Safe Schools Work to Expand to Latin America and the Caribbean

Photo Courtesy of Phuong Tran/IRIN.

The Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education) is thrilled to announce an expansion of the Safe Schools work, already reaching millions of children across Ebola-affected countries, Nigeria, and Pakistan, into Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Education is the only tool — the most important tool — to get out of the circle of poverty,” said the First Lady of Panama, Lorena Castillo, celebrating the expansion into Latin American regions.
In partnership with UNICEF and A World at School, the new Strong Schools and Communities Initiative will explore opportunities for school communities, national authorities, and the private sector to strengthen programs that protect learning environments and promote an open dialogue among communities throughout the region.

The announcement was made by an A World At School Global Youth Advisor (GYA) joined on stage by Ministers of Education from Costa Rica, Honduras, and El Salvador, the First Lady of Panama, and received by UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown on Monday, Sept. 28, at the #UpForSchool Town Hall event sponsored by UNICEF and British charity Theirworld.

“In Brazil this is very urgent,” said Luciano Frontelle, a GYA from Brazil. “If we do not act now, we are held at a risk of, instead of having young people in school, we have them in prison or not living at all.”

GBC-Education launched the first Safe Schools Initiative following the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria to coordinate and leverage business efforts and financing to make schools safer. To date, the Safe Schools Initiative has improved learning conditions for more than 50,000 school children and highlighted the challenge for the 5 million children forced out of school by Ebola. Learn more.

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