boys. Over half of these girls – 9 million – live in sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty creates an additional barrier for girls. In Northern Africa and Western Asia, according to GEM Report analysis, among the poorest in the region, gaps are far wider: only 85 girls for every 100 boys of lower secondary school age attend school. Among those of upper secondary school age, only 77 of the poorest girls for every 100 of the poorest boys attend.

Click below and take a look at the new UNESCO visual presentation of data produced by the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children in order give us a clearer picture of why they are out of school.

UNESCO - Out of school children

GIAN Campaign launch: “Right to education, right to hope”

GIAN Campaign launch: “Right to education, right to hope”

  • Posted: Jul 07, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

Every boy and girl, every adolescent and grown up have the right to education from the moment they are born. This right is never lost. Under no circumstances should this right be neglected, regardless of gender, age or country of origin.

But this has not always been the case. For centuries, education was a privilege for just a few but since 1948, the International Human Rights Declaration and most national constitutions have established education as a fundamental right of every citizen. And it is not just any right; education is the pathway to access the rest of human rights and enjoy fundamental freedoms. “Educational justice means radical justice (radical meaning “from the roots”), and the tree of social and structural justice will never be achievable without it”, claimed Father Vélaz, the founder of Fe y Alegría.

However, today, millions of people continue to be discriminated against because they live in the poorest parts of the planet or in conflict areas; because they cannot learn in their mother tongue; because they live with a disability…the causes of exclusion are just too many.

Jesuits, along with thousands of collaborators, have developed an extensive commitment to education around the globe, but this direct action work is not enough. Do we only want to offer the best schools and universities to our students? Or do we want the best education for everyone? We stand for an education that is understood as a public good, which removes inequality and prioritizes with equity those who are in highly vulnerable situations.

We are educators and work for justice. We must proclaim this right, claim it and demand it of States whose responsibility is to guarantee it. We must engage with others to do so, and one step requires being aware of the reality and learning what needs to be done so that quality education is a reality for everyone.

GIAN Education wants to contribute to the task of awareness-raising and has recently launched the “Right to education, right to hope” campaign to do so. It is an invitation to Jesuit organizations around the world to reflect together, take on our responsibility and, under a common slogan, raise our voices together to claim that educating and learning is MY right, it is OUR right, it is everyone’s right.

The resources of the campaign include a content guide for facilitators and activities not only for children and youth but also for adults. They are free and available to be downloaded at edujesuit.org in four languages. Topics such as an analysis of the current reality of education around the world, the new international agenda promoted by the United Nations, and the responsibility of different parts of the society offer an integral view to raise awareness and build strong citizens committed to demanding their rights. Visit edujesuit.org and become a right to education supporter.

Fe y Alegría proposes challenges for education in Venezuela

Fe y Alegría proposes challenges for education in Venezuela

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

Within the forum “Challenges of Education in Venezuela” organized by the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and in the complex context of the country, the director of Fe y Alegría, Manuel Aristorena, S.J. on behalf of the educational movement, has presented eight challenges so that the right to education can be effective in Venezuela.

1. The classrooms are left without educators; the schools have lowered their enrolments. Few young people want to be educators. Against this deficit of educators, there is the challenge for the Venezuelan state and society to make attractive the teaching career, worthy of the best. This requires dignifying its situation and improving the trainings. There can be no quality education with teachers adding up hours in various schools in order to survive.
2. Against the growing violence and the difficulty of solving problems peacefully, the challenge is to educate for peaceful coexistence, so that the violence will not be attractive to children and young people and that violence does not end with children and adolescents. The State must ensure the peace of the environment: in our schools only they have killed students, teachers, representatives, and a guard and stolen 200 computers. Committed teachers are true heroes.
3. Against the deinstitutionalization process and the citizenship deficit, we are challenged to train citizens able to see the rules as values, citizens aware of their rights and their duties, from early childhood education.
4. Venezuela has record in Latin America for its rate of early pregnancy. An IDEHNA study certifies it. It is the only problem that the Venezuelan State admitted last year in the examination before the International Committee on the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Geneva. There isn´t a massive and adequate approach to regress this problem. Education is needed not only to prevent the early pregnancy, but also for the responsible sexuality. This is a challenge.
5. Quality is a pending issue of the Venezuelan education. Having well-trained managers, professional supervisors who can accompany and having a quality evaluation system is a challenge.
6. 100% of children age of early education is not being attended. According to official data, from every 100 children 23 are outside the system at this age. A major challenge is to universalize the early childhood education. In the Middle Education is a major gap that must be covered as well. It is a challenge building the necessary spaces to guarantee the right to education and providing the necessary resources.

