The Global Partnership for Education hosted the second installment of “Raise Your Hand LIVE!,” bringing together changemakers from around the world who understand that education is key to building a better future.
There have been countless of studies about the importance of youth employment and entrepreneurship programs to educate and provide opportunity to youth in communities that really need it. There has also been studies that shows the importance of girls education and their involvement in such youth employment and entrepreneurship programs.
Though youth are better educated than their parents, youth remain almost twice as likely to be unemployed than their elders. On the African continent, young people aged between 15 and 25 represent more than 60% of the Africa’s total population and account for 45% of the total labor force (1). Some of the highest rates on the continent are in southern Africa, where 51% of young women and 43% of young men are unemployed (2). At least half of young people ages 15 to 19 lack basic literacy, transferrable skills or technical or vocational skills that match the needs of employers (3).
On a sunny day late in September, I tagged along on a lobbying visit to the Brazilian Embassy in Washington – led by Kailash Satyarthi, with colleagues from the Child Labor Coalition and the International Labor Rights Forum. Following this fall’s swirl of activities at the UN General Assembly and a myriad of meetings about the Beyond-2015 plans (Sustainable Development Goals) including education, Kailash is focused on one thing…ENDING CHILD SLAVERY.
I have to admit that I am not much of a fan of holiday decorations. My mother, who loves the spirit of giving and the idea of Santa, collected over 250 Santas in the last 20 years, and something about dragging those down from the attic each year hasn't really inspired me to deck the halls. This bah humbug spirit doesn't extend to Christmas music, though. I grew up in choir, so I know and love the lyrics to most of the classical and pop songs on the radio during the holiday season. Nonetheless, there's one song that really, really gets to me.
On November 20, 2013, the Global Campaign for Education-US, the Basic Education Coalition and RESULTS Educational Fund honored Representative Nita Lowey (NY) on her 25 years of leadership in global education. Speakers for the event included Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Representative Kay Granger (TX), Senator Pat Leahy (VT) and USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. Twelve members of Congress pariticpated in the event. Click here for a video message from Congresswoman Lowey on the importance of global education.
Today I joined four of our student advocates at the United Nations in New York City. We were part of the first ever #UNYouthTakeover, with more than 600 youth to celebrate Malala's birthday and to call for world leaders to prioritize education. It was inspiring to hear from so many young people who are advocating on behalf of their fellow students, over 130 million of whom are still denied access to education.