Education Matters For Everyone!
Anyone in need of a bit of good news?
Ok, great because I’ve got some for you!
Educational opportunities for girls around the globe has significantly improved over the last 15 years! And the global development community, led by organizations like UNICEF have set some exciting, but also ambitious goals for the next 15 years.
In its brochure, “Harnessing the Power of Data for Girls,” UNICEF notes, “Data tell us that the lives of girls today are better in many respects than those of preceding generations. Girls are now more likely to survive childhood, more likely to attend school and complete their education, less likely to be undernourished and less likely to marry as children.”
But lack of education still exists as a source of inequity for many children. While educational opportunities have increased, many children still do not have consistent access to a classroom. This is true for many more girls than boys.
Some of this disparity has to do with chores and responsibilities outside of school. Many girls are required to contribute to household chores and provide childcare to younger siblings. These expectations often are not extended to boys, which gives boys better opportunities to focus on their education.
In some countries in the Middle East, violent conflicts limit the opportunities of children to remain in the same area long enough to progress in their education. In a 2015 publication, UNICEF reported that in the Middle East “[m]ore than 13 million children are not attending school in countries being affected - either directly or indirectly - by armed conflict”. Many teachers in Iraq have been forced to flee, which leaves many children without a school to attend. In relatively safer cities in Iraq, there are often more children than there are teachers. Large class sizes overwhelm the few teachers that remain.
This is where EDGE is trying to make a change. EDGE is working to help provide internally displaced children with access to educational opportunities and facilities. EDGE recognizes that for both boys and girls, education matters.
EDGE wants to help girls like Nadeen. As a 12-year-old, Nadeen is shy and sensitive. Unlike many boys, Nadeen has limited social interactions outside of her home besides attending a school, which due to conflict in Iraq, was no longer available.
A teacher from EDGE reached out to Nadeen and showed her photos from previous EDGE sessions. While talking about why she has not been able to return to school after rising conflict in her home city, Nadeen became emotional. Nadeen continued to share how much she loves to learn and how miserable life as a displaced child in a refugee camp can be.
Before EDGE, Jalila a 6-year-old girl had never been to school as she was unable to travel to a school. EDGE’s Pop-Up school became her first educational experience. Her teachers note that Jalila has always been eager to participate. She eagerly raises her hand, whether she knows the correct answer to a question or not. Jalila is ready to engage in learning and EDGE is working hard to keep providing Jalila with more educational opportunities.
Jailia and Nadeen are powerful examples of how school can provide more than an education. Schools can become engaging, hopeful, and healing places where children belong. EDGE wants to reach out to more girls and make sure they’re included in the classroom.
With your support, EDGE can provide more opportunities for girls to learn alongside their male peers. If you like what we’re doing and want to support girls’ education around the globe, then volunteer your time or sign up to give a one time or monthly donation to make sure EDGE’s impact continues to grow.
Either way we’d love to have you on the team!