At just 13 years old, Grace was forced out of school when armed conflict came to her community in South Sudan.

“They told us to sit down and said they would train us to become soldiers,” she said.

Grace was put to work with an armed group and forced to commit acts of cruelty. After several months, a peace agreement was struck, and she was reunited with her family. Now, Grace and her younger sister are back in school. 

“I like school; it changes my mind ...When I’m studying and playing with the others at school, I forget about the bush,” she said. 

Through school, Grace is rediscovering her life and dreams before conflict.

Education is a human right — but over 75 million kids like Grace are out of school due to conflict, violence, or natural disaster. Giving every child the chance to stay in class is vital to help heal trauma, rebuild communities, and prevent future conflict and disaster.

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is a global fund working to ensure that every child affected by conflict or crisis has access to a safe, free, and quality education by 2030. If governments pledge enough funds, Education Cannot Wait could reach 8.9 million children in the next two years — but it needs more money to achieve this. 

It’s vital that governments worldwide step up and do what they can to help. Add your name: Ask world leaders — including Ireland, Japan, the US, UK, Germany, France, Norway, and Australia — to commit new funds to Education Cannot Wait.  

We will hand over your signature to as many governments as possible before the Global Citizen Festival, and reference it in meetings with key decision-makers to show the scale of public support.