Education is Lifesaving: Delivering Quality Education in Crises
Event summary by Anissa Molloy, Florida International University Psychology Student and GCE-US Inclusive Education Advocacy and Research Fellow
On Thursday, September 19, 2019 GCE-US co-hosted an important conversation in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Thank you to Congresswoman Grace Meng, representing the 6th District of NY; Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW); and Robert Jenkins, Chief of Education, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for being so generous with your time and spending the morning sharing your knowledge and passion with the audience.
“There are currently 75 million children around the world whose education has been disrupted by conflict, disaster, and forced displacement.” Congresswoman Grace Meng, a strong advocate for vulnerable populations, spoke on the ways that she is committed so that “all children everywhere have the right to safety, security and education.” She and her colleagues allocated $25 million dollars for Education Cannot Wait in the FY20 Foreign Operations Budget to aid in providing education in areas of crises.
“Education provides children in emergencies with a sense of safety and normalcy.” Robert Jenkins, Chief of Education United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF focus on aspects of children’s lives such as emergency relief, child refugee relief, sanitation, healthcare, nutrition and education. They reach 190 of the most under-resourced countries and areas of the world. Today he described a representation of the need for intervention in dangerous crises areas that was presented on the North Lawn at the UN Headquarters in NYC on September 8th to illustrate the grave scale of these deaths saying, “Backpacks represent the number of children killed in conflict. We need not to forget the children killed on purpose and those who are killing need to stop.” Tragically, 3,758 children lost their lives in 2018 due to conflict in areas such as Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and others. Statistics on the number of children out of school in 24-hour conflict affected countries surpasses 27 million. Education is under attack in 87 countries as of this very moment in time.
“It’s very important that the children and the youth come first.” Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW). ECW is the first global fund to aid education in emergency settings Ms. Sheriff spoke about the projects that ECW and its various partners have been involved in and the work they hope to continue. She closed by detailing on urgency and necessity of working as a cohort to reach this goal of minimizing these unsecure settings and making sure that children in every area of the world receive the education they deserve.
Thank you to our featured speakers, congressional leaders, participants, and partners for successful event alongside hosting partner organizations, Global Citizen, Jesuit Refugee Service, UNICEF USA, and Education Cannot Wait.
Take Action: Learn more about Education Cannot Wait at ACTIVATE