Education is key to so many things in life. It allows you to grow and to see beyond your own world. It creates opportunities and enables you to make the right choices for you and others around you.
Nonetheless education is often forgotten. The percentage of funding for global education has been going down for years and we need to stop this trend. Children in emergencies are at greater risk, with 75 million children worldwide currently out of school because conflict or natural disaster. They need education to heal and to build the sense of normalcy and basic skills necessary to rebuild their countries.
Muzoon Almellehan, an 18-year old former Syrian refugee and ambassador for UNICEF, recently travelled to Chad to meet some of the children affected by Boko Haram's reign of terror, includinga 16-year-old girl abducted by Boko Haram outside her school in Nigeria at the age of 13, who was drugged, exploited, and abused for three years before fleeing to Chad. Reflecting on their experiences, Muzoon says: “Conflict can take away your friends, your family, your livelihood, your home. It can try to strip you of your dignity, identity, pride, and hope. But it can never take away your knowledge...education gave me the strength to carry on. I wouldn’t be here without it.”
Muzoon Almellehan, Syrian Refugee on why Education Cannot Wait.
Education is a critical life-saving force in emergencies, as Muzoon says. This is why, in 2016 the Education Cannot Wait Fund was launched to raise money for education in crisis situations and the year one targets for the Fund have now been met, meaning that live saving education services are already being provided to over 350,000 kids in Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and other crisis-affected countries.
Our target is to raise an additional $3.5B by 2021 to ensure that ECW can keep reaching crisis-affected children. These children are the future and can help rebuild their countries. We must remind leaders from the most powerful financial countries in the world, the Group of 7 (G7), who will be meeting on June 7-8 to support education in emergencies so that children affected by crises can get back in school and start learning again. Among the G7 countries, only Japan and Italy have yet to pledge their first, life-saving dollars to ECW.
We must remind these G7 leaders to support education in emergencies alongside their G7 colleagues who have already done so.
Sign our petition now to keep up the pressure on these G7 governments to sign up and pledge their first, life-saving dollars to ECW.