Right now, over 260 million children around the world don’t have the chance to get an education — and girls are disproportionately affected.
Without harnessing the power of education, we’re literally holding the whole world back. Without education, it’s that much harder to access employment opportunities, create businesses, drive entrepreneurship, and expand economies.
Without funding, millions and millions of children will never set foot in a classroom, and will likely never have the chance to discover how far they can go.
But an initiative called the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) has been proposed to tackle the education gap, and help ensure every child gets the best possible start in life.
The idea of IFFEd would be to find new ways for governments to access money so that governments can afford to invest in their children, particularly girls, and ensure they receive a quality education.
But it needs the support from the international community, including the UK. If the UK backs IFFEd with a substantial pledge of grant funds and guarantees, it could inspire other countries to follow suit.
That’s where you come in.
We asked Global Citizens in the UK to send an email to the government, telling them why they believe in education, and why investing in IFFEd could help.
And you really delivered. Here are just a few reasons why Brits back UK support for education.
1. Jocelyn R-S.
“At the moment, millions and millions of children in the world don’t receive any decent kind of education — and the UK could and should be engaged in helping these children … This kind action is where greatness lies — and humanity. I urge you to support every possible way we can help provide good education for children in poorer countries.”
2. Isobel C.
“I am writing to you as both a British and Global Citizen…I am 13. There was a story in Global Citizen about a girl called Doreen who was married off to a man twice her age. At 13. I am lucky enough to have an education, to never have to worry about FGM, or becoming a teenage bride. But unfortunately, it still happens. Please support every girl in going to school, and make sure that we can be the generation to end poverty, gender inequality, and lack of education.”
3. Catherine D.
“Having had the benefit of free schooling and now working in a secondary school, I see the benefit every day that a good education brings. Ensuring that this generation of school-age children gets a good education is a crucial step towards giving young people a chance to lift themselves, and their families, out of poverty… so please sign up now to give developing countries a chance to build a stronger future.”
4. Bev C.
“We have a female leader of this country who, without having access to education, would not hold the post she does or been given the opportunity to aspire to this position. Every girl should be provided the same opportunity to achieve their full potential or be given the tools to facilitate this.”
5. Roger B.
“A child’s education, especially that of a girl, is essential for the future of any country; it can lead [the way] out of poverty, empower latent talent, and lead to positive change in the treatment of child labour, marriage, and practices such as FGM.”
“Please do not listen to those who are demanding that our overseas aid is cut… We in the UK are at the very top, and we need to recognise the disparity.”
6. Linda E.
“I’d like to teach the world to read and write, so every child, no matter where they are born, has an equal chance to make their mark in the world.”
7. Lottie B.
“I write this email to you as children in the UK prepare to go back to school for a new term this week. It seems fitting to bring your attention to this campaign to raise international funds to help governments to tackle obstacles to education. These obstacles include marriage, trafficking, and modern day slavery. All of which I’m sure you will agree are unacceptable barriers to something as important, fundamental, and a basic human right as education.”
8. Issy C.
“I am writing to you today to ask that you consider investing in the young. Worldwide 260 million children are not in education… This is so unfair. We need to educate the young and get every child in school. Education is a human right… Please let's be the first generation to get every child in school.”
9. Helen I.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and he'll feed himself for a lifetime. It's the same with education. Girls, especially, need an education, as they will grow into women who will teach their children, and share their knowledge in their communities for the benefit of all.”
10. Josephine G.
“Investment now will hopefully save a huge amount in the future. But this shouldn't be the main reason why this scheme is supported. Helping children to get a better start in life is the main reason!”
11. Mairead M.
“All children need an education if they are to achieve their potential and contribute to society… There is enough money in the world. It should be more evenly spread.”
12. Adelheid R.
“A child cannot choose to be born into poverty; nor can they choose to take steps out of poverty if they are not given the opportunity to do so. In the UK, we know that education is vital for reducing social inequality, crime, and poverty; it is just as important in developing countries. An education creates opportunities for a better job, a better income, less dependency, greater access to services such as healthcare (if you cannot read, you are less able to access public health advice), gender equality ... the list is genuinely endless.”
13. Jane G.
“For the last 46 years, since my first teaching post as a volunteer in Kenya, I have been supporting education in all countries as essential for economic development. Countries with a well educated population can fend for themselves and need much less aid than those with a poorly educated population. Investment in education means less aid needed later on.”
14. Ben R.
“[Children] have only just begun their lives. It is fundamental that they have all the tools they need to succeed in the pursuit of happiness.”
These responses have been lightly edited for clarity.