7. Against the problem of the rentier mentality and the productivity crisis, the challenge is to educate for entrepreneurship and productive work, to assure graduates to creatively solve problems, generate quality services and have the skills for productive work.
8. The classrooms also are left without students, especially in Middle Education. Against school dropouts, the challenge is to update the Middle Education curriculum, so it can be relevant, useful, once again, attractive, along with improving school climate.

World Humanitarian Summit Marks Key Moment for Education in Emergencies

World Humanitarian Summit Marks Key Moment for Education in Emergencies

  • Posted: Jun 13, 2016 -
  • By: -
  • 0 Comments

After two years of worldwide consultations, last month over 9,000 participants came together in Istanbul for the first World Humanitarian Summit to chart the future course of humanitarian action. The Summit brought together 173 United Nations Member States, 55 Heads of State and Governments, some 350 private sector representatives, and over 2,000 people from civil society and non-governmental organizations.

This tremendous gathering of humanitarian practitioners, together with policymakers, created an historic opportunity to raise awareness about the important role that education plays in rebuilding lives during and after conflict, and its unique role in bridging an ever-present gap between humanitarian and development actors.

Education was at the forefront of the Summit proceedings with a series of side events addressing challenges and innovations in delivering education in emergencies and protracted crises. Jesuit Refugee Service, alongside UNRWA, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), the Global Campaign for Education, TheirWorld and War Child, hosted one such event entitled Delivering Quality Education in Emergencies: What Needs to Be Done? This event featured practitioners, philanthropists and champions advocating on behalf of increasing access to a quality education for refugees and the forcibly displaced.

A Special Session on Education in Emergencies followed and featured the launch of Education Cannot Wait, which aims to transform the global education sector for children affected by crisis by focusing specifically on meeting their educational needs. This effort will both mobilize and coordinate support for these critical programs, which currently only receive two percent of humanitarian funding.

At the launch event, representatives from the United Kingdom ($43.8 million), the United States ($20 million), Norway ($11.2 million), the European Union ($5.6 million), the Netherlands ($7.8 million) and philanthropy Dubai Cares ($2.5 million) pledged just over $90 million to the new Fund. Other governments, including Canada and France, delivered supportive statements but have not yet made a financial commitment.

We applaud champions, including former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, for spearheading efforts to launch Education Cannot Wait and for those donors who have supported this effort through their initial commitments.  Yet, we must do more.

Education Cannot Wait has an initial goal of raising $150 million in its first year so that it can adequately begin to address gaps in delivering education programs to those in need. The next pledge “moment” may present itself at a Summit set to take place on September 20 in New York City during the UN General Assembly. The Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, organized by the Obama Administration, will take place on the margins of the UN General Assembly. The Summit will convene Heads of State and Government who have made new and significant commitments this year to address the global refugee crisis.

The collective goals of the Summit are to increase funding to international humanitarian organizations and UN humanitarian appeals; increase opportunities for resettlement and other forms of legal admission for refugees; and expand access to employment and education for refugees in major refugee-hosting states. By including education as a key outcome of this Summit, we can continue building momentum towards achieving goals set forth by Education Cannot Wait.

In the midst of the highest levels of forced displacement the world has seen since World War II, we are seeing unprecedented levels of political will to address these tremendous challenges. As we recognize the historic opportunity presented in the new Education Cannot Wait Fund and look towards this September’s Leaders’ Summit, we must continue to have at the forefront of our minds those individuals, families and communities we are seeking to serve by creating greater opportunity for a quality education.

Giulia McPherson is the Assistant Director for Policy at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. She leads the organization’s policy and advocacy efforts as they relate to global education and U.S. asylum policies and oversees a community engagement program to educate and mobilize advocates. Giulia can be reached at gmcpherson@jesuits.org or @giuliamcpherson.

Página 3 de 912345...Última »