The future of the world’s children just got a little bit brighter.

This week, the United Nations Secretary General brought together leaders from around the world to discuss one of the most important crises facing the world today: educating the 264 million children currently out of school.

The event focused on ways to encourage countries to contribute to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which is focused on ensuring that children receive basic primary education growing up in every country.

The UN Secretary General hosted this event called “Financing the Future: Education 2030,” world leaders including President Emmanuel Macron of France,  Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway; Macky Sall, President of Senegal; Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education; and activists Malala Yousafzai, Muzoon Almellehan and Priyanka Chopra.

The governments of Senegal and France announced they will co-host the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference on February 8, 2018, in Dakar, Senegal. They invited all those in the room to join and bring their checkbooks!

“It’s important to guarantee quality access to education for all, that is why I will pledge alongside Senegal and the education community to rally in raising $3.1 billion dollars by 2020. I encourage all countries, foundations, companies, the international community to join us.” Macron said.

It’s the first time in history that a G7 and an African nation will join together to rally the world to ensure the Global Partnership for Education has the resources necessary to provide access to quality education for 870 million children, especially girls.

“The Global Partnership for Education has made substantial investments in education helping to get 72 million more children into primary school since 2002, including Senegal, “President Sall said. “We are honored to host the next GPE Financing Conference in Dakar, and look forward to continuing our close partnership with GPE.”

Since August, Global Citizens have taken over 175,000 actions in support of GPE.

“Financing should not be considered a social burden,” President Sall stated, “in fact it is one of the best investments you can make.”

The groundbreaking commitments did not end here, as a powerhouse of girls education advocates like Malala and Priyanka Chopra stole the stage.

Malala announced that her ‘Malala Fund’ would be contributing $3 million to local activists so they can speak out for girls in their region.

She reminded all attendees of the $3.1 billion gap in achieving universal education, and the several nations that have recently “made dramatic cuts to their education budgets.”

“Each and every day we lose a girl, we lose a boy, because we do not invest in their education,” Malala said.

Keeping up the momentum, key stakeholders and world leaders continued to rally the audience in making this year the year for education.

Demonstrating leadership in the private sector, Gus Schmedlen announced HP’s new partnership with the Education Cannot Wait Fund which will focus on creating and distributing new technologies to children in need.

All speakers emphasised the importance of ensuring access to quality education in a bid to enable global sustainability and improved productivity. But President Sall struck a chord with the room stressing that “if we do nothing, they will fall into the shadows of ignorance and helplessness, they will be tempted by everything, everywhere, even extremism and radicalism.”

President Mutharika of Malawi further added, “Even the rich countries can never think that ignorance and illiteracy is not their concern.”

Global Citizens, our hard work doesn’t end here - join us at the Global Citizen Festival at Central Park this Saturday the 23rd for more commitments and actions, pushing towards the end of extreme poverty and access to education for all. And remember, in failing to commit to education ‘we are not only failing them, but we are also failing ourselves’ - Malala Yousafzai


Defeat Poverty

For the First Time, an African Nation and G7 Country Will Team Up to Get Kids Back in School

By Madison McCormick  and  Carlotta Mohamed