Global access to education is the the key to eradicating extreme poverty. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Around the world 59 million children of primary school age are being denied an education, and nearly 65 million adolescents are without access to a secondary school. Whether it’s lack of funding, no classroom available, or simply being female, there are many reasons these people lack the access to quality educations.

Read More: 10 Barriers to Education Around the World

Fortunately, there are organizations working hard to improve access to education for all. Here are seven of them:

Malala Fund

The Malala Fund, co-founded by Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai, works to enable girls around the world to receive a quality education to achieve their potential and become positive change-makers in their communities. The Malala Fund is making the futures of young girls brighter by investing in them and providing resources for improved education.

A photo posted by Malala Fund (@malalafund) on

Read More: 15 Times That Malala Nailed It

Read More: It's Malala Day, and She's Celebrating With Refugees in Kenya

Pencils of Promise

Pencils of Promise is an organization working to improve the educational opportunities of children living in Ghana, Guatemala, Laos, and Nicaragua. In order to do this, PoP collects monetary donations to build schools and offer educational programming. This includes teacher support to ensure teachers are trained and students learn effectively, water and health programs to keep kids healthy in school, and scholarships to help students bear the financial burden.

Change Heroes

Change Heroes seeks to create change through peer-to-peer fundraising. The money raised goes toward building schools in developing countries around the world. The average cost to build a school is about $10,000 (USD). Change Heroes allows people to create their own campaign videos to send around to 33 of their friends asking for a donation of $3.33 (USD) per day for three months. This adds up to $10,000 — enough to build a school.  


CARE places emphasis on girls’ education by helping young girls overcome barriers, such as child marriage, affording uniforms, workloads, and gender inequality. Working in countries around the world, their mission is to improve access to education for girls, and all youth, everywhere.

A photo posted by CARE (@careorg) on

Teach for America

In the US, there are 16 million children living in poverty. Only half of children living in poverty will graduate from high school, and only one in 10 will graduate from college. Teach for America strives to combat these numbers by enlisting, developing and mobilizing as many teachers around the country to provide quality educations.

Read More: Quality Education Is Key to Ending Poverty

Educators 4 Excellence

Educators 4 Excellence is a group of teachers who are passionate about the success of their students. Teachers in this organization are actively involved in policy-making and decisions that will affect their students and the profession, ultimately providing the best education they can for students.

Read More: 7 Myths About Teachers

Book Aid International

Book Aid International increases access to books for children to support literacy, education and development in sub-Saharan Africa. In many parts of Africa, people are unable to fulfil their potential due to lack of books and educational resources. Book Aid International supports libraries and educational initiatives in Africa to improve literacy among children.

A photo posted by Carley (@carleymcadam) on

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Defeat Poverty

7 Groups Working to Educate the World

By Krista Watson