Did you know that 75 million of the world’s children and youth are missing out on school because of violent conflicts, natural disasters and health emergencies like Ebola?
I don’t need to tell you that people in such crises are more vulnerable to risk of abuse, human trafficking, extremism, and exploitation of many kinds. It’s a terrible situation and children are usually the worst affected.
This week at the inaugural World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, local and global organizers led by PM Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Education, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon officially announced the launch of “Education Cannot Wait.” This unique fund for education in emergencies was put together to create a more collaborative and effective response to help kids who’s schooling has been interrupted by humanitarian disasters.
“Education Cannot Wait” funds will benefit school-age children and youth living in (or escaping from) communities torn apart by violent conflict, disease outbreaks, earthquakes, floods and other emergencies that destroy infrastructure, scatter teachers and families, and disrupt access to education… sometimes for years on end. (Right now, less than 2% of humanitarian aid during crises goes toward education).
__In addition to funding pledges made this week by governments, I am pleased to tell you that the global private sector is also doing its part to support “Education Cannot Wait!”
About four years ago, I was one of the co-founders of the Global Business Coalition for Education. This week, GBC Education, led by Executive Chair Sarah Brown, announced its plans to mobilize $100 million in private sector financial and in-kind donations to support the Education Cannot Wait initiative. The Coalition’s 100+ private sector organizations will draw from our networks of skills and resources to support this important cause in various ways.
Education should be a sacrosanct door to knowledge, prosperity and hope for everyone. We must each do what we can to respect and promote everyone’s right to go to school! Especially children and youth… No exceptions!
GBC Education is a global movement of businesses committed to changing children’s lives through education. Many other international groups are working on this issue. What about you? Why don’t you look around at some social needs in your own communities, and come up with some innovative solutions? It doesn’t have to be a huge fund like Education Cannot Wait.
Start on your own street!
Even your one voice can make a world of difference…
If you want to learn more, check out:
Global Business Coalition for Education http://gbc-education.org
Safe Schools video featuring Dynamo, Laura Carmichael and poet Yomi
Image Credit: A World At School